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White House gives Roy Moore a unsubtle shove: Time to concede

 (Alex Wong / Getty Images)
(Alex Wong / Getty Images)

The White House sent a clear signal Thursday to the defeated Republican candidate for Senate in Alabama: It’s time to concede.

Roy Moore refused to concede the race on Tuesday night when Doug Jones, the Democrat, was declared the winner. Election night results show Jones winning by about 1.5 percentage points, three times more than the state’s standard for a recount. Although a few absentee and provisional ballots remain to be counted, there’s no indication they would change the result.

On Wednesday, Moore notably did not call to congratulate Jones — even as President Trump and other leading Republicans did. Instead, he released a video declaring “the battle rages on.”

Asked at the daily news briefing whether the White House thinks Moore should concede today, Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said, “It probably sounds like it maybe should have already taken place."

Sanders also dismissed the idea, pushed by some Moore supporters, that Jones’ victory was tainted in some fashion. Asked if the Democrat had won “fair and square,” she said,  “I think the numbers reflect that.”

The state’s Republican senator, Richard Shelby, offered a similar comment in an interview with MSNBC in which he said he was willing to work with Jones. "If I was 25,000 votes behind, it's not going to change much," Shelby said.

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