White House Still Won’t Say If Trump Believes Moore Accusers

Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Friday once again refused to say whether President Donald Trump believed the accusations against U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore.

Asked about Moore, Sanders pointed to a statement the White House released last week, when revelations of sexual misconduct against Moore were first published in the Washington Post.

Leigh Corfman said Moore tried to initiate sexual contact with her when she was 14 and he was 32. Since then, numerous women have accused Moore of misconduct and assault, mostly when they were teenagers. Moore has denied any wrongdoing and has vowed to stay in the race.

Trump, through a White House statement, said last week that Moore should step aside if the allegations are true. He still hasn’t said whether he thinks they are, instead passing the decision on to Alabama voters.

“Can you tell us whether the President believes the women who are making these allegations against Roy Moore?” CNN’s Sara Murray asked. “And would he be willing to ask the Alabama governor to delay the election or take a step like that to try to intervene in this electoral process in Alabama?”

“The President certainly finds the allegations extremely troubling, as I stated yesterday,” Sanders responded, without answering the initial question. “And he feels like it’s up to the governor and the people in the state of Alabama to make a determination on whether or not they delay that election or whether or not they support and vote for Roy Moore.”

When asked earlier about the difference between Trump and Sen. Al Franken (D-MN), who was accused by a radio news anchor Thursday of forcibly kissing her and groping her while on a USO tour, Sanders pointed to Franken’s apology.

“Senator Franken has admitted wrongdoing and the President hasn’t,” she said. “I think that’s a very clear distinction.”

Sanders separately repeated, when asked, the White House’s line that the numerous women accusing the President of sexual harassment and assault are lying.

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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