The White House has made its first remarks on the Roy Moore sexual misconduct allegations since President Trump got back from Asia—and they stopped a long way short of calling for Moore to step aside, as many senior Republicans have done. Trump believes allegations against the Senate candidate are "very troubling and should be taken seriously," White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Thursday, per NPR, but "he believes the people of Alabama should make the decision of who their next senator is going to be." She didn't say whether Trump still supports Moore, though she told reporters she doesn't think the president will campaign for him.
The Alabama Republican Party, meanwhile, issued a statement in support of Moore after a meeting of its 21-person Steering Committee, AL.com reports. "Alabamians will be the ultimate jury in this election—not the media or those from afar," party Chairman Terry Lathan said in the statement. The AP reports that Moore appeared alongside more than a dozen religious leaders in Alabama Thursday. They took turns praising Moore and attacking the women who accuse him of harassing or assaulting them. "This is a man who does not lie. Compare that to his accusers," said Gordon Klingenschmitt of the group Pray in Jesus Name. (Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell may be considering a "drastic" option.)