President Trump Reacts to Roy Moore Loss in Alabama Special Election

December 13, 2017 Updated: January 7, 2018

President Donald Trump congratulated Doug Jones on “a hard fought victory,” after the Democrat beat Republican Roy Moore in the Alabama Senate special election.

“The people of Alabama are great, and the Republicans will have another shot at this seat in a very short period of time,” Trump wrote on Twitter on Dec. 12.

Moore lost the election against Jones by a margin of just 1.5 percent. The race saw an unusually high number of write-in votes, a total of 22,819, or 1.7 percent.

Trump had endorsed Moore’s opponent, Luther Strange, during the Republican primaries.

“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 said on Twitter on Dec. 13.

Sen. Luther Strange and other Republican senators on July 11, calling on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to shorten or cancel the recess if they do not make significant progress on important legislation in July. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Strange had been the Republican establishment’s preferred candidate, while Moore was supported by former White House strategist Steve Bannon. After Bannon returned to his position at Breitbart News, he vowed to elect more conservative candidates to Congress.

Trump traveled to Alabama in September to endorse Strange. In his speech, Trump said he was giving his endorsement because Strange had supported Trump on a Republican health care bill in the Senate.

At the time, Trump said Strange was guaranteed to win the election in Republican Alabama, whereas Moore would face a challenging race.

Trump also said that the race showed that Republicans need to put up good candidates, something House Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has advocated for as well.

“If last night’s election proved anything, it proved that we need to put up GREAT Republican candidates to increase the razor thin margins in both the House and Senate,” Trump said on Dec. 13.

Moore, 70, is a religious conservative who twice lost his position as the state’s top judge. He was ousted in 2003 after he refused a federal court order to remove a Ten Commandments monument from the state’s Supreme Court building.

Moore came under fire last month after The Washington Post reported that he, at the age of 32, had made unwanted sexual advances on a 14-year-old girl.

Moore has disputed the claims, and The Washington Post’s reporting has not been independently verified.

Republican Senatorial candidate Roy Moore during election night in Montgomery, Alabama, on Dec. 12, 2017. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had said that an ethics investigation of Moore would be “almost certain” if he won the election.

Trump officially endorsed Moore on Dec. 4, saying that he didn’t want Jones to win.

“The President would much rather have someone in the Senate who supported his agenda as opposed to someone who did not,” spokesman Hogan Gidley said on Dec. 4.

Congress is currently being rocked by a number of sexual assault allegations. A number of lawmakers, both Democrats and Republicans, have resigned over the allegations.

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