White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Thursday stopped short of saying President Donald Trump wants Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore to step aside.
Moore, a Republican and former Alabama Supreme Court justice, is facing allegations of sexual assault going back to his time as an assistant district attorney in Alabama. The White House already stated if the allegations were true, Moore should step aside, and Sanders reiterated that message at Thursday’s press briefing.
"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," Sanders said.
"The president has been clear that if any of these allegations are true–allegations that he takes very seriously, finds very–if those do happen to be true, then he should do the right thing and step aside," she added.
She further said the president is not laying out a mechanism by which the voters of Alabama could decide whether the allegations are true.
A reporter also asked whether Trump disagrees with his daughter Ivanka’s judgment that she believes the women's allegations. The press secretary said Trump was not "disagreeing with anybody."
"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," Sanders said.
Sanders was asked whether Trump would vote for Moore, and when she said Trump is not an Alabama resident, the reporter pressed on whether the president endorses Moore’s candidacy.
"I haven’t asked him if he would vote for Roy Moore," she replied.