President Trump privately expressed skepticism about sexual misconduct allegations against GOP Senate candidate Roy Moore before he appeared to back the candidate on Tuesday, Politico reported.
Trump questioned the accusations in conversations with top Republicans and White House officials, wondering why the stories of Moore's alleged misconduct surfaced only weeks before Alabama's December special election, multiple sources told the publication.
The president also reportedly drew parallels to the situation he faced in the lead up to the 2016 presidential election, when multiple women came forward to accuse him of sexual harassment.
Trump pointed to Moore's denial of allegations that he inappropriately pursued relationships or initiated sexual contact with teenage girls, including a 14-year-old, when he was an assistant district attorney in his 30s.
“He denies it. He totally denies it," Trump said Tuesday, noting the alleged incidents took place about 40 years ago. “Roy Moore denies it — that’s all I can say.”
Trump, who backed Moore's primary opponent, Sen. Luther StrangeLuther Johnson StrangePandemic proves importance of pharmaceutical innovation The Hill's Morning Report - Biden assails 'epidemic' of gun violence amid SC, Texas shootings Trump faces test of power with early endorsements MORE (R-Ala.), earlier this year, also emphasized the need to defeat Democrat Doug Jones.
“I can tell you one thing for sure: We don't need a liberal person in there, a Democrat — Jones," Trump said.
The remarks came a day after White House aide Kellyanne Conway suggested that voters should support Moore because he would vote in favor the Republican tax bill in the Senate.