Kayla Moore, the wife of embattled Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore, said at an emotional press conference on Friday that President Trump owes a debt of gratitude to her and her husband for absorbing a barrage of attacks from the press and politicians in Washington.
Surrounded by women who support Roy Moore for Senate, Kayla Moore ripped the news media and the Washington “establishment” and argued that the people attacking her husband over allegations of sexual misconduct with teenagers are the same people who tried to undermine Trump’s outsider campaign.
“I personally think [Trump] owes us a thank you,” Moore said. “Have you noticed you are not hearing too much about Russia? To the president I would say, ‘now is a good time to get things done in Congress.’”
The White House has tried to walk a fine line with Roy Moore, who has been accused of pursuing relationships with teenage girls and initiating a sexual encounter with a 14-year-old while he was in his 30s and working as a district attorney in the early 1980s. A woman also came forward this week to accuse Moore of sexually assaulting her when she was 16.
The Republican National Committee has abandoned Moore, and GOP leaders in Congress are calling on him to drop out of the race. But the White House has stopped short of calling on Moore to leave the race.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Thursday said the allegations against Moore are “very troubling and should be taken seriously” but that “the debate over whether Moore should exit the race “is a decision the people of Alabama need to make, not the president.”
Kayla Moore on Friday vouched for her husband’s integrity and declared that he would not leave the race.
“I have been married to my husband for over 32 years,” Moore said. “He was a graduate of West Point and served our country in Vietnam, and he has always been an officer and a gentleman. He is a loving father and a grandfather. Most important, he is a Christian. Let me set the record straight: Even after all the attacks against me and my family … he will not step down.”
Moore blasted the news media and praised Alabama Republicans, who have largely circled the wagons around the Moores.
“The Washington Post just called everybody I have ever known for the last 40 years,” Moore said. “They have called everybody my husband has ever known for the last 40 years. They print whatever anyone says without checking to even see if it is correct.
“They have staked out our county and are basically camping out to the end of this election. So to the people of Alabama, thank you for being smarter than they think you are. They will call you names and say all manner of evil against you. I would say, consider the source.”
But Trump on Friday attacked Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) after a woman accused him of forcibly kissing and groping her, opening the president up to charges of hypocrisy for his own past behavior and for his reluctance to take a stance on those in his own party who have been accused of misconduct.
Republicans are in a bind. The Dec. 12 special election for Alabama Senate is a must-win for the party heading into 2018, but Washington Republicans want no part of Moore or his scandals. There’s growing talk that the Senate will vote to expel Moore if he wins.
Meanwhile, some recent polls show Democrat Doug Jones overtaking Moore in the deep-red state. If he wins, Jones would be Alabama’s first Democratic senator in more than 20 years.