Iowa Senator Joni Ernst, who has led efforts to combat sexual assault in the military, sat quietly next to President Donald Trump today as he endorsed a man accused of sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl.
At a meeting in the White House were senators were discussing NAFTA trade policy with the President, Trump responded to questions about why he endorsed Roy Moore in the Alabama senate race.
“I think he’s going to do very well,” Trump said of Moore. “We don’t want to have a liberal Democrat in Alabama, believe me. We want strong borders, we want stopping crime, we want to have the things that we represent, and we certainly don’t want to have a liberal Democrat that’s controlled by Nancy Pelosi and controlled by Chuck Schumer. We don’t want to have that for Alabama.”
Ernst is seated directly to Trump’s right. She looks on silently as Trump addresses the reporters.
ABC News tweeted out a video of the exchange.
On his endorsement of Roy Moore, Pres. Trump tells @karentravers: "We don't want to have a liberal Democrat in Alabama, believe me. We want strong borders, we want stopping crime. We want to have the things that we represent." https://t.co/KwxdV9vVrN pic.twitter.com/4YfKrienBz
— ABC News (@ABC) December 5, 2017
“If the allegations are true, he needs to step out,” Ernst said of Moore back in November. “There’s no room for that in the United States Senate.”
Even though the national Republican Party cut fundraising ties with Moore earlier, they have reengaged in the race this week. Trump, after keeping his distance for a while, went all-in for Moore when he called him yesterday and announced his support.
It’s unclear if Ernst has changed her views on the matter like so many of her fellow Republicans. The next question to ask may be whether she’d vote to expel Moore from the Senate if he wins, or if she’ll choose to work with the alleged sexual predator in the Senate on issues like sexual assault in the military.
Joni Ernst is up for reelection in 2020.
by Pat Rynard