Trump urges Moore to concede Alabama
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[December 16, 2017]
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President
Donald Trump called on fellow Republican Roy Moore on Friday to concede
to Democrat Doug Jones in the Alabama U.S. Senate race, following the
party's stinging loss in the southern U.S. state earlier this week.
Moore, whose controversial candidacy was beset by allegations that he
sexually assaulted or pursued teenage girls while in his 30s, has so far
refused to admit defeat in Tuesday's election that saw Jones win by 1.5
percentage points with 99 percent of the ballots counted.
The embattled Republican has made two statements since his loss, but has
not conceded even as Trump and others have reached out to congratulate
Jones, a former prosecutor, on his win.
"I would certainly say he should," Trump, who endorsed Moore in the
final stage of the campaign, told reporters at the White House.
"He tried," Trump added, referring to Moore's campaign efforts and
reiterating his earlier comments that as the party's top leader he would
have liked to keep the seat in Republican hands.
Jones defeated the former judge in a special election to replace Jeff
Sessions, who left the Senate to serve as U.S. Attorney General under
Trump. State officials have said the outcome is unlikely to change even
as provisional ballots are counted.
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President Donald Trump talks to the media on South Lawn of the
White House in Washington, U.S., before his departure to visit the
FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia, U.S. December 15, 2017.
The Democratic win would narrow Republicans' hold on the Senate to
51 out of 100 seats. It has also buoyed Democrats' hopes of a
potential comeback for the party in the 2018 midterm elections.
(Reporting by Jim Oliphant and Susan Heavey; Editing by Bernadette
Baum and Andrew Hay)
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