President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump goes after Cassidy after saying he wouldn't support him for president in 2024 Jan. 6 panel lays out criminal contempt case against Bannon Hillicon Valley — Presented by Xerox — Agencies sound alarm over ransomware targeting agriculture groups MORE remains dissatisfied with the performance of Alabama Senate candidate Roy MooreRoy Stewart MooreRoy Moore loses lawsuit against Sacha Baron Cohen Shelby backs ex-aide over Trump-favored candidate in Alabama Senate race Of inmates and asylums: Today's House Republicans make the John Birchers look quaint 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 MulvaneyMick MulvaneyJan. 6 committee issues latest round of subpoenas for rally organizers The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Alibaba - To vote or not? Pelosi faces infrastructure decision Jan. 6 panel subpoenas 11, including Pierson, other rally organizers 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.
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 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), 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 SanfordMark SanfordMark Sanford calls Graham 'a canary in the coalmine' on GOP's relationship with Trump Top cyber Pentagon official overseeing defense contractor project placed on leave Cheney set to be face of anti-Trump GOP MORE (R-S.C.) after winning Trump's endorsement, as did Rep. Ron DeSantisRon DeSantisMiami private school orders vaccinated students to stay at home for 30 days as 'precautionary measure' Democratic state Sen. Annette Taddeo announces bid to be Florida's first Latina governor The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Uber - Build Back Better items on chopping block MORE (R) in Florida's gubernatorial primary.