After refusing to discuss allegations that Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore had inappropriate sexual contact with nine women when they were still teenagers, President Donald Trump has for the first time spoken out about the controversy during a impromptu conference with a group of reporters just before he and his family departed Washington for the Thanksgiving holiday.
In a response that outraged at least one reporter who shouted questions about the girls' alleged age at the time after the president finished speaking, Trump suggested that he has taken Moore's denials at face value. And even if the allegations are true, the "Republican party doesn't need a liberal Democrat in that seat" Trump said.
"Well he denies it, Roy Moore totally denies it. And by the way, he gives a total denial. And I have to say, 40 years is a long time. He's run eight races and this has never come up. The women are Trump voters, most of them are Trump voters. So I guess you have to do what you have to do," Trump said.
"I can tell you one thing for sure. We don't need a liberal person in there, a Democrat. I looked at his record he's terrible on crime terrible on borders," Trump added. "We don't need somebody who's soft on crime like Jones."
Brushing aside questions about his own accusers, Trump said he believes the current national conversation about sexual harassment and assault in the workplace is "great for women," and that he's glad they're speaking up.
Trump: "Women are very special. I think it's a very special time because a lot of things are coming out." pic.twitter.com/plV53Ha2Wy— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) November 21, 2017
"Women are very special. I think it's a very special time because a lot of things are coming out."
Trump touched on a range of topics during the conference, including a phone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin. He told reporters the two leaders had discussed security issues pertaining to Syria, North Korea and Ukraine.
The president also offered his thoughts on the AT&T-Time Warner merger, which has received nonstop coverage on CNBC today, as expert after expert insinuated that the DOJ's opposition is part of a political vendetta against Time Warner, the owner of CNN.
"I'm not going to get involved in litigation, but I've always thought that deal isn't good for the country. Pricing is going to go up...but I'm not going to get involved," Trump said.