Trump troubled by allegations against Moore, wants Alabama voters to decide
President Donald Trump is troubled by the allegations against Roy Moore, but is not calling on the Alabama Republican to quit the Senate race and believes that his fate should be left up to the voters, the president’s press secretary said Thursday.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Trump — who declined to comment on Moore yesterday when asked by the press — finds the accusations of sexual misconduct “very troubling” and thinks “the people of Alabama should make the decision on who their next senator should be.”
Asked if Trump would vote for Moore if he could, the White House spokeswoman responded: “The president is not a voter in Alabama.” Sanders added the president backed the Republican National Committee’s decision to withdraw resources from the Moore race.
Trump has repeatedly ignored questions on Moore since returning from his lengthy trip to Asia. While on that trip, Trump told reporters that if the allegations were true, Moore should drop out — something Sanders said the president still “firmly believes.”
But while Trump has been quiet on the issue, his daughter and senior White House adviser Ivanka Trump has spoken out, telling the Associated Press this week she believed the women accusing Moore and that there’s “a special place in hell for people who prey on children.” She did not call on Moore to leave the race.
Moore has repeatedly denied all the allegations him.
The president has also had his own troubles with multiple allegations of sexual misconduct. More than a dozen women accused Trump of sexual assault or misconduct in the final months of the 2016 presidential campaign.
He has also been caught on tape in a leaked Access Hollywood hot mic moment, saying: “I just start kissing them, it’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything,” he said in the 2005 conversation. “Grab ’em by the pussy.”
Faced with those allegations again Thursday, Sanders told reporters that the president has “a lot more insight into what he personally did or didn’t do,” pointing to the denials he made during the campaign.
Late Thursday night, Trump took time to tweet about Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., who was accused on earlier in the day of having forcibly kissed and groped a radio news anchor a decade ago when they were overseas entertaining U.S. troops.
Trump called Franken “Al Frankenstien” and asked, “Lesley Stahl tape?” That appeared to be a reference to a report during Franken’s campaign for the Senate in a 2009 special election that he once suggested a skit for “Saturday Night Live” that included the sexual assault of Stahl, a longtime CBS News correspondent