- White House counselor Kellyanne Conway defended the president’s decision to tweet about sexual misconduct accusations made against Democratic Sen. Al Franken, while remaining neutral on allegations against embattled GOP Senate candidate Roy Moore.
- Conway argued that the Franken story was the news of the day, while the Moore story is “eight days old.”
White House counselor Kellyanne Conway defended President Donald Trump’s decision to tweet about sexual misconduct allegations made against Democratic Sen. Al Franken this week, while remaining neutral on allegations that Roy Moore, a Republican Senate candidate, committed sexual misconduct with teenage girls while he was in his 30s.
Asked by a Fox News host on Friday why Trump tweeted about Franken while refusing to answer questions about his support for Moore’s candidacy, Conway replied that the president was simply commenting on the news of the day – and the allegations against Moore are “eight days old.”
“Well Al Franken was a brand new news story yesterday and the president weighed in as he does on the news of the day,” Conway said. “The Roy Moore story is eight days old and the President put out a statement on his Asia trip on that.”
Conway added that White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters during a press briefing on Thursday that Trump “believes the people of Alabama will sort out what to do with Roy Moore and with that election,” Conway said.
During an interview with “Fox & Friends” on Thursday, Conway refused to clarify Trump’s position on Moore’s candidacy. In a statement last week, Trump called the accusations a “mere allegation … from many years ago” and said he was confident Moore “will do the right thing and step aside” if the accusations are true.
Conway told “Fox & Friends” that the president “will make a statement when he wants to make a statement” about Moore, and refused to “get ahead of that.” She instead argued that the “mainstream media” is using the sexual assault allegations to distract from the administration’s policy work, namely the Republican tax plan.
“I do find that the mainstream media want to talk about this issue more than almost anything else,” Conway said.
The Fox hosts, who are consistently supportive of Trump and his agenda, pushed back a bit on Conway’s position, arguing that “no one can marginalize the details of a December 12 election, because a lot of people think Roy Moore should be removed,” co-host Brian Kilmeade said.
Moore himself tweeted about the allegations against Franken on Thursday, suggesting that Republicans on Capitol Hill have been more critical of the charges against him than their Democratic colleague.
“Al Franken admits guilt after photographic evidence of his abuse surfaces. Mitch: ‘Let’s investigate,’ Moore wrote. “In Alabama, ZERO evidence, allegations 100% rejected. Mitch: ‘Moore must quit immediately or be expelled.'”