Trump says disgraced Alabama ex-judge Roy Moore should not run for Senate again in 2020
- President Donald Trump took to Twitter on Wednesday morning to urge disgraced former Alabama judge and failed 2017 US Senate candidate Roy Moore not to run for Senate again in 2020.
- "I have NOTHING against Roy Moore, and unlike many other Republican leaders, wanted him to win," Trump tweeted, adding, "Roy Moore cannot win, and the consequences will be devastating."
- In a major upset, Democratic nominee Doug Jones narrowly defeated Moore in the 2017 special US Senate election to replace Jeff Sessions.
- Moore has faced multiple credible allegations of sexual misconduct and was suspended twice from his position as chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court.
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President Donald Trump took to Twitter on Wednesday morning to urge disgraced former Alabama judge and failed 2017 US Senate candidate Roy Moore not to run for Senate again in 2020 as Moore publicly hints at another run.
"Republicans cannot allow themselves to again lose the Senate seat in the Great State of Alabama.." he wrote. "I have NOTHING against Roy Moore, and unlike many other Republican leaders, wanted him to win," but added, "Roy Moore cannot win, and the consequences will be devastating."
In 2017, Moore was the Republican nominee in the special election to replace Jeff Sessions, who had been confirmed as Trump's attorney general - and ended up putting national Republicans in an uncomfortable bind when his campaign was dogged with a series of damning scandals.
Moore's campaign spectacularly imploded amid mounting credible allegations that he inappropriately touched and sexually pursued multiple teenage girls while serving as a district attorney in the 1970s and 80s - so much so that he was even banned from a local mall at the time - prompting major Republican figures to encourage Moore to drop out of the race.
In a major upset, Democratic nominee Doug Jones narrowly defeated Moore by just 21,000 votes in December 2017, the first Democrat to win a statewide race in Alabama since 1992.
Jones won that special election to serve out the rest of Sessions' term, which would have ended in 2020, and is now gearing up for a tough re-election fight in traditionally conservative Alabama.
Rep. Bradley Byrne, who represents Alabama's 1st congressional district, has already entered the GOP primary for Senate, and told The Hill that sources close to Moore told him that Moore plans to announce a Senate bid in June, but also believes Moore cannot beat Jones in a 2020 re-match.
In response to Byrne's comments, Moore tweeted "What is Bradley so worried about? He knows that if I run I will beat Doug Jones," stoking more speculation that he too will jump into the race.
On top of the sexual misconduct allegations, Moore also had a controversial record as a judge, having been suspended from his position as the Alabama Supreme Court's chief justice twice. In 2003, he was suspended for refusing to remove a monument to the Ten Commandments in the Alabama Supreme Court building in defiance of an order from a federal judge.
Despite being re-elected to the position of chief justice in 2012, Moore found himself getting suspended again for ordering state judges to defy both federal and US Supreme Court orders legalizing same-sex marriage in Alabama and nationwide.
Donald Trump Jr., one of Trump's most prominent political surrogates, also publicly encouraged Moore not to run on social media and blasted his losing record.
"You're literally the only candidate who could lose a GOP seat in pro-Trump, pro-USA ALABAMA. Running for office should never become a business model," he wrote. "If you actually care about [making America great again] more than your own ego, it's time to ride off into the sunset, Judge."