WASHINGTON ― President Donald Trump responded to Democrat Doug Jones’ stunning victory over Republican Roy Moore in Tuesday night’s Senate special election in Alabama, congratulating the senator-elect on his victory.
Trump endorsed Moore and defended him against the nearly 10 women who have brought credible allegations of sexual misconduct against him, including several accusations he preyed on them when they were teenagers and he was in his 30s.
Moore’s approach to the allegations ― vehemently denying them and discrediting the women ― was remarkably similar to how Trump has responded to the more than a dozen women who have accused him of sexual harassment and assault.
Trump’s support of Moore, as well as the cascade of prominent men who have faced dramatic consequences for sexual misconduct allegations in recent weeks, brought renewed attention to Trump’s own history of inappropriate behavior toward women.
That history also made Trump’s eventual endorsement all the more telling.
Trump initially appeared to distance himself from Moore and did not campaign with him, with White House officials citing a busy schedule. He did record a robocall in the campaign’s final days, rallying GOP voters to back Moore because he would help Trump’s mission of “making America great again.”
After dodging questions about the accusations against Moore, which The Washington Post first reported in early November, Trump implicitly endorsed the candidate on Nov. 21.
“We don’t need a liberal person in there,” he told reporters in reference to Jones, arguing that a vote for the Republican would help his political agenda — and displaying the political expediency that many Republicans chose when supporting Moore in spite of the allegations.
Trump repeatedly attacked Jones as “a puppet” of Democratic leaders and said that as a senator, Jones would be “soft on crime.”
Jones, a longtime prosecutor, helped convict members of the KKK responsible for bombing a black church in 1963.
Moore, a controversial judge, appealed to Trump’s conservative base. Among his prominent supporters was former White House chief strategist and Breitbart chairman Steve Bannon.
Trump did not initially back Moore. In September’s GOP primary, he endorsed the incumbent, Sen. Luther Strange (R-Ala.). But he later disavowed his support when Moore won, deleted his tweets in favor of Strange, and called Moore “a really great guy.”