Trump distances himself from Roy Moore after upset


President Trump says he knew Republican Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore would lose in Tuesday’s special election — and that his prediction was correct.

“The reason I originally endorsed Luther Strange (and his numbers went up mightily), is that I said Roy Moore will not be able to win the General Election,” Trump tweeted early Wednesday. “I was right! Roy worked hard but the deck was stacked against him!”

“If last night’s election proved anything,” he added, “it proved that we need to put up GREAT Republican candidates to increase the razor thin margins in both the House and Senate.”

Yet the president repeatedly supported Moore, an alleged predator of teen girls, even as other Republicans shied away. At a campaign rally less than 20 miles away from the Alabama border last weekend, Trump said that the “future of the country” depended on his victory.

Democrat Doug Jones defeated Moore on Tuesday night in a stunning victory that sent shockwaves throughout the GOP. The deep red state had not voted for a Democrat in a Senate race in 25 years. Moore is refusing to concede the race.

38 PHOTOS
Reaction to Doug Jones winning the Alabama Senate race
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Reaction to Doug Jones winning the Alabama Senate race

Democrat Doug Jones beat Republican Roy Moore to claim deep-red Alabama Senate seat on Tuesday, December 12.

**Click through the slides to see how lawmakers and notable figures reacted.**


(REUTERS/Marvin Gentry)

Congratulations to Doug Jones on a hard fought victory. The write-in votes played a very big factor, but a win is a… https://t.co/QLFQ88UaLM
Tonight, Alabama voters elected a senator who'll make them proud. And if Democrats can win in Alabama, we can --… https://t.co/m18Cuh5Iuc
Doug Jones. Thank you, Alabama. You’ve elected a man of incredible integrity, grit, and character. A fighter for wo… https://t.co/sOLcmRMQOk
Selma, Lord, Selma. It’s no coincidence that Selma, where blood was shed in the struggle for voting rights for Blac… https://t.co/loo5c2cuo5
Congrats, @GDouglasJones, on your win in Alabama! This is a victory for showing up, fighting to the end, and standing for what’s right.
Doug Jones wins!! In spite of suppression efforts. In spite of Trump. In spite of Bannon. In spite of fear monger… https://t.co/XqWjqqqKiR
Tonight Alabama is sending a powerful message across the country. The American people will fight back against bigot… https://t.co/x99pI2BK4o
Decency wins
Congratulations to my friend @GDouglasJones. He'll be a great colleague. President Trump went all in for Roy Moore,… https://t.co/tSfAQj6qZ0
Welcome to the Senate Doug Jones!
Thankfully, today enough Republicans chose country over party. Tomorrow we must redouble our efforts to support can… https://t.co/IMQrXqyUrF
Thank you Alabama and thank you Doug Jones. https://t.co/o8NXvTrTUX
Congratulations Alabama!!!! https://t.co/jfgPTMqYPp
Suck it, Bannon
God don’t like ugly.
Hot DAMN
Thank you, Alabama!
Thank you for restoring my faith in humanity, Alabama. And thank you for fighting for what’s right, @GDouglasJones.… https://t.co/K8aHz18wpX
Could it be true? Did the bad guy lose this time?
Fifty years after the murders of Addie Mae Collins, Cynthia Wesley, Carole Robertson and Carol Denise McNair at the… https://t.co/ITWvv7nQzM
Charles Barkley finally won the championship!! @GDouglasJones
Congratulations to Senator-elect Doug Jones and thank you to the people of Alabama. Now let’s begin the hard work o… https://t.co/aGuWLNwGzw
Look forward to calling @GDouglasJones a colleague in Congress. Congratulations, Senator-Elect. The people of Alaba… https://t.co/LKUKhjlPt2
I am grateful to the women who had the courage to come forward. Because of them and so many others like them, we ar… https://t.co/w8HTiubCPH
And Steve Bannon strikes again. Any other republican primary candidate would have won tonight. GOP shoots themselve… https://t.co/d15CIDhEcH
“Not only did Steve Bannon cost us a critical Senate seat in one of the most Republican states in the country, but… https://t.co/FyRu6hCRjM
Winners tonight: Black voters, Democrats, Establishment Republicans, Ivanka Trump, Black voters, decency, Black vo… https://t.co/l5wQZ7wXbx
Big win for America. Congrats to Doug Jones. Rejection of Trump and hatred. Game on! 🍻
THANK YOU, ALABAMA!
The voices of bigotry and intolerance are loud, but tonight the people of Alabama were louder. Congratulations Se… https://t.co/WQn9AMRM9C
This puts the US Senate in play in 2018. NEVER EVER GIVE UP ON ANY STATE
Shout out to every last one of you who knocked on doors this week
Alabama Rocks!!!!!
Way to go Alabama! Let’s @BoBikesBama !!
1) MCConnell deserves a lot of the blame for Alabama. Mo Brooks would have won by 20% of the vote, and McConnell in… https://t.co/dWq1Y47SP1
Congratulations, Doug Jones. You were a great US Attorney, and you ran a terrific campaign. You deserve this win. I… https://t.co/NSfv16OTwx
Truly a sad day in Alabama. This is the result of Republican voter suppression. Way to go Richard Shelby👍 you led 2… https://t.co/1BbcHLCP5K
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Trump backed Strange in the primary, and at a campaign rally in Alabama in September, the president suggested that Moore could lose.

