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Donald Trump breaks silence to back Roy Moore staying in Senate race despite teenage girl allegations

Donald Trump breaks silence to back Roy Moore staying in Senate race despite teenage girl allegations
Donald Trump has backed Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore remaining in the election race despite multiple claims of sexual harassment of teenage girls.  Mr Trump believes that “Alabama should take the decision” about their next senator and that Mr Moore should only quit if the allegations are proved.  The comment falls short of other senior Republicans who said they believe the women accusers and have called on Mr Moore to quit immediately.  Nine women have made allegations about Mr Moore’s past behavior, ranging from a sexual encounter with a 14-year-old to making unwanted approaches to High School girls. He has denied the claims in the strongest terms. Mr Trump has remained largely silent on the row, barring an initial comment saying that no-one should be brought down by unproven allegations but that, if true, Mr Moore should stand down.  The US president declined to comment twice when shouted questions by reporters since he has returned from an Asia trip.  But Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House press secretary, addressed questions about Mr Trump‘s stance on Thursday during a press conference.  US President Donald Trump waves to US soldiers upon arriving at US Yokota Air Base in Tokyo on November 5, 2017.  She said: “The President believes that these allegations are very troubling and should be taken seriously. He believes the people of Alabama should take the decision on who their next senator should be.”  Ms Sanders added that Mr Trump approved of Republican funding being pulled from Mr Moore’s campaign and said there were no plans for the pair to campaign together.  Asked whether Mr Trump still stood by his endorsement of Mr Moore, Ms Sanders said: “This is a decision for the people of Alabama to make, not one for him to make.” The comments came after Mr Trump‘s daughter Ivanka said there is a “special place in hell” for people who prey on children. However she too fell short of calling for Mr Moore to quit.  Mr Moore, who is competing for the Alabama Senate seat vacated by attorney general Jeff Sessions, is a Republican firebrand who beat a more established candidate to the party’s nomination. Roy Moore Credit: Getty Images North America In a defiant rally on Thursday he refused to stand down and framed himself as a victim of a plot from political rivals in Washington DC.  Mr Moore accused Mitch McConnell, the most senior Republican in the Senate, and his “cronies” of trying to “steal the election from the people of Alabama” by calling for his resignation.  In a rally where supporters repeatedly took to the microphone to voice their support, Mr Moore framed himself as a victim of a Washington plot.  He pledged to “bring forward the truth” to Congress if he wins the Senate seat next month and fight to put “moral values back in our country”.  “The one thing I would like to see happen in our country is unity…  I have unified the Democrats and the Republicans in fighting against me because they don’t want me there,” Mr Moore joked.  He called the allegations against him “scurrilous” and “false”, adding: “They are not only untrue but they have no evidence to support them.”

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