President Donald Trump on Saturday declined to directly address the allegations against Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore, saying he will know more after he returns from his Asia trip to the United States.
“I have to get back into the country to see what’s happening” on Moore, said the president, who is on a five-country tour of Asia, told reporters on Air Force One.
“I’ve been with you folks, so I haven’t gotten to see too much," the president said.
Trump referred reporters to a White House statement put out by press secretary Sarah Sanders.
“Like most Americans, the president believes we cannot allow a mere allegation, in this case one from many years ago, to destroy a person’s life," Sanders said. "However, the president also believes that if these allegations are true, Judge Moore will do the right thing and step aside."
The president said Saturday, “I’ll stick with my statement for now, but I’ll have further comment as we go down the road."
Moore, who is running to fill the Alabama seat held by Jeff Sessions when he became attorney general, has vehemently denied allegations that reach back nearly 4 decades.
The Washington Post reported claims that Moore engaged in sexual activity with a 14-year-old when he was 32 and pursued other girls between ages 16 and 18 when he was in his 30s.
Moore won a primary battle in September against Luther Strange, whom Trump endorsed though the president said he "might have made a mistake" in backing him.
When Moore won, the president was quick to embrace his candidacy, saying in a tweet that he “sounds like a really great guy.”
In talking to reporters Saturday about his not having seen TV reports on Moore, Trump said he doesn’t watch as much television as some suggest.
"Believe it or not, even when I’m in Washington and New York, I do not watch much television ... I don’t get to watch much television, primarily because of documents. I’m reading documents. I actually read much more ... than I watch television.”