Donald Trump has apparently thrown his ally Roy Moore under the proverbial bus, suggesting he always knew Moore had no chance of winning the Alabama senatorial election.
Moore was defeated by Doug Jones in the run-off, the results of which were announced this morning. Although a string of women made accusations of sexual misconduct against Moore, Trump continued to support him with a string of public endorsements.
Now, however, Trump has rowed back in his support for Moore, suggesting he originally wanted a different candidate.
Trump wrote on Twitter:
Moore, however, has refused to accept defeat in the Alabama senatorial race, saying the vote was not over when it was "this close."
The long-time judge, who stood as the Republican candidate to replace Jeff Sessions, lost out to Jones in one of the most high-profile regional political contests in years.
When the vote was announced this morning, it emerged that Moore had secured 48.4% of the vote, while Jones had received 49.9%.
According to Alabama state law, an automatic recount is necessary when results of an election are within 0.5% - the difference between Jones and Moore is 1.5%.
The campaign made international headlines because multiple women accused Moore of sexual offences during the campaign, including one who claimed he had initiated an encounter while she was underage.
Jones' victory makes him the first Democratic candidate to fill the seat in Alabama in 25 years.