Sarah Sanders refuses to rule out that Trump would still vote for alleged child molester

Press Secretary Sanders wouldn't even rule out that Trump would still vote for Moore if he could.


During a White House news briefing on Thursday, Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was asked if President Trump stands by his endorsement of Roy Moore, a Republican U.S. Senate candidate from Alabama who has been accused of sexual misconduct by six women, including one who says Moore groped her when she was 14 and he was was 32.

Sanders not only indicated Trump isn’t prepared to rescind his endorsement — in late September, Trump tweeted that Moore “[s]ounds like a really great guy” and will “help to #MAGA” — but she wouldn’t rule out that Trump would still vote for Moore if he could.

Asked if Trump’s “endorsement of Moore still stands,” Sanders said, “the president believes this is a decision for the people of Alabama to make, not one for him to make.”

In response to a question about if Trump would still vote for Moore, Sanders said Trump’s “not a voter in Alabama.” After a reporter pointed out that Trump regularly endorses candidates he can’t vote for, Sanders said she “hadn’t asked him if he would vote for Roy Moore.”

The reporter asked Sanders if she would follow up with Trump and ask him whether he would vote for Moore, but Sanders wouldn’t commit to that, instead saying “we’ll see.”

While it’s true that Trump isn’t an Alabama resident and therefore can’t vote for Moore, he did travel to Alabama to campaign for Moore’s opponent in the Republican primary, Luther Strange.

But after Strange was defeated by Moore, Trump quickly deleted tweets in which he expressed support for Strange and threw his support behind Moore, who had a long history of open Islamophobia and homophobia even before the sexual misconduct and pedophilia allegations came to light.

There’s an obvious reason Roy Moore is a difficult topic for the White House to deal with — Trump himself has been accused of sexual misconduct by 16 women. At another point during Thursday’s briefing, Sanders was asked what she takes 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 other the other we shouldn’t pay attention to them at all or we should totally disbelieve them.”

Sanders didn’t answer the question, instead saying that Trump “spoke out about that directly during the campaign and I don’t have anything further to add beyond that.”

But during a briefing late last month, Sanders indicated that the White House’s official position is that all of the women accusing Trump of sexual misconduct are liars.

The first question Sanders fielded about Moore on Thursday alluded to the difficult line the White House is trying to walk with regard to Moore. Echoing what she told reporters aboard Air Force One last week, Sanders said Trump finds the allegations against Moore to be “very troubling” and thinks he should step aside from the race “if the allegations are true” —  but she was repeatedly unable to detail what standard of proof would satisfy Trump.