Why Did Trump Tweet About Al Franken But Stay Quiet On Roy Moore?

Photo: Al Drago/Bloomberg/Getty Images.
By now, we know that President Trump loves to pick fights on Twitter. He's done everything from go after the media for its unflattering reports to post taunts that are dangerous to our foreign policy, like when he insulted North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un.
On Thursday night, Trump took to Twitter to address the allegations against Sen. Al Franken, who was accused of groping and forcibly kissing a news anchor in 2006.
"The Al Frankenstien picture is really bad, speaks a thousand words. Where do his hands go in pictures 2, 3, 4, 5 & 6 while she sleeps?" he tweeted. "And to think that just last week he was lecturing anyone who would listen about sexual harassment and respect for women. Lesley Stahl tape?"
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(The "Lesley Stahl" reference was about a 1995 article in which Franken was quoted joking about drugging and raping Stahl, a journalist. No tape exists.)
But while he was forceful in condemning the Democrat, Trump has remained silent on Twitter about the allegations against Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore. And then, there's the question: Why go there at all?
Yes, the Al Franken situation is really bad and he should be condemned for his actions. Franken has since apologized, and said that he is open to being investigated by the Senate Ethics Committee, though the incident took place before he was a senator.
But you know what's also really bad? The fact that Roy Moore has been accused of sexual misconduct by eight women — including a woman alleging Moore had a sexual encounter with her when she was only 14, and another who says he sexually assaulted her when she was 16. Additionally, Moore has denied the reports, attempted to discredit his accusers, and fundraised off the allegations.
After eight days and eight accusers, it's the women in Trump's administration who have been speaking on the matter.
"The President said in his statement earlier this week that, if the allegations are true, then that Roy Moore should step aside. He still firmly believes that," said press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders at Thursday's White House press briefing. "This is a decision people of Alabama need to make, not the president."
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His daughter Ivanka, who stays away from commenting on most issues, said, "There's a special place in hell for people who prey on children." She did not call for Moore to step aside, however.
His senior adviser Kellyanne Conway, who earlier this week said public officials who have misbehaved toward women should step aside, defended Trump's tweets Friday morning. She said Trump tweeted about Franken because it was a "brand-new news story" while the allegations against Moore are "eight days old."
Then, there are the allegations about the President: Trump himself has been accused of sexual assault by at least a dozen women, and he is on tape bragging about automatically "kissing" beautiful women and "grabbing them by the pussy." The official White House position is that all of his accusers are lying, so maybe it's not so surprising that Trump is picking sides when it comes to calling out sexual harassment on Twitter. It's classic Trump whataboutism.
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