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Why Trump Stands by Roy Moore, Even as It Fractures His Party

 

trump-his-eyes-bleeding-1‘…[I]n tying himself to Mr. Moore even as congressional leaders have abandoned the candidate en masse, the president has reignited hostilities with his own party just as Senate Republicans are rushing to pass a politically crucial tax overhaul. Mr. McConnell and his allies have been particularly infuriated as Mr. Trump has reacted with indifference to a series of ideas they have floated to try to block Mr. Moore.

The accusations against Mr. Moore have lifted Democrats’ hopes of notching a rare victory in the Deep South in next month’s special election, which would narrow the Republican Senate majority to a single seat. Just as significantly, the president has handed the Democrats a political weapon with which to batter Republicans going into the midterm elections: that they tolerate child predation.

…What the president did not foresee was that the friction would reach inside his immediate family. He vented his annoyance when his daughter Ivanka castigated Mr. Moore by saying there was “a special place in hell for people who prey on children,” according to three staff members who heard his comments.

…But something deeper has been consuming Mr. Trump. He sees the calls for Mr. Moore to step aside as a version of the response to the now-famous “Access Hollywood” tape, in which he boasted about grabbing women’s genitalia, and the flood of groping accusations against him that followed soon after. He suggested to a senator earlier this year that it was not authentic, and repeated that claim to an adviser more recently. (In the hours after it was revealed in October 2016, Mr. Trump acknowledged that the voice was his, and he apologized.)…’

via New York Times

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