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Trump says Republican Roy Moore must be elected in Alabama

Trump appeared to endorse Roy Moore Tuesday, telling reporters that the accused sexual abuser would be better than a “liberal Democrat.”
Image: Donald Trump
President Donald Trump speaks to reporters before leaving the White House on Nov. 21, 2017, in Washington for a Thanksgiving trip to Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida.Manuel Balce Ceneta / AP

President Donald Trump said Tuesday that Alabama voters must elect embattled Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore, who is facing multiple allegations of sexual misconduct, to prevent "liberal" Democrat Doug Jones from winning next month.

"I can tell you one thing for sure: We don't need a liberal person in there, a Democrat, Jones," Trump said in his most detailed comments on the embattled GOP hopeful moments before the president boarded Marine One outside the White House.

"I've looked at his record, it's terrible on crime, it's terrible on the border, it's terrible on the military,” Trump said of Jones, ahead of the December 12 election. "We do not need somebody that's going to be bad on crime, bad on borders, bad with the military, bad for the Second Amendment."

Trump, repeatedly pressed on the accusations against Moore, said he took the GOP candidate at his word — that he did nothing wrong.

"He totally denies it. He says it didn't happen. And you know, you have to listen to him also," Trump said in response to shouted questions from reporters about the nine women who have made claims against him.

"And I do have to say 40 years is a long time," Trump added, noting that the women "are Trump voters." "He's run eight races and this has never come up, so 40 years is a long time."

Asked if he didn't believe Moore's accusers, Trump just reiterated the politician's repeated denials.

The president was also asked for his personal message to women amid the onslaught of sexual misconduct allegations that have surfaced recently against politicians, prominent members of the media and Hollywood figures.

"Women are very special," said Trump, who has himself faced multiple allegations of sexual misconduct. "I think it's a very special time, a lot of things are coming out, and I think that's good for our society and I think it's very very good for women and I'm very happy."

Trump also said he would tell reporters next week whether he planned to campaign with Moore in Alabama, where the president remains popular.

Some of Moore's accusers include women who were teenagers when the sexual activity occurred, such as Leigh Corfman, who was 14 when she says Moore, who was 32 at the time, abused her in 1979.

Moore has repeatedly denied all the allegations and said they were the product of nefarious efforts by his political opponents and the media.

"I am not guilty of sexual misconduct with anyone," Moore said earlier this month, a message his campaign has put out repeatedly.

Trump has ignored questions on Moore since returning last week from his lengthy trip to Asia. While on that trip, Trump told reporters that if the allegations were true, Moore should drop out — something White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said last week the president still "firmly believes."

But top White House adviser Kellyanne Conway said on Monday that a Republican candidate — regardless of the allegations dogging him — is the administration's preference in the Alabama race.