POLITICS
12/15/2017 09:58 am ET Updated Dec 15, 2017

Trump Says Roy Moore Should Concede Senate Race To Doug Jones

Democrat Jones won the Alabama seat, but Moore has refused to accept the result.

President Donald Trump said Friday that Republican Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore should concede this week’s election to Democrat Doug Jones.

Jones was declared the victor in Tuesday’s special election, but Moore has yet to concede. 

“He tried,” Trump, who had endorsed Moore, told reporters outside the White House. “I want to support, always — I want to support the person running. We need the seat. We’d like to have the seat.”

Jones’ surprising win marked the first time voters in Alabama elected a Democrat to the Senate in 25 years. It had been assumed the seat vacated by former Sen. Jeff Sessions (R), whom Trump named attorney general, would remain under Republican control. Now, the GOP’s Senate majority rests on just one seat.

Moore’s campaign took what proved an unrecoverable hit after a bombshell Washington Post report published in early November accused the former judge of sexually abusing a 14-year-old girl when he was in his 30s. Subsequent reports alleged that Moore had demonstrated a pattern of pursuing teenage girls.

As news outlets began declaring Jones the winner Tuesday night, Moore told supporters that he would seek a recount and “wait on God and let this process play out.”

“When the vote is this close, it’s not over,” he said. 

The election results showed Jones with 49.92 percent of the vote, and Moore with 48.38 percent, according to Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill. State law calls for an automatic recount if the margin is 0.5 percentage points or less.

In a tweet Wednesday morning, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee called on the embattled Republican candidate to “exit with class.” 

But Moore, in a fire-and-brimstone video posted online Wednesday that rambled from abortion to school prayer, thanked supporters and continued his refusal to admit defeat.

“I want to thank all of you who have stood with me in this very important battle for the future of our country,” Moore, 70, said in the video. “We are indeed in a struggle to preserve our republic, our civilization and our religion and to set free a suffering humanity. And the battle rages on.”

He continued: “In this race, we have not received the final count to include military and provisional ballots. This has been a very close race and we are awaiting certification by the secretary of state.”

The Alabama secretary of state told CNN that even if Moore demanded a recount, it’s “highly unlikely” the results of the election would change.

CONVERSATIONS