Alabama Senator-elect Doug Jones (D.) did not follow his future colleagues Sunday in calling for President Donald Trump to resign over sexual harassment claims, saying Trump should not step down and noting he was elected president with those allegations "front and center."
Several Senate Democrats have called for Trump to resign over allegations of sexual misconduct, citing Sen. Al Franken (D., Minn.) announcing he would step down over past charges of groping and unwanted kissing.
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After playing a clip of Sen. Cory Booker (D., N.J.) saying Trump should "do the right thing" and resign, CNN host Jake Tapper asked Jones if he agreed.
"Where I am on that right now is that those allegations were made before the election, and so people had an opportunity to judge before that election," Jones said. "I think we need to move on and not get distracted by those issues. Let's get on with the real issues that are facing people of this country right now, and I don't think that the president ought to resign at this point. We'll see how things go, but certainly those allegations are not new, and he was elected with those allegations at front and center."
Tapper pressed Jones, bringing up Franken and wondering why Trump should stay when there were more "horrific" allegations against him.
"Again, I go back to the fact that those allegations were made, and he was elected President of the United States, and I think the American people spoke on that," Jones said. "There is other things out there, but I think at this point we need to move on and try to work with some real issues that are facing the country and not worry about getting at odds with the president any more than we have to."
Jones scored a shocking victory over Republican Roy Moore on Tuesday, becoming the first Democrat to win a U.S. Senate seat in Alabama since 1992. His victory was even more significant given Trump defeated Hillary Clinton by 28 points in the state in the 2016 election.
Although he ran as a partisan Democrat, he has given indications he'll be more of an independent voice in the Senate. He thanked Trump this week for a "gracious" congratulatory phone call for his victory and said he would seek common ground where he could.
Jones also said Sunday he could be expected to vote with both Republicans and Democrats during his tenure.