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President Donald Trump endorsed U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore on Monday, throwing his weight behind the embattled Alabama Republican ahead of next week's special election in the state that has been rocked by allegations of sexual misconduct.
In a post on Twitter, Trump said Republicans needed Moore to win in order to secure votes on key issues such as immigration even as other Republicans have backed away from the candidate.
"Democrats refusal to give even one vote for massive Tax Cuts is why we need Republican Roy Moore to win in Alabama," he wrote.
Trump's tweet is his strongest endorsement of Moore since the sexual misconduct accusations surfaced against the former Alabama judge last month. Moore has called the allegations false.
The president has repeatedly slammed Moore's Democratic opponent, former U.S. attorney Doug Jones, but had previously backed Moore's former Republican rival Luther Strange in line with Senate Republicans.
"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!" Trump wrote, referring to Democratic congressional leaders Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer.
While the Alabama Republican Party has also backed Moore for the Dec. 12 election, fellow Republicans in the U.S. Senate have continued to distance themselves despite holding a narrow 52-48 majority in the chamber.
Reuters has not independently verified reported allegations by several women accusing Moore of sexual assault and misconduct when they were teenagers and Moore was in his early 30s.
Moore, 70, returned to the campaign trail last week with a speech calling the allegations against him "simply dirty politics."