- Trump administration officials are facing tough questions about his response to allegations of sexual misconduct leveled at Roy Moore.
- Some Republicans have distanced themselves from Alabama GOP US Senate candidate Moore.
Top officials in the Trump administration have continued to dodge questions about whether the president still supports embattled Alabama GOP Senate candidate Roy Moore amid multiple allegations of sexual misconduct.
In the week since multiple women said Moore engaged in sexual misconduct with them when they were teenagers and he was in his 30s, Trump administration officials appearing on television to promote tax reform efforts have attempted to carefully thread the needle when pressed about whether Moore should step aside.
On Sunday’s political talks shows, heated exchanges over Moore’s fate often overshadowed discussions of Republicans’ tax plan.
On ABC’s “This Week,” White House legislative affairs director Marc Short would not answer anchor George Stephanopoulos’ repeated questions about whether President Donald Trump still supported the Senate candidate.
“We have serious concerns about the allegations that have been made,” Short said. “But we also believe that all of this information is out there for the people of Alabama. Roy Moore has been a public servant for decades in Alabama. He has run multiple times. The people of Alabama know best what to do and the right decision to make here.”
“But I’m asking you a direct question on behalf of the president,” Stephanopoulos said. “You work for the president. Does the president believe the women or not?”
“Obviously, George, if he did not believe that the women’s accusations were credible he would be down campaigning for Roy Moore,” Short replied. “He has not done that.”
When pressed about whether Trump would support seating Moore if he wins the election next month, Short also dodged.
“I think that that’s a decision for the United States Senate to make,” Short said.
‘Roy Moore denies it’
“He’s said not a word; he’s ducked every question,” Mitchell said of the president on “Meet The Press.”
“And the allegations are very serious, and they should be taken very seriously,” Mulvaney said. “But ultimately these are up to the voters in the state. You and I are here in Washington DC. To think we know what’s going on in parts of the country.”
Mitchell also pressed Mulvaney over why Trump was quick to criticise Sen. Al Franken for the sexual misconduct accusations leveled against the Minnesota lawmaker this week, but remained silent on Moore.
“Well, I think one of the significant differences there, Andrea, is that Franken admits it and Roy Moore denies it,” Mulvaney said. “So I do think that puts them in two different categories.”
Mulvaney attempted to argue that neither he nor the NBC anchor were qualified to address the allegations, claiming she had “arrived at a certain conclusion because of a certain political persuasion.”
“Not because of a political persuasion at all,” Mitchell said. “I am simply asking whether you believe that they are credible.”
Mulvaney said he would leave that up to Alabama voters to decide.
Watch the clips below:
WH official Marc Short: If Trump “did not believe that the women’s accusations were credible, he would be down campaigning for Roy Moore.” pic.twitter.com/lexIV83aml
— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) November 19, 2017
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