President Donald Trump indicated his support on Nov. 21 for Roy Moore, the embattled Republican candidate for Senate in Alabama.
Moore has been accused of sexual misconduct by multiple women, including two who said he pursued them when they were under the age of consent, according to The Associated Press.
Asked about the special election due Dec. 12, Trump attacked Moore's Democratic opponent, Doug Jones.
"We don't need a liberal person in there," Trump told reporters before leaving for a Thanksgiving break, AP reported. "We don't need somebody who's soft on crime like Jones."
Trump did not confirm whether he would campaign for Moore.
The president was then asked his opinion of the sexual assault allegations.
"Roy Moore denies it, that's all I can say," Trump added. "He denies it."
Trump also questioned why the allegations are being raised now: "40 years is a long time."
Trump's stance contrasts with that of a number of top Republicans, who have called on Moore to step aside. Republican senators have threatened to expel him from the Senate if he is elected.
The National Republican Senatorial Committee refused to back Moore. A poll it commissioned showed Jones with a 12-percentage-point lead over Moore.
When the first allegations against Moore were reported, the Jones campaign avoided making them a major issue. Instead, they hoped that the focus on Moore would discredit him among Republicans, according to Politico.
Jones has now changed tactics, launching two ads targeting Moore specifically on the issue of the sexual misconduct allegations.
"On Roy Moore's disturbing actions, Ivanka Trump says: 'There's a special place in hell for people who prey on children, and I have no reason to doubt the victims' accounts,'" the narrator says in one ad. "Jeff Sessions says: 'I have no reason to doubt these young women.' and Richard Shelby says he will 'absolutely not' vote for Roy Moore. Conservative voices, putting children and women over party; doing what's right."
During the 2016 presidential election, 12 women came forward to accuse Trump of sexually assaulting them. A video recording of Trump speaking in 2005 also showed him saying that he could grab women's private parts.
Trump said Nov. 21 that he thought the fact that alleged cases of sexual assault are coming to light is a good thing.
"I think it's a very special time because a lot of things are coming out and I think that's good for our society and I think it's very, very good for women," added Trump, The Associated Press reported.
Sources: The Associated Press via Chicago Tribune, Politico / Featured Image: Gage Skidmore/Flickr via Wikimedia Commons / Embedded Images: Karl Norman Alonzo and Robinson Ninal/Presidential Communications Operations Office via Wikimedia Commons, USbotschaftberlin/Flickr via Wikimedia Commons