The Latest: In call, Trump backs Moore, dubs him a 'fighter'

AP

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  • FILE - In this Monday, Sept. 25, 2017, file photo, former Alabama Chief Justice and U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore speaks at a rally, in Fairhope, Ala. In the face of sexual misconduct allegations, Moore's U.S. Senate campaign has been punctuated by tense moments and long stretches without public appearances. Moore faces Democrat Doug Jones for Alabama's U.S. Senate seat in the Dec. 12 election. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson, File)

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    FILE - In this Nov. 28, 2017, file photo, Alabama U.S. Senatorial candidate Doug Jones talks with the media after touring the Northport Medical Center, in Northport, Ala. Jones is the democratic candidate facing republican Roy Moore for Alabama's U.S. Senate seat in the Dec. 12 special election. (Vasha Hunt/AL.com via AP, File)

  • FILE - In this Monday, Sept. 25, 2017, file photo, former Alabama Chief Justice and U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore speaks at a rally, in Fairhope, Ala. In the face of sexual misconduct allegations, Moore's U.S. Senate campaign has been punctuated by tense moments and long stretches without public appearances. Moore faces Democrat Doug Jones for Alabama's U.S. Senate seat in the Dec. 12 election. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson, File)

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    FILE - In this Nov. 28, 2017, file photo, Alabama U.S. Senatorial candidate Doug Jones talks with the media after touring the Northport Medical Center, in Northport, Ala. Jones is the democratic candidate facing republican Roy Moore for Alabama's U.S. Senate seat in the Dec. 12 special election. (Vasha Hunt/AL.com via AP, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) The Latest on President Donald Trump's endorsement of Republican Roy Moore in the Alabama Senate race (all times local):

12:50 p.m.

President Donald Trump has spoken by phone with Republican Alabama Senate nominee Roy Moore and formally endorsed his candidacy.

White House spokesman Raj Shah said Monday that the two had "a positive call" during which they discussed the state of the race and the president's endorsement.

Moore's campaign says Trump called Moore a "fighter" and expressed his eagerness at having Moore fighting for his agenda in Washington.

Trump's support comes despite allegations that the 70-year-old Moore sexually assaulted teenage girls decades ago, including one who said he molested her when she was 14 and he was in his 30s. Many national Republicans have called on Moore to step aside in the wake of the sexual assault and harassment allegations.

Moore's wife, Kayla, thanked Trump for the call on her Facebook page.

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8 a.m.

Roy Moore has tweeted his thanks for President Donald Trump's endorsement.

The Alabama Republican who's running for U.S. Senate says he "can't wait to help" Trump "#DrainTheSwamp."

Trump endorsed Moore in a tweet Monday morning, saying Moore's vote is needed in Congress.

It was Trump's strongest show of support for Moore since allegations surfaced that the candidate had sexually assaulted teenage girls decades ago, including one who said he molested her when she was 14 and he was in his 30s. Many national Republicans have called on Moore to step aside in the wake of multiple sexual assault and harassment allegations.

After Trump's tweet, Moore tweeted that "The America First agenda will #MAGA," a reference to Trump's "Make America Great Again" campaign slogan.

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6:55 a.m.

President Donald Trump is throwing his full support behind embattled Republican Roy Moore in the Alabama Senate race.

Trump tweeted early Monday that "Democrats refusal to give even one vote for massive Tax Cuts is why we need Republican Roy Moore to win in Alabama."

It was Trump's most full-throated endorsement of Moore, who has lost backing of many top Republicans since he was hit with allegations of sexual misconduct decades ago.

Trump has assailed Democratic candidate Doug Jones and has defended Moore against allegations of child molestation. But the White House has said he has no plans to make campaign appearances.

Trump tweeted: "We need his vote on stopping crime, illegal immigration, Border Wall, Military, Pro Life, V.A., Judges 2nd Amendment and more. No to Jones, a Pelosi/Schumer Puppet!"

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