Mulvaney: Trump regularly asks why Roy Moore lost

President TrumpDonald John TrumpJimmy Carter: 'I hope there's an age limit' on presidency White House fires DHS general counsel: report Trump to cap California trip with visit to the border MORE remains dissatisfied with the performance of Alabama Senate candidate Roy MooreRoy Stewart MooreSen. Doug Jones launches reelection bid in Alabama Flake donates to Democratic sheriff being challenged by Arpaio in Arizona Omar shares anonymous death threat, speaks out against 'hate' and need for security MORE (R) in the state's special election last year and regularly questions why Moore lost, according to a top aide.

White House budget director Mick MulvaneyJohn (Mick) Michael MulvaneyTrump administration asks Supreme Court to take up challenge to consumer bureau NOAA chief praises agency scientists after statement backing up Trump tweet The Hill's Morning Report — Biden steadies in third debate as top tier remains the same MORE said Saturday during a closed-door meeting with Republicans that the president asks him "all the time" why Moore was unable to defeat now-Sen. Doug Jones (D-Ala.), according to The New York Times.

“The president asks me all the time, ‘Why did Roy Moore lose?’ ” Mulvaney said, according to audio obtained by the Times. “That’s easy. He was a terrible candidate,” he continued. Jones beat Moore by 1.5 percentage points in December.

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The reported questioning of Moore's loss contrasts with Trump's public statements. In December, Trump wrote that he favored Moore's primary challenger, former Sen. Luther StrangeLuther Johnson StrangeGOP frets over nightmare scenario for Senate primaries Roy Moore trails Republican field in Alabama The Hill's Morning Report — US strikes approved against Iran pulled back MORE (R), for the reason that he did not believe Moore could win.

“The reason I originally endorsed Luther Strange (and his numbers went up mightily), is that I said Roy Moore will not be able to win the General Election,” the president said shortly after Moore's defeat.

“I was right!” he added. “Roy worked hard but the deck was stacked against him!”

Trump has sought to downplay the defeats of candidates whom he has endorsed, often pointing to his largely positive record of victories for GOP candidates who have secured his endorsement.

Earlier this week, Trump downplayed his unsuccessful endorsement of Wyoming gubernatorial candidate Foster Friess, who lost his Republican primary after securing Trump's endorsement.

"I was asked to do that, by my son Don, and I did it, but I did it — I was asked the morning of — and by the time I did it I guess 70 percent, almost 70 percent of the vote was already cast," Trump said in an interview with The Daily Caller published Wednesday.

The president has seen a number of successes, particularly in GOP primaries, among candidates who have received his endorsement. Earlier this year, South Carolina state Rep. Katie Arrington (R) won her primary against Rep. Mark SanfordMarshall (Mark) Clement SanfordMark Sanford debates cardboard cutout of Trump to protest South Carolina canceling its GOP primary Joe Walsh: GOP is a 'cult' and Trump a 'would-be dictator' RNC spokeswoman on 2020 GOP primary cancellations: 'This is not abnormal' MORE (R-S.C.) after winning Trump's endorsement, as did Rep. Ron DeSantisRonald Dion DeSantisTrump parts ways with key Florida adviser: report Death and destruction: A timeline of Hurricane Dorian How to take politics beyond charges of racism MORE (R) in Florida's gubernatorial primary.