It’s arguably the most talked about Senate race in 2017, and President Donald Trump has taken a noticeable step back from special election in Alabama, as he continues to distance himself from GOP Senate candidate Roy Moore.
Trump has not tweeted or spoken publicly about Moore since The Washington Post published an explosive report over a week ago with the accounts of four women who claim Moore sexually pursued them when he was in his 30s and they were in their teens. Since that time, five additional women have made accusations against Moore. They range from inappropriate conduct to groping and sexual assault.
Trump’s lone comment since the news broke was made via White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, telling the White House press pool, “Like most Americans, the president believes we cannot allow a mere allegation, in this case, one from many years ago, to destroy a person’s life. However, the president also believes that if these allegations are true, Judge Moore will do the right thing and step aside.”
Some White House aides believe there’s more to his decision to sit back than meets the eye. They believe Trump — who has faced allegations of sexual misconduct himself and was caught on tape making lewd comments about women back in 2005 — is uncomfortable with the accusations against Moore, and is thus is leaving it to the Alabama voters to decide his fate.
“We are uncomfortable with the explanations that Roy Moore has given to date,” said White House legislative director Marc Short. Speaking of Trump’s position, Short said, “Obviously if he did not believe that the women’s accusations were credible, he would be down campaigning for Roy Moore.”
Moore is running to fill the Alabama U.S. Senate seat vacated by Jeff Sessions when he became attorney general, has vehemently denied allegations. He faces democrat Doug Jones on Dec. 12.