President Donald Trump has thrown his full support behind embattled Republican US Senate candidate Roy Moore who faces allegations of historical child sex abuse.
Mr Trump tweeted early today that “Democrats refusal to give even one vote for massive Tax Cuts is why we need Republican Roy Moore to win in Alabama”.
It was Mr Trump’s most vocal endorsement of Mr Moore, who has lost the backing of many top Republicans since he was hit with allegations of sexual misconduct decades ago.
Mr Trump has assailed Democratic candidate Doug Jones and has defended Mr Moore against allegations of child molestation. But the White House has said he has no plans to make campaign appearances.
Mr Trump tweeted: “We need his vote on stopping crime, illegal immigration, Border Wall, Military, Pro Life, V.A., Judges 2nd Amendment and more. No to Jones, a Pelosi/Schumer Puppet!”
Mr Moore, contesting the seat created after Jeff Sessions became attorney general, replied to the endorsement by saying he “can’t wait to help” Mr Trump “#DrainTheSwamp”.
Mr Trump uses that phrase as a derogatory term for what he considers to be a corrupt system in Washington.
After Mr Trump’s tweet, Mr Moore tweeted that “The America First agenda will #MAGA”, a reference to Trump’s “Make America Great Again” campaign slogan.
Later it emerged that Mr Trump also spoke with Mr Moore by phone. White House Spokesman Raj Shah said the two discussed the state of the Alabama Senate race and that the president “endorsed Judge Moore’s campaign”.