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Trump backs Alabama Senate candidate Moore

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December 05, 2017

US Senate candidate Roy Moore, accused of sexual misconduct, has won the US president's backing.

US President Donald Trump has endorsed US Senate candidate Roy Moore, throwing his weight behind the embattled Alabama Republican before a special election next week that has been rocked by allegations of sexual misconduct against Moore.

The White House said on Monday Trump endorsed the campaign in a call to Moore. In a post on Twitter, the president said Republicans needed the former Alabama Supreme Court justice to win to secure votes on key issues such as taxes and immigration.

"Democrats refusal to give even one vote for massive Tax Cuts is why we need Republican Roy Moore to win in Alabama," Trump wrote.

Moore thanked the president for his backing.

"I look forward to fighting alongside the President to #MAGA!" Moore said on Twitter, using Trump's hashtag for his slogan "Make America Great Again". In his tweet, Moore quoted Trump as saying, "Go get 'em, Roy!"

Trump had supported Moore's rival, US Senator Luther Strange, in the Republican primary in September, in line with Senate Republicans.

He has slammed the Democratic candidate, former US Attorney Doug Jones, as soft on crime and a potential puppet for Democratic leaders in congress. On Monday, Trump said having a Democrat win the December 12 election "would hurt our great Republican Agenda".

The Alabama Republican Party also has backed Moore even as some Republicans in congress have remained distant given the sexual misconduct allegations that surfaced last month. Moore has denied the allegations.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell last month said he believed Moore's accusers and joined other senators in urging him to quit the race. But on Sunday McConnell said it was up to Alabama voters to decide whether to send Moore to Washington.

Moore led Jones by six percentage points in a CBS News poll on Sunday, with most Alabama Republicans saying the allegations against him are false. A Washington Post poll last week showed Moore ahead by three percentage points, a lead within the survey's 4.5 point margin of error.

Several women have accused Moore of sexual assault or misconduct when they were teenagers and Moore was in his early 30s. Reuters has not independently verified the reports.

Moore, 70, returned to the campaign trail last week calling the allegations against him "dirty politics".

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