“You’ve got to beat a Democrat,” Trump said. “Luther is going to win easily and Roy’s going to have a hard time winning. But I will be backing him if he wins [the primary]. I will be backing him, OK? I’ll tell you that.”

Both Trump and the White House initially distanced themselves from Moore after allegations from multiple women were published by the Washington Post. Ivanka Trump, Trump’s daughter and White House adviser, said there is “a special place in hell for people who prey on children.”

“I’ve yet to see a valid explanation and I have no reason to doubt the victims’ accounts,” she said.

But days before Thanksgiving, President Trump signaled his tacit support for Moore, pointing to Moore’s fierce denials.

“Look, he denies it,” Trump told reporters. “He says it didn’t happen, and you know, you have to listen to him also.”

By Election Day, Trump had thrown his full support behind Moore, recording a robocall and urging voters to turn out for a Republican who had vowed to support him.

“We need somebody in that Senate seat who will vote for our ‘Make America Great’ agenda,” Trump said at a rally in Pensacola, Fla., on Friday. “So get out and vote for Roy Moore. Do it, do it.”

Steve Bannon, Trump’s former chief strategist, campaigned hard for Moore and disparaged Republicans who refused to back him.

“Mitch McConnell and Sen. [Richard] Shelby, and Condi Rice and all that, Little Bobby Corker, all the establishment out there doesn’t have Trump’s back at all,” Bannon said at a rally on Monday. “There’s a special place in hell for Republicans who should know better.”

11 PHOTOS
Steve Bannon campaigns with Roy Moore
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Steve Bannon campaigns with Roy Moore
Republican candidate for U.S. Senate Judge Roy Moore speaks during a campaign event in Fairhope, Alabama, U.S., December 5, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Bachman
Republican candidate for U.S. Senate Judge Roy Moore and former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon shake hands during a campaign event in Fairhope, Alabama, U.S., December 5, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Bachman
Buttons in support of Republican candidate for U.S. Senate Judge Roy Moore are seen before a campaign rally in Fairhope, Alabama, U.S., December 5, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Bachman
Former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon campaigns for Republican candidate for U.S. Senate Judge Roy Moore during a rally in Fairhope, Alabama, U.S., December 5, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Bachman
Supporters attend a campaign event held for Republican candidate for U.S. Senate Judge Roy Moore in Fairhope, Alabama, U.S., December 5, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Bachman
Former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon speaks during a campaign event for Republican candidate for U.S. Senate Judge Roy Moore in Fairhope, Alabama, U.S., December 5, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Bachman
Former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon speaks during a campaign event for Republican candidate for U.S. Senate Judge Roy Moore in Fairhope, Alabama, U.S., December 5, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Bachman
Chu Green holds a sign during a campaign rally held for Republican candidate for U.S. Senate Judge Roy Moore in Fairhope, Alabama, U.S., December 5, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Bachman
Former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon speaks during a campaign event for Republican candidate for U.S. Senate Judge Roy Moore in Fairhope, Alabama, U.S., December 5, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Bachman
Republican candidate for U.S. Senate Judge Roy Moore kisses his wife Kayla Moore during a campaign rally in Fairhope, Alabama, U.S., December 5, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Bachman
Protesters stand outside of a campaign event held for Republican candidate for U.S. Senate Judge Roy Moore in Fairhope, Alabama, U.S., December 5, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Bachman
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Trump, who had called Jones a “puppet” for Democratic leaders Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi and “a disaster,” struck a conciliatory tone shortly after the race was called for the Democrat.

“Congratulations to Doug Jones on a hard fought victory,” Trump tweeted late Tuesday. “The write-in votes played a very big factor, but a win is a win. The people of Alabama are great, and the Republicans will have another shot at this seat in a very short period of time. It never ends!”

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