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Trump criticizes Al Franken, remains silent on Roy Moore allegations

President Donald Trump will not call on Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore to drop out of the race despite the multiple sexual misconduct allegations leveled against him.
Image: President Donald Trump speaks about his recent trip to Asia at the White House in Washington
President Donald Trump speaks about his recent trip to Asia in the Diplomatic Room of the White House on November 15, 2017 in Washington.Joshua Roberts / Reuters

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump, who faced more than a dozen allegations of sexual misconduct during his own election campaign, was quick to tweet on the "really bad" allegations against Democratic Senator Al Franken Thursday, but has so far remained silent about Republican Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore.

Trump referred to Sen. Franken, D-Minn., who is accused of having forcibly kissed and groped a radio news anchor a decade ago when entertaining U.S. troops overseas, as "Al Frankenstien."

However, he has declined to comment on the claims leveled against Republican Moore, who faces allegations he sexually assaulted teenage girls decades ago.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Thursday that Trump finds the accusations againt Moore "very troubling" but 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."

When asked Friday whether Trump has spoken out against Moore to the degree he had done so against Franken, Sanders reiterated that point.

"To suggest that this White House, and specifically that this president hasn’t weighed in, is just inaccurate and wrong. He weighed in," she said referring to Trump's statements about Moore. "He said if the allegations are true, he should step aside. He also weighed in when he supported the RNC’s decision to withdraw resources from the state of Alabama. It’s just simply inaccurate statement to make about the president."

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 against 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.