White House: No ‘Parallel’ Between Roy Moore And Trump

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders and White House chief economic adviser Gary Cohn arrive for the daily press briefing, Thursday, Sept. 28, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
Evan Vucci/AP

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders refused to distance the President from Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore on Thursday, despite the candidate’s extreme far-right views.

Though Trump supported Moore’s opponent in the Alabama Republican Senate primary, he endorsed Moore when the other candidate, Luther Strange, lost by a considerable margin on Tuesday.

Moore in 2005 said homosexual activity should be illegal and compared it to bestiality. In 2006, he wrote that the first Muslim elected to Congress, Keith Ellison, should not be sworn into office because the Quran was incompatible with the Constitution.

“I’m wondering why those comments shouldn’t disqualify him from a presidential endorsement, particularly considering that, from the campaign trail, the President promised to be advocates for those groups,” a reporter asked the White House.

“As we’ve said many times before, I’m not getting into back and forth on political endorsements from the podium,” Sanders said. “So I’m not going to weigh in on a specific race ahead of time at this point.”

Another reporter followed up, adding Moore’s assertion that the 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School had occurred “because we’ve forgotten the law of God.”

“Without asking about the specifics of the race, does President Trump share any of those views that I just mentioned?” he asked. “And if not, why does he think this person is fit to be a U.S. senator?”

“Not that I’m aware of,” Sanders said. “I have not taken a deep dive on every comment that the senator — or, the Senate nominee has made. But I certainly know where the President stands on those issues and wouldn’t see any parallel between the two of them on that front.”

“Are there any beliefs a candidate could hold or actions a candidate could take that, if he were still a Republican, the President would not endorse him?” the reporter asked.

“I’m not going to get into every potential hypothetical that any potential candidate may or may not have over the course of the time that the President is the President,” Sanders said.

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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