AP

President Donald Trump came to the defense of accused pedophile and Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore on Tuesday, offering what was effectively an endorsement of the disgraced former judge.

Speaking with reporters as he prepared to board Marine One on his way to his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida, Trump declared, “We don’t need a liberal Democrat in the [Alabama Senate] seat.” He also dismissed the growing list of allegations against Moore, telling reporters, “he denies it,” and criticizing Moore’s Democratic opponent Doug Jones as “soft on crime.”

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Jones, in his time as a U.S. Attorney, helped convict two of the Klansmen responsible for the notorious 1963 Birmingham church bombing that killed four young black girls.

Tuesday’s statement marked the first time Trump—who has himself admitted to sexual assault—has spoken on camera about the allegations against Moore. Previously, the White House has insisted that the decision about whether or not Moore was fit for elected office rested entirely in the hands of Alabama voters. Trump did, however, waste little time last week lashing out after Minnesota Senator Al Franken was accused of sexual misconduct. Franken, of course, is a Democrat.

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