After days remaining silent on the issue, Ivanka Trump responded to assault allegations against Roy Moore, telling the Associated Press, “There’s a special place in hell for people who prey on children." But yet, she didn't call for the Alabama Senate candidate to exit the race.
"I’ve yet to see a valid explanation, and I have no reason to doubt the victims’ accounts," Ivanka said. She reportedly heard the news while leaving meetings at the Capitol just after the story broke.
Moore has repeatedly denied the assault accusations against him. His lawyer, Phillip Jauregui, gave a press conference Wednesday stating that he himself had known Moore for 24 years and had never seen Moore "act inappropriate toward any woman." Jauregui called the accusations "false" and attempted to discredit them by asking whether the evidence is "genuine" or "a fraud."
Many members of the GOP have spoken out against the Senate hopeful, asking that he step aside in the race. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Arizona Sen. John McCain, and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney have all said they'd like Moore to withdraw his candidacy. President Trump has yet to comment on the accusations leveled against Moore, which include him sexually assaulting a girl when she was just 14 years old. Moore was in his 30s at the time.
Meanwhile, some Republicans have not only said Moore should stay in the race, but that they'd vote for him even if the women's allegations were true. "I would vote for Judge Moore because I wouldn't want to vote for [Democrat Doug Jones]," Alabama Bibb County Republican chairman Jerry Pow told the Toronto Star. "I'm not saying I support what he did."
Alabama GOP State Auditor Jim Zeigler went so far as to defend Moore's actions using the Bible. "Zachariah and Elizabeth for instance," he told the Washington Examiner. "Zachariah was extremely old to marry Elizabeth and they became the parents of John the Baptist. Also take Joseph and Mary. Mary was a teenager and Joseph was an adult carpenter. They became parents of Jesus. There's just nothing immoral or illegal here. Maybe just a little bit unusual."
Despite still having some support, Moore continues to be pushed out by the GOP. Most recently, the Republican National Committee backed out of a joint fundraising deal with Moore, not long after the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) dropped out. “I believe the individuals speaking out against Roy Moore spoke with courage and truth," NRSC chairman Cory Gardner said, "proving he is unfit to serve in the United States Senate and he should not run for office." He added that if Moore wins, senators should have him expelled from the chamber, the Huffington Post reported.
A lot of people think Ivanka is only speaking out against Moore now, because it's convenient. "Almost a week late, once the direction of the winds clearly turned against Moore, brave and noble Ivanka steps forward with another courageous stand," Susan Hennessey, executive editor at Lawfare, tweeted. Others found it ironic that she was so concerned about the welfare of children while simultaneously promoting her child tax credit, which, according to ThinkProgress, about 23 million children will ultimately be ineligible for.
Despite speaking out against Moore, Ivanka has so far remained silent on the sexual assault allegations against her father. As far as being influential in the White House, Trump said she only has so much influence over her father's decisions. “I came here with specific areas I could add value,” she told the AP. “In the areas I don’t agree, I state my opinion.”