Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters at the White House that she doesn’t “see any parallel” between Roy Moore’s beliefs on homosexuality and Muslims, and Donald Trump’s.
REPORTER: The second thing is, obviously the President didn’t support Roy Moore in the primary, but he has moved to kind of warmly embrace him since then. But I guess what I’m wondering is, Judge Moore has made a series of controversial comments, saying homosexual conduct should be illegal; equating being gay to bestiality; saying that a lawmaker who’s Muslim shouldn’t be allowed to serve. I’m wondering why those comments shouldn’t disqualify him from a presidential endorsement, particularly considering that from the campaign trail the President promised to be an advocate for those groups.
MS. SANDERS: As we’ve said many times before, I’m not going to get into back-and-forth on political endorsements from the podium, so I’m not going to weigh in on a specific race ahead of time at this point.
REPORTER: Thanks, Sarah. I want to follow up on that, because as he mentioned, Judge Moore said homosexuality should be illegal. He said that Sandy Hook was some sort of divine retribution. He said Keith Ellison should not be permitted to serve in Congress because he’s a Muslim. So without asking about the specifics of the race, does President Trump share any of those views that I just mentioned? And if not, why does he think this person is fit to be a U.S. senator?
MS. SANDERS: Not that I’m aware of. I have not taken a deep dive on every comment that the Senate nominee has made. But I certainly know where the President stands on those issues, and wouldn’t see any parallel between the two of them on that front.
REPORTER: Are there any beliefs a candidate could hold, or actions a candidate can take that, that if he were still a Republican, the President would not endorse him?
MS. SANDERS: I’m not going to get into every potential hypothetical that any potential candidate may or may not have over the course of the time that the President is the president. I know where the President stands on specific issues — that’s what I can speak out — not somebody else that’s a candidate for another office that’s not here.
REPORTER: I just want to follow up on Roy Moore comments. I know you don’t want to talk about the race, but from the podium do you want to at least condemn some of those sentiments that you said the President, to your knowledge, does not share?
MS. SANDERS: I would certainly say we don’t agree with those comments. But in terms of whether or not I’m going to get into the back-and-forth over another candidate, we’re here to focus on the President, the President’s agenda, and those are the questions and the people that I can answer for.