Mulvaney: Trump regularly asks why Roy Moore lost

President TrumpDonald John TrumpCensus Bureau spends millions on ad campaign to mitigate fears on excluded citizenship question Bloomberg campaign: Primary is two-way race with Sanders Democratic senator meets with Iranian foreign minister MORE remains dissatisfied with the performance of Alabama Senate candidate Roy MooreRoy Stewart MooreAlabama Senate contender hits Sessions in new ad: 'Hillary still ain't in jail' The Hill's Campaign Report: Rising Klobuchar, Buttigieg face test in diverse states Sessions in close race for Alabama GOP Senate nomination: poll 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 declares war on hardworking Americans with new budget request Scaramucci thanks John Kelly for speaking up against Trump Trump lashes out over Kelly criticism: 'He misses the action' 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 StrangeThe biggest political upsets of the decade State 'certificate of need' laws need to go GOP frets over nightmare scenario for Senate primaries 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 SanfordTrump challenger Bill Weld rules out 2020 independent bid Judge throws out lawsuit against South Carolina GOP for canceling 2020 primary The Hill's Campaign Report: Late bids surprise 2020 Democratic field MORE (R-S.C.) after winning Trump's endorsement, as did Rep. Ron DeSantisRonald Dion DeSantisTrump takes track to open Daytona 500 Father of Parkland shooting victim calls on Congress to take action Moderate Democrats now in a race against the clock MORE (R) in Florida's gubernatorial primary.