President Donald Trump believes that the sexual assault accusations levied against Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore is nothing more than a "mere allegation."
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said that "the president believes we cannot allow a mere allegation, in this case one from many years ago, to destroy a person’s life," according to pool reports. "However, the president also believes that if these allegations are true, Judge Moore will do the right thing and step aside."
Trump on Moore per @PressSec: “the president believes we cannot allow a mere allegation, in this case one from many years ago, to destroy a person’s life. However, the president also believes that if these allegations are true, Judge Moore will do the right thing and step aside."
— Julie Davis (@juliehdavis) November 10, 2017
On Thursday it was reported that the former judge initiated sexual contact with a 14-year-old girl and also pursued relationships with other teenage girls while he was in his 30's during the 1970's.
The women's accounts are well-documented and deeply sourced in the original story published by the Washington Post, and they continue to stand by their shocking allegations.
"I stand by the interview I gave The Washington Post and feel that I am represented accurately in the story," Debbie Wesson Gibson told the Wall Street Journal. She then referred all of her other questions to the account she gave to the newspaper. Gibson told the Post she and Moore had dated for two to three months in 1981, she was 17-years-old and he was 34.
Condemnation on Thursday was widespread for the most part, and demanded Moore remove himself from the upcoming Senate special election in December. However some Republicans, in step with Trump, called for more to step aside only if the allegations were proven true.
"If these allegations are true, he must step aside," Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said of Moore.
How the accusations, besides the extensive story in the Post, are proven true? No one really has an answer for that.
But there were also Alabama Republicans who downplayed Moore's alleged actions, flatly implied it wasn't a big deal, said the upcoming election was more important or even cited the Bible as a means of justification.
The news comes as Trump himself has been accused in the past of sexual misconduct, or otherwise harassment, by more than a dozen women. The president has denied all of the allegations vehemently and said they were fake.
"All I can say is it’s totally fake news. It’s just fake. It’s fake. It’s made-up stuff, and it’s disgraceful, what happens, but that happens in the world of politics," Trump said of the allegations on Oct. 16.
The White House has since openly taken the position that each of the president's accusers have lied.
Charlie May is a news writer at Salon. You can find him on Twitter at @charliejmay MORE FROM Charlie May
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