• Politics
  • White House

‘We Want the Votes in the Senate.’ Kellyanne Conway Says Roy Moore Can Help Pass Tax Cuts

3 minute read

Senior White House aide Kellyanne Conway indirectly backed controversial Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore despite allegations that he romantically pursued teens when he was in his 30s, arguing his opponent would not be a reliable vote for a GOP tax reform bill.

Speaking on “Fox and Friends” Monday morning, Donald Trump’s former campaign manager weighed in on the Alabama Senate race based entirely on arguments about Moore’s Democratic opponent, though she declined to answer when pressed if that meant she was endorsing Moore.

“And Doug Jones in Alabama? Folks, don’t be fooled, he’ll be a vote against tax cuts,” Conway said during an appearance on Fox & Friends. “He’s weak on crime, weak on borders. He’s strong on raising your taxes. He’s terrible for property owners.”

“I’m telling you that we want the votes in the Senate to get this tax bill through,” she added later.

The comments came after seeming White House indecision on the Alabama race. Trump originally backed incumbent Sen. Luther Strange in a three-way Republican primary, then deleted those tweets and backed Moore after the election.

The allegations against Moore surfaced while President Trump was in Asia, which allowed the president to duck questions. White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said that “if these allegations are true” the Administration hoped Moore would “do the right thing and step aside” and Trump said he might have “further comment” later.

Then on Sunday, White House budget director Mick Mulvaney said that Trump wants to leave the decision up to Alabama voters.

Over the past few weeks, Moore has been accused of sexual misconduct by several women. Most of the incidents are alleged to have occurred when the women were in their teens and Moore was in his 30s. One woman said Moore touched her over her underwear when she was 14-years-old. Another said he tried to force her to perform oral sex on him when she was 16-years-old. That woman has also shared the page where she said Moore signed her high school yearbook.

On “Fox and Friends,” Conway called Jones, a former federal prosecutor, a “doctrinaire liberal” and said that is why “he’s not saying anything and why the media are trying to boost him.” When asked directly if she was telling voters to support, Conway focused on what a vote for Jones could mean for tax reform. “I’m telling you, we want the votes in the Senate to get this tax bill through,” she said.

She also said that if the media were really concerned about the allegations against Moore, there would be more focus on Democratic Sen. Al Franken, who has also been accused of inappropriately kissing a woman and touching another.

“If that’s what this was truly about … then Al Franken would be on the ash-heap of by-gone half-funny comedians,” Conway said. “He wouldn’t be here on Capitol Hill.”

That echoed remarks by Trump, who has also blasted Franken.


More Must-Reads from TIME

Contact us at letters@time.com