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Trump contradicts White House line, defends Alabama's Roy Moore

For two weeks, Donald Trump has gone out of his way to say nothing about Roy Moore's scandal. Today, that changed.
Image: President Trump Departs White House En Route To Puerto Rico
WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 03: US President Donald Trump speaks to the media before boarding Marine One to depart from the White House, on October 3, 2017 in...

Donald Trump has said effectively nothing about Alabama Roy Moore (R) and his sexual-misconduct scandal, but on the White House's South Lawn this afternoon, the president finally addressed the controversy:

REPORTER: What is your message to women, sir, during this pivotal moment in our country, when we're talking about sexual misconduct -- you had your own allegations against you -- what do you say to women...TRUMP: Let me just tell you, Roy Moore denies it. That's all I can say. He denies it. And by the way, he totally denies it.

Note the disconnect between the question and the answer.

Specifically on the Senate race in Alabama -- which is three weeks from today -- the president seemed pleased to note that Moore's accusers are "Trump voters," leading him to add, "All you can do is, you have to do what you have to do."

For the record, I haven't the foggiest idea what that means.

But then Trump dropped the pretense. "I can tell you one thing for sure," he told reporters. "We don't need a liberal person in there, a Democrat. Jones."

Asked if "an accused child molester better than a Democrat," the president replied, "Well, he denies it. Look, he denies it."

In other words, Trump doesn't believe any of the women who've accused Moore -- even if they are "Trump voters."

In case this isn't obvious, the president's line is a break from Trump World's recent line on the Moore scandal. The message from West Wing aides has fluctuated since the controversy first broke -- Kellyanne Conway, for example, said Trump is too "busy" to share his thoughts on Moore -- but up until a couple of hours ago, the official line was that it was up to Alabama voters to decide.

Marc Short suggested as recently as two days ago that the president believes the women's accusations.

Trump has now thrown all of that out the window. He doesn't believe the women and he does believe Moore is a Republican.