As Roy Moore Continues His Refusal to Concede Defeat Trump Sends Him a Message

President Donald Trump said Friday that defeated Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore should concede, a step Moore has thus far resisted even though his opponent has been declared the winner.

“I think he should. He tried. I want to support, always, I want to support the person running. We need the seat, we’d like to have the seat,” the president said Friday when asked by reporters on the White House’s South Lawn whether he believes Moore should concede. “As far as Roy Moore, yeah, it's — I would certainly say he should.”

Democrat Doug Jones beat Moore in last Tuesday’s Alabama special election to fill the Senate seat left vacant by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the first time Alabamians have elected a Democrat to the Senate in 25 years. Moore initially was expected to cruise to victory in the deep-red state, but allegations that he sexually molested and assaulted girls as young as 14 surfaced after the GOP primary dragged down his campaign.

Moore has denied the allegations, but many prominent Republicans in Washington found them credible enough to abandon his Senate bid. Trump himself initially called on Moore to drop out of the Senate race but eventually came back to the GOP candidate, offering a full endorsement and campaigning for him at a rally in Pensacola, Florida, just across the Alabama state line.

Since his defeat, Moore has refused to concede, insisting that provisional and military ballots be counted.