Mulvaney: Trump regularly asks why Roy Moore lost

President TrumpDonald John TrumpThe Hill's Morning Report - White House, Congress: Urgency of now around budget GOP presses Trump to make a deal on spending Democrats wary of handing Trump a win on infrastructure MORE remains dissatisfied with the performance of Alabama Senate candidate Roy MooreRoy Stewart MooreRoy Moore wants judge who ruled against him removed from case The Hill's Morning Report - Lawmakers split over Mueller findings: 'case closed' vs. 'cover-up' Roy Moore 'seriously considering' another Senate bid 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 MulvaneyGOP presses Trump to make a deal on spending GOP senator warns Trump, Mulvaney against 'draconian' budget cuts Overnight Defense: Iran tensions swirl as officials prepare to brief Congress | Trump threatens war would be 'end of Iran' | Graham tells Trump to 'stand firm' | Budget talks begin 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 StrangeDon't import prescription drugs Roy Moore 'seriously considering' another Senate bid GOP leaders dead set against Roy Moore in Alabama 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 SanfordAmash storm hits Capitol Hill Clash with Trump marks latest break with GOP leaders for Justin Amash WANTED: A Republican with courage MORE (R-S.C.) after winning Trump's endorsement, as did Rep. Ron DeSantisRonald Dion DeSantisTrump officials not sending migrants to Florida after backlash Dem criticizes newest calendars for Trump Interior chief as 'fake' GOP gov pushes back on Trump plan to send migrants to Florida counties MORE (R) in Florida's gubernatorial primary.