Doug Jones, the Democrat who last week beat alleged child molester Roy Moore to become senator of Alabama, said that he doesn't believe President Trump should resign over numerous sexual harassment allegations, because those accusations were made "before the election" and that the country needed to "get on with the real issues."
In the wake of Democratic Sen. Al Franken announcing his resignation after being accused of sexual misconduct, several Senate Democrats have called on Trump to step down because of the allegations against him leveled by more than a dozen women.
On Sunday, Jones broke with some of his fellow Democrats, saying he didn't believe the president should resign and that "we need to move on and not get distracted by those issues."
Speaking to CNN's Jake Tapper, the Alabama senator-elect said, "Those allegations were made before the election, and so people had an opportunity to judge before that election."
"I think we need to move on and not get distracted by those issues. Let's get on with the real issues that are facing people of this country right now, and I don't think that the president ought to resign at this point. We'll see how things go. But certainly those allegations are not new, and he was elected with those allegations front and center," Jones said.
Last week, three of the at least 16 women who have publicly accused Trump of sexual misconduct spoke out once again about their alleged encounters with the president, hoping that their stories would be more impactful in light of the #MeToo movement.
"We're private citizens, and for us to put ourselves out there to try and show America who this man is and especially how he views women, and for them to say 'meh, we don't care,' it hurts," one of Trump's accusers, Samantha Holvey, told NBC News host Megyn Kelly on Monday. "And so now it's just like, alright, let's try round two. The environment's different. Let's try again."
The White House has categorically denied all claims against the president.
During the Alabama Senate race, the president vehemently endorsed Moore, who himself faced accusations of sexual harassment from at least nine women, some of whom were teens at the time the alleged misconduct took place.
After Tapper pressed him on why Franken should have to resign when the allegations against Trump were more "horrific," Jones replied, "I go back to the fact that those allegations were made, and he was elected president of the United States, and I think the American people spoke on that at this time. There's other things out there, but I think at this point we need to move on and try to work with some real issues that are facing the country and not worry about getting at odds with the president any more than we have to."
Tasneem Nashrulla is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Tasneem Nashrulla at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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