Utah's Hatch Says Moore Allegations Are From `Decades Ago'

(Bloomberg) -- Utah Senator Orrin Hatch said that President Donald Trump had no choice but to endorse Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore and described sexual misconduct allegations against the Republican as dated.

“I don’t think he had any choice but to do that,” Hatch told reporters traveling with the president to Utah on Monday who asked him about Trump’s endorsement of Moore. “You know he needs every Republican he can get so he can put his agenda through. So that’s the only Republican you can possibly get down there.”

Utah's Hatch Says Moore Allegations Are From `Decades Ago'

Asked about allegations by several women that Moore pursued sexual relationships with them while they were children, Hatch said that “many of the things he allegedly did are decades ago. So it’s hard to -- that’s a decision that has to be made by the people in that state."

“If they make that decision who are we to question them?” he added.

Moore faces Democrat Doug Jones in a Dec. 12 special election to fill the seat vacated by Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Trump gave Moore a full-throated endorsement on Monday, after previously qualifying his support for the candidate. He called Moore and told him “go get ’em,” Moore said on Twitter.

Hatch is contemplating whether to run for re-election next year, when he’ll be 84. Trump publicly urged him to run on Monday, and Politico reported that he is seeking to block a run for Hatch’s seat by former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, a Mormon with roots in Utah who opposed Trump’s nomination for president.

©2017 Bloomberg L.P.