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Trump doesn’t call for Moore’s withdrawal, says allegations “very troubling”

By Samuel Mattison
Alabama Political Reporter

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders put to bed Thursday any notion of President Donald Trump asking Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore to step down.

The press secretary told reporters at Thursday’s briefing that the president believes the people of Alabama should make the decision on whether Moore is fit for office or not. She also said the president finds the allegations “very troubling.”

Sanders told reporters last week that the president’s official position on Moore was that he should resign if the sexual allegations first reported by the Washington Post against him were true. The president was in Asia on official business at the time.

Many Republicans in the Senate took the same approach in the couple of days following the report from the Post.

Mitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader, changed his position early this week calling on Moore to resign outright after more women came forward alleging Moore acted inappropriately with them.

Since that time, about half of Senate Republicans have said Moore should resign, including Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Colorado, who controls the fundraising for the Senate Republicans.

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Moore has also lost joint fundraising ventures with both the Republican National Committee and the Senate Republican fundraising apparatus.

The former state Supreme Court chief justice was given the cold shoulder during the Senate race’s party primary when Trump endorsed his opponent Sen. Luther Strange, R-Ala.

Although he endorsed Strange, Trump told a crowd in Huntsville at a September rally that he would “campaign like hell” for Moore if he won the runoff.

After his victory, Moore and Trump had a quick phone call in which Trump would later tweet that Moore was a “really great guy who ran a fantastic race.”

Trump has not come back to the state since.

Sam Mattison
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