President Trump on Monday officially endorsed Roy Moore, the Republican candidate for Senate in Alabama, less than a month after Moore was accused by multiple women of inappropriate sexual conduct while they were teenagers and he was in his early 30s. Moore tweeted the news of the coveted endorsement and quoted the president as saying, "Go get 'em, Roy!"
"Go get 'em, Roy!" - President Trump
Just got off the phone with President Trump who offered his full support and said he needs a fighter to help him in the US Senate.
I look forward to fighting alongside the President to #MAGA!
— Judge Roy Moore (@MooreSenate) December 4, 2017
The White House confirmed the endorsement in a statement, saying Trump "had a positive phone call" with Moore.
After allegations of Moore's sexual misconduct became public, the White House declined to comment one way or another on the race, saying that the people of Alabama should make their own decision. In the last two weeks, however, the administration had all but endorsed Moore's campaign while attacking the Democratic candidate, Doug Jones, for his positions on immigration and abortion.
Trump reportedly sees parallels between himself and Moore, as both men have been accused of sexual assault and both were (temporarily) abandoned and denounced by prominent Republicans. Trump isn't the only Republican to warm up to Moore, either: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) called on Moore to "step aside" on Nov. 13, but on Sunday backtracked that statement, saying, "I think we're going to let the people of Alabama decide ... who they want to send to the Senate, and then we'll address the matter appropriately."
On Tuesday, President Trump told White House reporters that "we do not need a liberal person" to win the open Senate seat in Alabama. "You have to listen to" Roy Moore's denials of the allegations of his sexual misconduct with minors, Trump told reporters, referring to the multiple women who have accused the Republican candidate of inappropriate conduct. Trump said that Moore's Democratic opponent Doug Jones — who convicted two KKK members for bombing a church in Alabama — was "terrible on crime" and "terrible on the border" before adding that allegations against Moore occurred over 40 years ago, "so, you know."
Trump on Roy Moore sexual misconduct allegations: “He totally denies it…you have to listen to him also” pic.twitter.com/HFCZjEhkFe
— NBC News (@NBCNews) November 21, 2017
Although the Republican Party has largely distanced itself or withdrawn support entirely from Moore, the White House had been reluctant to give a firm opinion on Moore's candidacy. Last week, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said that the president believed "the people of Alabama should make the decision on who their senator should be." On Monday, White House counselor Kellyanne Conway gave a slightly less limp endorsement of Moore, saying on Fox & Friends that Moore's victory would help the Republicans pass tax reform — comments the Moore campaign latched onto as implicit proof of a White House endorsement.
Before Trump made his way to Mar-a-Lago for his Thanksgiving vacation, he was also asked about the recent wave of sexual assault allegations. His answer was noteworthy, given he has been accused of sexual assault and harassment by many women. Kelly O'Meara Morales
Here is a transcript of the president's message on the public wave of sexual assault allegations. pic.twitter.com/XlPEAtiv7F
— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) November 21, 2017