President Donald Trump has called on failed GOP Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore to finally concede defeat to Democratic winner Doug after his surprising victory Tuesday, potentially marking the end of a tenuous alliance between Trump and the embattled former judge.
“I think he should,” Trump told reporters on Friday morning when asked whether Moore should concede. He lost to Jones by a margin of over 20,000 votes after once seeming like a shoe-in to replace Attorney General Jeff Sessions, also a Republican.
“He tried. I want to support, always, I want to support the person running. We need the seat. We would like to have the seat.”
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders stated a day prior that Moore’s concession “maybe should have already taken place.”
Steve Bannon, Trump’s former chief political strategist who now seeks to lead a grassroots movement within the GOP against the establishment, also advised the Moore campaign to concede, CNN reported.
Moore has pinned his hopes on late-counted ballots to swing the close race in his favor, telling supporters to “stand against those who would take us from our country.”
“In this race, we have not received the final count to include military and provisional ballots,” he explained in a video statement. “This has been a very close race, and we are awaiting certification by the secretary of state.”
However, Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill went on the record to opine that Jones would more than likely emerge victorious once all the votes are counted.
Trump took to Twitter on Tuesday to congratulate Jones and followed up with a phone call the next day.
Congratulations to Doug Jones on a hard fought victory. The write-in votes played a very big factor, but a win is a win. 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!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 13, 2017
“He invited me over to the White House to visit as soon as I get up there,” Jones said. “Very nice phone call, very pleasant phone call, and I appreciate him very much reaching out to me.”