Trump low-key deletes tweets in support of Luther Strange after ’embarrassing’ defeat by Roy Moore
Donald Trump on Tuesday deleted multiple tweets urging supporters to vote for Sen. Luther Strange (R-AL), after Judge Roy Moore—the GOP candidate backed by former chief White House strategist Steve Bannon—decidedly beat the president’s pick to take over Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ vacated Senate seat.
ProPublica, which chronicles deleted tweets by public officials, archived the posts from Trump’s personal Twitter account.
“Luther Strange has been shooting up in the Alabama polls since my endorsement. Finish the job – vote today for ‘Big Luther,’” Trump tweeted early Tuesday, only to delete the message shortly after 10:30 p.m.
In a separate Tweet, Trump had urged Alabamans to “get out and vote for Luther Strange – he has proven to me that he will never let you down! #MAGA.” The president also removed that post after Strange’s defeat.
— Burgess Everett (@burgessev) September 27, 2017
Prior to removing references to Strange, Trump deleted a tweet congratulating Moore and directing the Alabama judge to “WIN in Nov!” He re-posted that congratulations a few minutes later, after correcting the post to read, “WIN in Dec!”—the actual month of Alabama’s Senate election.
Trump’s Twitter antics may provide insight into the president’s mindset following Moore’s win. Trump campaigned heavily for Strange, even attending a rally in Alabama last Friday in support of the junior senator. It was during that rally Trump admitted he “might have made a mistake” with his endorsement.
“If Luther doesn’t win, they’re not going to say we picked up 25 points in a very short period of time,” Trump predicted. “They’re going to say, ‘Donald Trump, the president of the United States, was unable to pull his candidate across the line. It is a terrible, terrible moment for Trump. This is total embarrassment.’”
By Tuesday, Trump was reportedly “resigned to a loss” in Alabama, telling attendees at a conservative dinner Monday that he may have underestimated Moore’s appeal.
“He went around the room and wanted to know what everyone thought,” American Conservative Union head Matt Schlapp, who was at the meeting, told Politico.
“He was trying to figure out if there was going to be damage from this,” another said.
Moore will take on Democratic nominee Doug Jones in Alabama’s general election in “Dec!” Jones on Tuesday offered this about his opponent for Sessions’ Senate seat:
I stood up to the KKK, I will stand up for Alabama. I will not embarrass you.
It begins right now.
— Doug Jones (@GDouglasJones) September 27, 2017