After Conway Slams AL Dem, WH Says Position On Moore ‘Hasn’t Changed’

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders pauses as she prepares to answer questions during the press briefing in the Brady Press Briefing room of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, July 26, 2017. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Monday that the White House’s position on Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore “hasn’t changed,” despite White House adviser Kellyanne Conway saying that a vote for Moore’s opponent would be a vote against tax cuts.

Multiple women have accused Moore of sexual misconduct. Leigh Corfman told the Washington Post on Nov. 9 that Moore attempted to initiate sexual contact with her when she was 14 — “a 14-year-old child,” she emphasized Monday — and another woman, Beverly Young Nelson, claimed in a press conference on Nov. 13 that Moore sexually assaulted her when she was 16. 

Conway told Alabamians Monday that Moore’s opponent, Doug Jones, was “a doctrinaire liberal.” Asked if she was advocating for Moore, Conway said: “I’m telling you that we want the votes in the Senate to get this tax bill through.”

“Look, obviously, the President wants people both in the House and the Senate that support his agenda,” Sanders said, responding to a question about Conway’s comment Monday. “But as I’ve said, as the Hatch Act prohibits me from going any further, we certainly think that this is something that the people of Alabama should decide, and I’m not going to be able to weigh in anything further beyond those comments.”

Asked if Trump would support a Republican write-in candidate against Jones, Sanders said “our position hasn’t changed over the weekend.”

Challenged separately that Conway’s comments suggested “she had a clear suggestion over who they should vote for,” referring to Alabama voters, Sanders said: “I’m giving you the answer of the position of the White House. ”

Though the White House said in a statement following the Post’s reporting that Moore should “step aside” if the allegations against him “are true,” Trump has not said whether he believes the allegations or not.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Matt Shuham is a news writer for TPM. He was previously assistant editor of The National Memo and managing editor of the Harvard Political Review. He is available by email at mshuham@talkingpointsmemo.com and on Twitter @mattshuham.

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