Aides expect an angry President Donald Trump to cast blame for Roy Moore’s election loss — and he might even turn on his daughter, Ivanka.
The president endorsed Moore, a failed gubernatorial candidate dragged twice from the Alabama Supreme Court for refusing to follow the law, without telling most of his advisers, but now they expect him to blame someone else for the embarrassing loss, reported the New York Times.
Aides hoped he would turn on Steve Bannon, his former chief strategist, whose strong influence on the president bothers advisers, according to the newspaper.
“The president was also enraged when his daughter Ivanka Trump got ahead of him by declaring there was a special place in hell’ for people who harm children,” reported the Times‘ Maggie Haberman.
Bannon took swipe at the Trump’s daughter Monday night at a rally for Moore in Alabama, along with Republicans he deemed insufficiently loyal to the president.
“(Senate Majority Leader) Mitch McConnell and Sen. (Richard) Shelby, and Condi Rice and all that, Little (Sen.) Bobby Corker, all the establishment out there doesn’t have Trump’s back at all,” Bannon said. “There’s a special place in hell for Republicans who should know better.”
However, one White House adviser told the newspaper that Trump was unlikely to blame his daughter, who condemned Moore over accusations that he sexually preyed on teenage girls.
Bill Stepien, the White House political director, could also be targeted as a scapegoat by the president, who does not like to accept blame, according to aides.
Several advisers expressed relief that Moore would not be joining the GOP Senate majority, and told the newspaper they expected a vote on the tax reform bill before Democrat Doug Jones was sworn in.
Moore was the third Trump-backed GOP candidate to lose an election since he took office — and the second in Alabama, one of the president’s favorite states to campaign.
Trump backed Luther Strange in the Alabama Republican primary, and then Moore in the special election, and he also endorsed Republican Ed Gillespie in the Virginia gubernatorial race, which was won by Democrat Ralph Northam.