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WASHINGTON, D.C. - President Donald Trump finally addressed sexual assault and harassment allegations against Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore Tuesday while speaking to reporters ahead of his departure for Mar-a-Lago, essentially saying he supports Moore in spite of the accusations.
“We don’t need a liberal Democrat in that seat,” the president said, referring to Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ vacant U.S. Senate seat that Moore is running for, and adding that Moore “totally denies” the accusations.
Trump also said, “40 years is a long time,” referring to when the alleged incidents with the underage girls happened.
The president went on to encourage voters not to support Democratic candidate Doug Jones, adding that he is soft on crime and on border protection.
While Trump did not say whether he believes Moore is innocent, he did suggest he’s deciding whether to campaign for him.
Trump’s comments came on the heals of White House counselor Kellyanne Conway’s apparent endorsement of Roy earlier this week.
“I’m telling you we want the votes in the Senate to get this tax bill through,” Conway said. “And the media — if the media were really concerned about all these allegations, and that’s what this was truly about … Al Franken would be on the ash heap of bygone half-funny comedians. He wouldn’t be here on Capitol Hill. He still has his job. What’s Bob Menendez doing back here? That’s the best my state of New Jersey can do?”
Moore has been accused by seven women of sexual misconduct. With the exception of one woman who was 18 at the time, all of his accusers were underage when he allegedly sexually harassed or assaulted them with the youngest being just 14 years old at the time. One of his accusers was even in the same high school sophomore class as his wife, whom Moore admitted to first noticing when she was 15 or 16-years-old when she was performing in a dance recital.
“When I was deputy district attorney, many years before we got married, I saw her at a dance recital and I was standing, oh, at the back of the auditorium and I saw her up front,” he recalled at the time. “I remember her name, it was Kayla Kisor. KK. But I remember that and I didn’t meet her there … it was, oh gosh, eight years later or something, I met her. And when she told me her name, I remembered.”