Scott Olson/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon will appear alongside embattled GOP Senate candidate Roy Moore this evening in Fairhope, Alabama, just a week ahead of the election.
Moore has remained defiant in the face of allegations from eight women who have accused him of sexual misconduct or inappropriate behavior toward them when he was in his 30s and, in some cases, the women were in their teens. He has denied the allegations.
Bannon’s trip to the state comes at a crucial time in the campaign, and just a day after President Donald Trump officially endorsed Moore, calling the candidate personally and expressing “enthusiastic support” for Moore, according to a statement from the campaign.
Speaking on Tuesday at the White House, Trump reiterated his support for Moore.
“I think he’s going to do very well,” Trump said of Moore. “We do not want to have a liberal Democrat in Alabama. We want strong borders. We want stopping crime, we want to have the things that we represent and we certainly don’t want to have a liberal Democrat that is controlled by Nancy Pelosi and controlled by Chuck Schumer.”
Moore also got a boost Monday night, when an official with the Republican National Committee confirmed to ABC News that the organization is following Trump’s lead and supporting Moore’s candidacy.
The Moore campaign confirmed last week that Bannon would join Moore at this evening’s rally. Bannon also campaigned with Moore during the GOP primary in Alabama in September.
“If I have to pick somebody to stand in the corner with Judge Moore, I pick Steve Bannon,” Moore campaign chief strategist Dean Young told ABC News last week. “The same Steve Bannon who stood in the corner with President Donald Trump and helped lead President Trump to victory.”
Most Republican senators have continued to keep their distance from Moore. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., told reporters Tuesday that he has not changed his position that Moore should get out of the race, and said that if elected, Moore may still face an ethics committee investigation.
“There’s been no change of heart,” McConnell said. “I had hoped earlier he would withdraw as a candidate. That obviously is not going to happen. If he were to be elected, he would immediately have an ethics committee case and the committee would take a look at the situation and give us advice.”
Other Republican senators have expressed their displeasure with Moore, but said the decision on whether or not he should be a U.S. senator is up to Alabama voters.
“Well, I am not a voter in the state of Alabama. So I don’t have a say in it. The voters in Alabama will determine that,” Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, told ABC News Tuesday. “I have not endorsed Mr. Moore and my hope is the voters of Alabama will do the right thing and not send him to the Senate.”
Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, who has not endorsed Moore, told reporters Monday of Trump’s decision to endorse the controversial candidate, “I don’t think he had any choice but to do that. You know, he needs every Republican he can get so he can put his agenda through. So that’s, you know, the only Republican you can possibly get down there at this time.”
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