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President Donald Trump on Wednesday said that the stunning Republican loss in Alabama's Senate race proved that his party needs "to put up GREAT Republican candidates to increase the razor thin margins in both the House and Senate."
The tweet reflected a view shared across the political spectrum after the scandal-plagued Republican, Roy Moore, lost to Democrat Doug Jones in a state that Trump had won by nearly 30 points in the 2016 presidential election.
Moore's campaign was beset by allegations of sexual misconduct leveled against Moore by a half-dozen women, who said Moore pursued them when they were teenagers and he was in his 30's. Two of the women alleged that Moore sexually assaulted them when they were minors.
Moore denied all the allegations, but the damage they did to his campaign was irreparable, and Republican leaders in Washington, D.C., swiftly called on Moore to drop out of the race in time to give another candidate a real shot at beating Jones. Moore refused.
Earlier in the day on Wednesday, Trump had tweeted that he knew Moore would not win because "the deck was stacked against him," which is why the president originally backed his GOP opponent, Luther Strange.
"I was right!" Trump tweeted, "Roy worked hard but the deck was stacked against him!"
"Congratulations to Doug Jones on a hard fought victory," Trump wrote on Twitter, shortly after major news organizations called the race for Jones.
"The write-in votes played a very big factor, but a win is a win," Trump continued. "The people of Alabama are great, and the Republicans will have another shot at this seat in a very short period of time. It never ends!"
The congratulatory tweet from the president caught many political observers by surprise, given how savagely Trump has attacked Jones during the final weeks of the campaign.
"The last thing we need in Alabama and the U.S. Senate is a Schumer/Pelosi puppet who is WEAK on Crime, WEAK on the Border, Bad for our Military and our great Vets, Bad for our 2nd Amendment, AND WANTS TO RAISES TAXES TO THE SKY," Trump wrote. "Jones would be a disaster!"
—CNBC's Terri Cullen contributed to this report.