WASHINGTON — The Latest on Mike Pence in the U.S. presidential race (all times EDT):

7:15 p.m.

Mike Pence is blaming the media and Hillary Clinton for what he characterizes as “a discussion of slander and lies” targeting his running mate Donald Trump.

Pence’s remarks Thursday evening were the first time the Republican vice presidential candidate addressed multiple allegations of sexual assault leveled at Trump.

Pence told attendees at a GOP dinner in Orefield, Pennsylvania, that Trump denies accusations that he groped or forcefully kissed women against their will. He says the claims are “unsubstantiated.”

Pence blames Clinton for pushing the story. He says Democrats are trying to draw attention away from hacked emails that are unflattering to her campaign.

3:01 p.m.

Mike Pence is making campaign stops in Pennsylvania after ditching reporters who regularly travel with him.

The move by the Republican vice presidential candidate’s campaign comes as several women have accused Donald Trump of sexual assault.

Pence has yet to comment on the allegations. His campaign told reporters Thursday morning that Pence was attending two fundraisers that were closed to the press.

But Pence’s official Twitter account has since shown him meeting with faith leaders and stopping at a restaurant.

One tweet from the account shows Pence’s tour bus accompanied by the caption: “We’re glad to be back in Pennsylvania on the campaign trail!” Pence spokesman Marc Lotter could not be reached for comment.