Donald Trump privately doubted the accounts of eight women who have come forward to accuse Alabama GOP Senate candidate Roy Moore of sexual misconduct and assault, Politico reports.
Citing two White House advisers, Politico reports the president questioned the validity of the women’s accounts, as well as the timing of the multiple accusations levied against Moore. Trump also “drew parallels” between Moore and the allegations made against himself during the 2016 presidential election.
Trump on Tuesday publicly defended Moore, telling reporters he believes the GOPer’s denial of wrongdoing.
“Let me just tell you, Roy Moore denies it,” Trump said. “That’s all I can say. He denies it. And, by the way, he totally denies it.”
“I mean, if you look at what is really going on, and you look at all the things that have happened over the last 48 hours, he totally denies it,” he continued. “He says it didn’t happen. And, you know, you have to listen to him also. You’re talking about, he said 40 years ago this did not happen.”
Trump also argued “we don’t need a liberal” in the Alabama Senate seat.
Politico also reports Trump personally okay’d Kellyanne Conway’s appearance Monday on “Fox & Friends,” during which the White House counselor argued voter shouldn’t be “fooled” by Moore’s alternative, Doug Jones.
According to a source, one of the factors in the president’s decision to support Moore came from establishment Republicans’ decision to distance themselves from him, as it reminded him of when those same figures abandoned him following the release of the infamous Access Hollywood tape.
Moore is “thrilled” by the president’s support, according to Politico.