President Trump won’t travel to Alabama to campaign for GOP Senate candidate Roy Moore ahead of next month’s special election, a White House official told The Associated Press.
White House spokeswoman Lindsay Walters told The Hill that "there is nothing on his schedule at this time" as far as a Trump campaign stop for Moore. The Alabama Republican faces Democratic opponent Doug Jones on Dec. 12.
“The president is not planning any trip to Alabama at this time, and frankly his schedule doesn’t permit him to do anything between now and election day," White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters later on Monday.
Trump last week appeared to offer support to Moore despite allegations he initiated a sexual encounter with a 14-year-old girl when he was 32.
"We don't need a liberal person in there, a Democrat,” Trump told reporters on the South Lawn of the White House last Tuesday.
Trump followed that up with tweets over the weekend saying that Jones would be a puppet of Washington Democrats if elected.
Trump didn’t say if he believed the allegations, but noted that the former state Supreme Court chief justice denied the allegations about events that occurred 40 years ago.
“He denies it. He totally denies it," Trump said. “Roy Moore denies it — that’s all I can say.”
The allegations against Moore have put Trump and Senate Republicans at odds.
Republicans have called on Moore to withdraw from the race and some in leadership have even floated expelling the Alabama Republican if he wins. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellHow the Democratic Party's campaign strategy is failing America GOP should grab the chance to upend Pelosi's plan on reconciliation We don't need platinum to solve the debt ceiling crisis MORE (R-Ky.) is worried Moore will hurt the party’s brand and impact GOP candidates in the 2018 midterm elections.
But most Republicans in Alabama are standing by Moore and Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey (R) has said she won’t move the special election date.
Since the first allegations were reported by The Washington Post, polls have tightened, though the most recent survey has Moore leading Jones in the low single-digits.
Jones, a former federal prosecutor, has addressed the allegations in several recent ads, posting a video with the names and pictures of women who have accused Moore of sexual misconduct and another where Jones is quoting “conservative voices” criticizing his opponent including Ivanka Trump and the former holder of the Senate seat at stake, Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsOvernight Hillicon Valley — Apple issues security update against spyware vulnerability Stanford professors ask DOJ to stop looking for Chinese spies at universities in US Overnight Energy & Environment — Democrats detail clean electricity program MORE.
- This report was updated at 3:38 p.m. EST