The White House claims Donald Trump would need a legal ruling to feel secure in condemning Roy Moore in the wake of nine women accusing him of harassment and assault.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders suggested that only a court ruling could prompt Donald Trump to directly condemn Roy Moore.
Trump has steadfastly refused to call on Moore to drop out of the race for Alabama's open Senate seat. A stream of Republicans has reacted to revelations of alleged child molestation and sexual misconduct by pushing Moore to leave the race.
So far, nine different women have come out and spoken about Moore's behavior. Multiple Alabama residents have verified that Moore, while an adult, repeatedly tried to entice minors into sexual situations and that his behavior was "common knowledge."
Moore was banned from a shopping mall because of this predatory behavior.
According to Sanders, the only way to verify the claims, however, is "possibly by a court of law," and that Trump won't weigh in because it's "a decision that the people of Alabama need to make, not the president."
GARRETT: What's the mechanism by which the president will be satisfied that the allegations are true?
SANDERS: Look, I don't think that the president's laid out what the mechanisms are. That should be determined possibly by a court of law. But that's also something — a decision that the people of Alabama need to make, not the president, whether or not they want Moore to support them in the Senate.
When asked to give details on Trump's thinking about Moore, Sanders referred reporters to the brief statement she gave them a week ago, when Sanders said, "The president believes we cannot allow a mere allegation, in this case one from many years ago, to destroy a person’s life."
But before the allegations surfaced, Trump had no problem weighing in on how he thought Alabama voters ought to behave.
On the night of the Republican primary, Trump wrote, "Roy, WIN in Dec!" The next day, Trump said Moore sounded like "a really great guy who ran a fantastic race," and that if he elected, he "will help to #MAGA!"
Trump has a well-documented history of sexual abuse and assault, and is on record admitting to engaging in predatory behavior.
In Moore, he is confronted with someone who is being condemned for doing many of the things Trump has been accused of. It is highly likely that those similarities, and not the absurdist excuses his underlings keep creating, is what has made him unusually silent.