The TAKE with Rick Klein
What if the disruption has only begun?
That’s the question on the minds of strategists and elected officials in both parties, who have now watched voters deliver nothing as consistent as inconsistency for going on a dozen years now.
The real jolt of the 2017 elections isn’t in the new faces produced, or the retirements tied to a frustrating climate, or strategic lessons offered up to Democrats and Republicans alike. (And big surprises could still be in store for this year, as revelations in Alabama are making clear.)
The shock comes from hearing familiar dynamics – waves and vote surges, stunning defeats of incumbents, coast-to-coast frustrations with the status quo – that don’t exactly track with what came before.
Republicans may come together to push through a tax bill, but that won’t leave them united even on the question of whether to support or oppose President Donald Trump.
Democrats have come together to channel their resistance of Trump, but can’t agree on tactics or policy beyond that point.
This means more disorder is in order – feeding a cycle of uncertainty.
A year after the Trump election, it’s conceivable that we’ve still witnessed only rumblings of the political quakes that may yet come.
The RUNDOWN with MaryAlice Parks
The White House has weighed in.
The president, while allowing that a single, decades-old allegation shouldn’t “destroy a person’s life,” also believes that if these allegations of sexual misconduct are true, “Judge Moore will do the right thing and step aside,” according to White House press secretary Sarah Sanders.
Vice President Mike Pence found the allegations against Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore “disturbing” and, according to a written statement from his spokesperson, “believes, if true, this would disqualify anyone from serving in office.”
The White House was not alone.
Quickly and fiercely, Republicans on Capitol Hill Thursday delivered similar statements as the news broke. A few were unequivocal, like Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., who said plainly that Moore should “immediately step aside.”
But most distanced themselves from Moore while adding qualifying rebukes or reserving final judgement for a later date.
The Washington Post, which broke the story, provided numerous, contemporaneous witnesses and even documents to back up the women’s stories. Two of the accusing families stood by their stories when talking to ABC News.
Moore has denied the accusations, blamed the press, and doubled down on his campaign.
Given that the statute of limitations on any relevant crimes has run out, these allegations are unlikely to be adjudicated in a court of law.
Given the late date, even if he were to withdraw his bid, his name would still be printed on the ballot. Republicans, however, could launch a write-in campaign.
If they chose not to, they will likely face follow-up questions about what exactly their barometer is for determining the facts in a situation like this and if they are actively seeking clarification before the election next month.
The TIP with John Verhovek
While numerous Republicans have already called on Roy Moore to step aside as their party’s nominee, if the allegations against him are true, they face a glaring legal issue regardless of the path Moore chooses to take.
According to Alabama state law, a candidate’s name can only be removed from the ballot if the request is made 76 days before an election. Needless to say, that deadline is long passed and Moore’s name will appear on the ballot whether he decides to drop out or not.
If the firestorm around the allegations does not die down, Republicans will face the very real possibility that they will need someone to mount a write-in campaign with less than a month to go until voters head to the polls.
One potential candidate — Luther Strange — the sitting senator who lost the primary to Moore less than two months ago.
When asked by ABC News Thursday whether he was considering a write-in campaign, Strange offered a “no comment.”
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW TODAY:
Overnight, President Trump arrived in Da Nang, Vietnam and delivered remarks to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation CEO Summit.
Trump will participate in an official welcome reception for APEC leaders and spouses followed by a gala dinner and cultural performance Friday evening local time.
The White House is not anticipating any formal meeting between President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the APEC summit in Vietnam.
Today is the 242nd birthday of the United States Marine Corps.
While in Vietnam, Trump marked the upcoming Veterans Day holiday by spending time with seven American veterans of the Vietnam War. The president called the soldiers “great, great warriors” and a “national treasure.” The Marine Commandant lays a wreath at the WWII memorial during ceremony at the National Mall.
This Week on ‘This Week’: The Powerhouse Roundtable debates the week in politics, with ABC News senior congressional correspondent Mary Bruce, Republican strategist and ABC News contributor Alex Castellanos, ABC News political analyst Matthew Dowd, and historian Mark Updegrove, author of the new book, “The Last Republicans.”
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“The allegations against Roy Moore are deeply disturbing and disqualifying. He should immediately step aside and allow the people of Alabama to elect a candidate they can be proud of.” – Sen. John McCain.
