Shelby: Trump won't be the difference for Moore in Alabama election

Alabama GOP Senate candidate Roy Moore is denying he ever dated underage women - or that he knew those who've accused him of sexual assault or molestation.

"Get out and vote for Roy Moore - do it, do it, do it", Trump urged the crowd in the middle of his near-80 minutes of mostly-prepared remarks.

Mr Moore, who is 70, has been dogged by multiple allegations of sexual misconduct, including accusations that he molested two teenage girls and pursued romantic relationships with several others while in his 30s.

"We can not afford, the future of this country can not afford to lose the seat", Trump said referring to his party's narrow 52-48 advantage in the Senate.

Roy Moore is accused of making sexual advances on teenagers. Alabama has voted Republican in every presidential election since 1980, demonstrating the hold the party has over the state. The president instead spent most of his time on the subject attacking Moore's Democratic opponent, Doug Jones, but veering from his teleprompter, Trump also sought to discredit one of Moore's accusers.

But the location - so close to the Alabama state line and feeding its television markets - stoked speculation that it was a backdoor way for the president to boost Mr Moore's campaign without actually setting foot in the state.

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On Friday, Beverly Young Nelson explained that she had added her own notes to an inscription and signature that she says Moore wrote in her yearbook in 1977, when she was 16 years old. "Did you see that?"

"We can not afford - this country, the future of this country, can not afford to lose a seat in the very, very close United States Senate".

Moore might still lose what should be an easily winnable race for a Republican. Now, Senate Republicans are less sure they can kick Moore out if he wins. "We can't have a Pelosi/Schumer Liberal Democrat, Jones, in that important Alabama Senate seat".

White House spokesman Raj Shah said Saturday that Trump has recorded the phone message on Moore's behalf.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell originally said that Mr Moore should withdraw from the race, but on Sunday he said he was "going to let the people of Alabama make the call".

  • Megan Austin