"The President supported the decision by the RNC to withdraw resources from this race, but feels it's up to the people of Alabama to make a decision. So I don't have anything further to add on that." – Sarah Huckabee Sanders
(Washington, DC) — [Whitehouse.gov] The following are excerpts from the November 16th press briefing at the White House: (Photo Credit: Flickr)
Q: Does the President believe Roy Moore's accusers, or does he think Roy Moore should drop out of this race?
MS. SANDERS: Look, the President believes that these allegations are very troubling and should be taken seriously, and he thinks that the people of Alabama should make the decision on who their next senator should be.
Q: So that's a no? He thinks Roy Moore should stay in?
MS. SANDERS: Look, the President said in his statement earlier this week that, if the allegations are true, then Roy Moore should step aside. He still firmly believes that.
Q: How would the President like to see that truth proven?
MS. SANDERS: Look, I'm not going to get into and litigate back and forth. But the President has been clear that if any of these allegations are true -- allegations that he takes very seriously and finds very troubling -- if those do happen to be true, then he should do the right thing and step aside.
Q: Does the President believe the accusations themselves -- that is to say the women themselves and their own credibility -- can be established outside of them making these allegations? What's the mechanism by which the President would be satisfied that the allegations are true?
MS. SANDERS: Look, I don't think the President has laid out what the mechanisms are. That should be determined possibly by a court of law. But that's also something and a decision that the people of Alabama need to make, not the President, whether or not they want Roy Moore to support them in the Senate.
Q: Sarah, Ivanka Trump says that she has no reason not to believe the women who have come forward. Does the President disagree with her position?
MS. SANDERS: Look, the President is not disagreeing with anybody. He's saying that he finds the allegations to be extremely troubling. He doesn't know any more than you do on this fact, other than that these are something that should be taken very seriously and that the people of Alabama should be the ones to make the decision on whether or not to support Roy Moore. (Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons)
Q: Thank you, Sarah. Having the information that we have and the information that the people of Alabama have, would President Trump vote for Roy Moore?
MS. SANDERS: The President is not a voter in Alabama, so --
Q: I know he's not, but he endorses candidates all the time in states that he's not a voter in. And if he says, "I would vote for this person or I wouldn't," would he vote for Roy Moore?
MS. SANDERS: I haven't asked him if he would vote for Roy Moore.
Q: Would you get back to us on that?
MS. SANDERS: Yes.
Q: Thank you, Sarah. A number of Republican senators have pulled their endorsement for Roy Moore. They've urged him to step aside. And Senator Sheldon said he wouldn't even vote for him; he would write someone in on the ballot. Senator Cruz has pulled his endorsement. The President is not only President of the United States and Commander-in-Chief, he's also leader of the Republican Party. Why won't he weigh in on this? Why won't he take the same type of strong position that these other Republican senators have taken on Roy Moore?
MS. SANDERS: Look, the President supported the decision by the RNC to withdraw resources from this race, but feels it's up to the people of Alabama to make a decision. So I don't have anything further to add on that.
Q: Thank you, Sarah. I don't mean by asking about that to suggest it's necessarily the most important thing facing the country right now, but it happens to be my story assignment for the day. You say that the President finds these allegations against Mr. Moore, Judge Moore, to be very troubling, extremely troubling, et cetera. As we all know, the President faced a number of similar allegations, or somewhat similar allegations during the course of the campaign, and he vigorously denied them.
But I wonder what you would assert to be the difference between the two situations such that, on the face of things, we should find one set of allegations very troubling and, on the other, we shouldn't pay attention to them at all or we should totally disbelieve them.
MS. SANDERS: Well, I think the President has certainly a lot more insight into what he personally did or didn't do, and he spoke out about that directly during the campaign. And I don't have anything further to add beyond that.