Former White House strategist Steve Bannon appeared alongside beleaguered Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore on Tuesday night in Fairhope, Alabama, just a week before the election.
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In a fiery speech defending Moore, Bannon attacked the Republican establishment and questioned the timing of the accusations brought against Moore by eight women who accused him of sexual misconduct or inappropriate behavior towards them when he was 30 years old and, in some cases , the women were teenagers. Moore has denied the accusations.
"We're going to be right, it's fine, all this was a setup, all this was armed, right?" Bannon said about the allegations of sexual misconduct first published by the Washington Post, "You know, the people of Alabama know it."
Bannon also attacked Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky, and Arizona Senator Jeff Flake, who donated $ 100 to Moore's Democratic opponent Doug Jones earlier today.
"Hi Flake, this is the reason why your approval rate in your home state is 11 percent," Bannon said, "You're a total shame, if you're going to write a check, write a check, support tosomeone".
But Bannon saved perhaps his most stinging attack for former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, whom he accused of hiding behind his religion to avoid service in the Vietnam War.
"Judge Moore served his country in one of the toughest wars he has ever had, Vietnam," said Bannon, "Mitt, that's honor and integrity, and by the way Mitt, as we talk about Vietnam and honor and Integrity, you avoided the brother service, Ok Mitt, that's how it's brother, the university postponements is that we can debate that, but you hid behind your religion, you went to France to be a missionary while the boys died in rice patties in Vietnam. Do not talk to me about honor and integrity. "
Moore did not directly address the allegations against him, but he did talk about the "battles" he has fought in the campaign.
"If you knew what kind of battles I've been fighting, you would not want to be where I am, in fact, if I was not here I would not want to fight these battles, but when God puts there, you have nothing else to do but stop." said Moore.
Moore once again considered the race an opportunity for Alabama voters to reject the "establishment" and said the race was special because it is the first race in the Senate since the election of President Trump.
Moore sounded confident about his chances of victory on December 12.
"I think they're afraid to take Alabama's values to Washington," he said. "And I want to tell you, I can not wait."
Bannon's trip to the state comes at a crucial moment in the campaign, and just one day after Trump officially backed Moore, he personally called the candidate and expressed "enthusiastic support" to Moore, according to a statement from the campaign.
Speaking at the White House today, Trump reiterated his support for Moore.
"I think he's going to do very well," Trump said of Moore. "We do not want to have a liberal Democrat in Alabama We want strong borders We want to stop crime, we want to have the things we represent and we certainly do not want to have a liberal democrat who is controlled by Nancy Pelosi and controlled by Chuck Schumer."
Moore also received a boost Monday night, when a Republican National Committee official confirmed to ABC News that the organization is following Trump's initiative and supporting Moore's candidacy.
Most Republican senators have kept their distance from Moore. McConnell told reporters today that he has not changed his position that Moore should leave the race, and said that if elected, Moore could face an investigation by the ethics committee.
"There has been no change of opinion," McConnell said. "I was waiting before he retired as a candidate, that obviously is not going to happen, if he were elected, he would immediately have a case of an ethics committee and the committee would analyze the situation and advise us."
Other Republican senators have expressed dissatisfaction with Moore, but said the decision of whether or not to be a US senator depends on Alabama voters.
"Well, I'm not a voter in the state of Alabama, so I do not have a voice in that, voters in Alabama will determine that," Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, told ABC News on Tuesday. . "I have not backed Mr. Moore and I hope the Alabama voters do the right thing and do not send it to the Senate."
Sen. Orrin Hatch, a Utah Republican who did not support Moore, told reporters on Monday that Trump's decision to back the controversial candidate "I do not think he had any other choice but to do that, you know, he needs as many Republicans as he can. get". so you can start your agenda. So that's, you know, the only Republican that you can possibly get there at this time. "
ABC News & # 39; Ali Rogin contributed to this report