Trump distances himself from Roy Moore's election defeat

14 Dec 2017

US President Donald Trump has sought to distance himself from the defeat suffered by the controversial Republican candidate Judge Roy Moore in the Senate election in the US state of Alabama. The loss sustained by 70-year-old Moore, whose campaign was marred by allegations he preyed upon teenage girls several decades ago, shrinks the Republicans` slim majority in the US upper house of Congress to 51-49. "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. I was right! Roy worked hard but the deck was stacked against him!" Trump tweeted on Wednesday, Efe news reported.
The Democratic candidate, Doug Jones, obtained 49.9 per cent of the vote in Tuesday`s balloting to narrowly beat Moore, who garnered 48.4 per cent with all precincts around the state counted.
Moore has refused to concede pending a tallying of overseas ballots, although Jones` margin of victory is currently above the range of between 0 and 0.5 percentage points that would trigger an automatic recount. Moore won the Republican primary in Alabama in a surprise over Trump`s favored candidate, Luther Strange, who was appointed interim senator when Jeff Sessions stepped down in January -- two years into his six-year term -- to become Trump`s attorney general. But after becoming the GOP`s nominee, several women came forward alleging Moore had sexually abused or made unwanted sexual advances toward them. Most of the accusers were minors at the time the alleged incidents occurred; three say that Moore sexually abused them, with two of those purported incidents occurring in the late 1970s and the other in 1991. Moore has given evasive answers in interviews when asked whether he dated teenage girls when he was in his 30s but he has denied the sexual misconduct allegations. Despite the accusations, Moore was strongly backed by members of the populist wing of the Republican Party -- including Trump`s former chief strategist, Steve Bannon -- who thought he would be a reliable supporter of Trump`s America First agenda.