NEED TO READ
ANALYSIS from ABC News’ Jonathan Karl: President Trump in Vietnam: ‘There’s no place like home.’ At the close of his speech to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit (APEC), President Donald Trump took a philosophical turn, echoing the words of Dorothy in “The Wizard of Oz” as he outlined his vision for a world order rooted in nationalism. “Finally, let us never forget,” the president said, “the world has many places, many dreams and many roads, but in all of the world there’s no place like home.” http://abcn.ws/2zMynF0
Trump, Putin will not have formal meeting during APEC summit: White House. The much-discussed formal meeting between President Donald Trump and Russia President Vladimir Putin at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit (APEC) in Vietnam will not happen after all, according to the White House. (Jordyn Phelps) http://abcn.ws/2zwkvOq
What Senate Republicans are proposing in their tax plan. The Senate Finance Committee released its vision for a tax reform bill Thursday afternoon — a proposal that differs from the House of Representatives’ blueprint in several significant ways. (Ali Rogin) http://abcn.ws/2zrrZ5y
GOP Senate candidate Roy Moore denies allegation of sexual misconduct years ago with 14-year-old. Controversial Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore denied a Washington Post report Thursday that he engaged in sexual activity with a 14-year-old girl in the late 1970s. (Adam Kelsey and John Verhovek) http://abcn.ws/2ApvPJc
Senate passes mandatory sexual harassment training. Just before the Senate adjourned for the Veterans Day holiday weekend Thursday, the upper chamber passed a resolution mandating that sexual harassment training will be mandatory for senators, staff, and interns of the Senate. (Mariam Khan) http://abcn.ws/2m7C5TA
Ex-Trump bodyguard told investigators he rejected offer to send women to Trump in Moscow: Sources. President Trump’s longtime head of security Keith Schiller told congressional investigators he rejected an offer to send five women to then-businessman Donald Trump’s hotel room during a trip to Moscow ahead of the Miss Universe Pageant in 2013, sources tell ABC News. (Benjamin Siegel, Pierre Thomas, John Santucci and Brian Ross) http://abcn.ws/2hY88B3
Trump adviser Stephen Miller interview by special counsel team. Top Trump adviser Stephen Miller has been interviewed by special counsel Robert Mueller’s team, sources with direct knowledge confirmed to ABC News. (John Santucci) http://abcn.ws/2iJBH98
Trump administration terminates program to reunite Central American families. At midnight Thursday, the Trump administration ended another immigration program – one that reunited children from Central America with their parents here legally in the U.S. (Conor Finnegan) http://abcn.ws/2Aqp5uJ
AT&T CEO denies considering sell of CNN in massive Time Warner deal. The CEO of AT&T said he feels no pressure nor has any intention of selling CNN or any more valuable asset in order to close its $85.4 billion deal with Time Warner. (Jeff Cook) http://abcn.ws/2zridAk
Vietnam seeks reassurances from Trump after his praise for China. All eyes will be on his appearance at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit, where he delivers a major speech and may meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin. (Conor Finnegan) http://abcn.ws/2zw1Lyw
1st Sikh mayor in New Jersey says win ‘represents the American dream.’ Bhalla became the first Sikh mayor in New Jersey’s history when he won the election in Hoboken, and his pride in his home state is showing through.(Meghan Keneally and Jason M. Volack) http://abcn.ws/2homCNC
After repeated tests, North Korea hasn’t launched a missile in 56 days. What’s going on? Is it a sign the administration’s approach to North Korea is working, even as Washington and Pyongyang continue to exchange volleys in a war of words? (Elizabeth McLaughlin) http://abcn.ws/2hk3PyZ
Kentucky doctor pleads not guilty to assault of Sen. Rand Paul. Rene Boucher tackled the senator to the ground last Friday, according to his arrest warrant. (Adam Kelsey) http://abcn.ws/2zrLStn
Biden: ‘I regret that I am not president.’ Biden said he did not have second thoughts, however, about the reasons he passed on the race. (Adam Kelsey) http://abcn.ws/2yKAWr9
Go inside the opulent Great Hall of the People in Beijing. ABC News’ Cecilia Vega went behind the scenes of the meeting between President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping. http://abcn.ws/2AuNMa6
Inside Trump’s friendship with President Xi. ABC News’ Jonathan Karl reports from Beijing. http://abcn.ws/2AoSfdB
Painting the powerful: Artists share process of capturing presidential couples on canvas. It was May of 1998 and artist Ginny Stanford was at the White House meeting then-first lady Hillary Clinton for the first time. “I think the thing that struck me most about that meeting was how beautiful she was in person,” Stanford told ABC News. http://abcn.ws/2ynpmxC
FiveThirtyEight: North Korea’s nukes may not be its biggest threat. “It has biological and chemical weapons, too.” http://53eig.ht/2ykyzXv
The Guardian: Don’t get carried away – Trump is as popular today as he was last year. “After Tuesday’s election results, analysts have been quick to claim how troubling this is for the president – but the data shows that view might be premature.” http://bit.ly/2zqWqc7
The Note is a daily ABC News feature that highlights the key political moments of the day ahead. Please check back Monday for the latest.