Trump urges Roy Moore not to run for Senate again despite having 'nothing against' him

Moore tweeted Tuesday that he "will beat" Democratic Sen. Doug Jones, who defeated the former Alabama Supreme Court chief justice in a 2017 special election.
Image: Republican Senatorial candidate Roy Moore waits to be introduced to speak about the race against his Democratic opponent Doug Jones.
Roy Moore, on election night, Dec. 12, 2017, was the GOP Senate nominee in Alabama. He lost the special election to Doug Jones, a Democrat who is up for re-election next year.Joe Raedle / Getty Images file

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By Allan Smith

President Donald Trump made clear Wednesday morning he does not want Roy Moore, a former Alabama state Supreme Court chief justice, to make another Senate run.

"Republicans cannot allow themselves to again lose the Senate seat in the Great State of Alabama," Trump tweeted Wednesday. "This time it will be for Six Years, not just Two. I have NOTHING against Roy Moore, and unlike many other Republican leaders, wanted him to win. But he didn’t, and probably won’t."

"If Alabama does not elect a Republican to the Senate in 2020, many of the incredible gains that we have made during my Presidency may be lost, including our Pro-Life victories," Trump continued. "Roy Moore cannot win, and the consequences will be devastating. ... Judges and Supreme Court Justices!"

Trump's tweet followed Moore's comments Tuesday hinting that he might make another run for Senate.

“He knows that if I run I will beat Doug Jones,” Moore tweeted after Rep. Bradley Byrne, R-Ala,, warned voters against backing Moore as the Republican nominee to take on Jones, a Democrat who beat Moore in 2017. Byrne is running in the GOP primary to challenge Jones.

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Moore told The Associated Press that he Trump's comments will not influence whether he runs in 2020, adding that he will make an announcement on that decision next month.

"I think the president is coming under pressure from people in Washington, scared that I will run for the Senate, scared I will win and know I can win," Moore, 72, said.

"Everybody knows I can win and that's what's worrying in Washington," he said.

Moore lost to Jones in a special election to fill then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions' seat after multiple women accused Moore of sexual misconduct when they were teenagers and he was in his 30s. He denied the allegations.

While other Republicans distanced themselves from Moore after those women came forward, Trump stood by Moore in light of the allegations.

Following Trump's tweet, Moore tweeted: "Ever wonder why the mere mention of my name scares the 'hell' out of the Washington DC establishment, liberals, and LGBT? Like Pres Trump I want to see America great again, but that is a job only God can do!"

On Tuesday, Trump's eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., responded to Moore's comment signaling a possible bid for the seat, blasting the former judge for contemplating a run.

"You’re literally the only candidate who could lose a GOP seat in pro-Trump, pro-USA ALABAMA," Trump Jr. tweeted, adding, "If you actually care about #MAGA more than your own ego, it's time to ride off into the sunset, Judge."

Speaking with NBC News, Perry Hooper Jr., a Republican fundraiser and former state representative, said the president seemed interested in Tommy Tuberville, a former Auburn University head football coach, in the GOP primary. Hooper said Trump asked him specifically about Tuberville during a meeting at the White House this month.

Alabama's Republican Senate primary takes place next March.

Vaughn Hillyard and Associated Press contributed.