President Donald Trump threw his support behind Alabama senate candidate Roy Moore, despite a bevy of molestation and sexual harassment allegations leveled against the Republican and former judge.
The president’s reasoning for supporting a man accused by multiple women of everything from sexual harassment to attempted rape? Passing tax cuts:
Lamenting that no Democrats voted for the GOP Tax bill that just passed in the Senate, Trump declared that is “why we need Republican Roy Moore to win in Alabama,” before calling Doug Jones, the Democratic candidate, “a Pelosi/Schumer Puppet!”
The full throated endorsement is notable, as the White House has been hesitant to support Moore. After the allegations he preyed on underaged girls started to come out, Republican leaders in the senate rejected Moore unequivocally.
A statement from the White House declared that if the allegations are true, Moore should step aside. White House counselor Kellyanne Conway even declared “there is no senate seat worth more than a child” on Fox & Friends.
But then the winds started to turn: Trump declined to explicitly condemn Moore, and reportedly even expressed doubts over his accusers in private. Conway returned to Fox & Friends and slammed Democratic candidate Jones when asked where she stood on Moore.
Trump followed, repeatedly bashing Jones, without explicitly endorsing by name Moore — until now. The endorsement is likely to give Moore a boost, in a state the voted overwhelmingly for Trump in the 2016 election.
The president will even hold a rally in Pensacola, Florida (25 miles from Alabama) on December 8, just four days before the election.
For now, the polls are neck and neck — Jones surged ahead in the immediate wake of the allegations, but Moore has since crept back. A recent poll even found that 71 per cent of Alabamians don’t believe the allegations.
UPDATE 8:25 a.m. EST: Roy Moore thanked Trump for his endorsement in a tweet claiming he “can’t wait to help him #DrainTheSwamp”:
[image via screengrab]