President Donald Trump on Monday refused to distance himself from the Republican nominee for U.S. Senate in Alabama, Roy Moore, saying only that he would meet with Moore “sometime next week.”
A reporter asked Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) how they could support Moore’s candidacy, given his statements in the past in favor of outlawing gay marriage and preventing Muslims from serving in Congress.
Moore won the Alabama Republican Senate primary over Trump’s pick for the nomination, Luther Strange. Moore has deep ties to Confederate sympathizers and worked to keep pro-segregation language in the Alabama constitution.
“I’m going to be meeting with Roy sometime next week and we’re going to talk to him about a lot of different things, but I’ll be meeting with him,” Trump responded to the reporter. “He ran a very strong race.”
“The people of Alabama, who I like very much and they like me very much– But they like Roy, and we’ll be talking to him and I can report to you then, OK?” he concluded before moving on. McConnell did not answer the question.
Despite their backing of Strange, both Trump and McConnell endorsed Moore to fill the vacant U.S. Senate seat of Attorney General Jeff Sessions when Moore won the state’s Republican primary.
Sen. Mike Lee (R-TX) endorsed Moore on Monday, joining just a handful of lawmakers to do so.