After a contentious election in which sexual misconduct allegations waged against Judge Roy Moore caused him to lose Alabama’s U.S. Senate seat to a Democrat — something that hasn’t happened in 25 years– the embattled Republican is refusing to admit defeat.
With 100 percent of precincts reporting, Jones has 49.9 percent of the votes, compared to Moore’s 48.4 percent. In a late-night speech to supporters on Tuesday, Moore told the crowd that when the “vote is this close…it’s not over.” And three days later, he shows no signs of giving up.
President Trump weighed in on the razor-thin margin between the two on Friday, telling reporters that he thinks Moore should accept the loss.
“I think he should,” Trump told reporters at the White House.
“He tried,” Trump acknowledged while reiterating his earlier comments that he would have liked to keep the seat in Republican hands. “I want to support the person running. We need the seat. We’d like to have the seat.”
Others in the Trump administration are also calling for Moore to resign, as they welcome Jones to the Senate.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters on Thursday that Moore should have conceded by now.
“It probably sounds like it maybe should have already taken place,” she said.
Trump tweeted out his congratulations to Jones on Tuesday, saying that “a win is a win.” He also called Jones and extended a personal invitation.
“He invited me over to the White House to visit as soon as I get up there … [a] very nice phone call, very pleasant phone call, and I appreciated him very much reaching out to me,” Jones said. “He congratulated me and my staff on the way we handled this campaign and went forward. And we talked about finding that common ground to work together.”
Trump held a campaign rally last week in Pensacola, Fla., near the Florida-Alabama border, in which he told supporters to vote for Moore. He also recorded a robocall on Moore’s behalf but indicated on Friday that it’s time for the man to step aside.
So far, Moore isn’t giving up. He posted a video on Wednesday in which he said he was waiting on the Alabama Secretary of State to certify the vote count.
“We are indeed in a struggle to preserve our republic, our civilization, and our religion and to set free a suffering humanity,” Moore said. “And the battle rages on.”
JUST IN: President Trump says Roy Moore should concede: “I would certainly say he should.” pic.twitter.com/zFcNV66wO7
— NBC News (@NBCNews) December 15, 2017
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