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Joe Buglewicz/Stringer/Getty Images(BIRMINGHAM, Ala.) -- Roy Moore, the Republican candidate for Senate in Alabama, told the women accusing him of sexual misconduct to "tell the truth" as he made a final push to woo voters ahead of the state's general election on Tuesday.

At his final rally on Monday night, Moore appeared to target the eight women who have accused him of sexual misconduct. When asked during the rope line to address the claims, Moore, who has denied the allegations levied against him, told ABC News' Tom Llamas the women should "tell the truth."

"The fake news began after I [had an] 11-point lead in the general election,” Moore told supporters from the stage in Midland City, Alabama. “But they waited till 30 days before this general election to come forward. Now they've allowed their pictures to be on a political advertisement, and they've gone on national television arguing their case, after waiting 40 years.”

Former White House strategist Steve Bannon, who also spoke at Monday’s rally, used his time on stage to go after fellow Republicans -- including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Alabama Sen. Richard Shelby, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee -- who denounced Moore in the wake of the misconduct allegations.

"There's a special place in hell for Republicans who should know better. You know what they're doing and they're trying to shut up President Trump and Judge Moore, they're trying to shut you up,” Bannon said.

“Why do you think the whole world's here, why do you think they're down here in Dothan in the middle of Alabama? You know why, this is about raw power," he added.

 Many Republicans on Capitol Hill have urged Moore to step aside, despite having Trump’s backing.

The president recorded a robocall over the weekend urging voters to stand with Moore.

"Roy Moore is the guy we need to pass our 'Make America Great Again' agenda," Trump said on the call. "Roy is a conservative who will help me steer this country back on track after eight years of the Obama disaster. Get out and vote for Roy Moore."

Moore was pushing to raise money as late as Monday afternoon, when he singled out frequent Trump opponent Rosie O'Donnell as a supporter of Democrat Doug Jones.

 Moore, a former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice, is set to face off with Jones, a former U.S. attorney, on Tuesday. The race is forecast to be a tight one.

A Fox News poll released Monday shows Jones leading by 10 points, while a Washington Post/George Mason University poll released earlier this month had Jones with a 3 point lead.

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Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(BIRMINGHAM, Ala.) -- Alabama senatorial candidate Doug Jones bolstered his campaign with a big endorsement the night before Tuesday's runoff -- literally. Jones brought out 6-foot-6 Basketball Hall of Famer Charles Barkley for the final rally of his campaign on Monday night in Birmingham.

Barkley, a native of Leeds, Alabama, and regular supporter of Democrats, pushed Jones as the smart voter's choice for Senate from the state.

"At some point we have got to stop looking like idiots to the nation," Barkley said.

Barkley slammed Jones' opponent, Roy Moore, as well as former Trump administration official Steve Bannon, who was campaigning with Moore across the state in Midland City, Alabama.

"How can that man be in the lead?" he said, referencing Moore.

The latest polls have Jones and Moore running neck-and-neck for the win. The special election is being held to find a replacement for current Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who served in the Senate from 1997 to 2017.

Moore has been accused of sexual misconduct by eight women when he was in his 30s and, in some cases, when the women were in their teens. Moore has repeatedly denied the allegations. He did so again Monday night, saying, "The fake news began after I [had an] 11-point lead in the general election."

Barkley's harshest words may have actually been for Bannon, who supported Moore throughout the primary -- opposite Donald Trump, who supported Moore's opponent Sen. Luther Strange -- and now during the general election. He's been a regular at rallies.

"Only in Alabama could you send a white nationalist, separatist, who don't believe in race mixing to come to Alabama three times and get cheered at a Roy Moore rally," Barkley said of Bannon. "That is crazy. Look at all these races here ... and this guy wants to stand up and say he don't believe in race mixing. That is crazy."

Barkley is a regular on the political circuit in Alabama, mentioning several times since his retirement from the NBA he would be interested in running for governor. He supported Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012, and was an outspoken opponent of Trump in 2016.

Jones joined Barkley on stage, joking with the Auburn legend over Jones being a University of Alabama graduate.

The candidate reiterated a familiar appeal to putting "decency and our state before political party."

Jones' crescendo moment came about midway through his speech. He said it was time for the state to say, "No more putting people down, no more discrimination. ... It is time we say, no more!" The crowd started chanting, "No Moore!" in a play on Jones' phrase.

Actress Alyssa Milano, who was at the forefront of the #metoo campaign on Twitter to bring attention to victims of sexual abuse, and "Orange is the New Black" star Uzo Aduba both joined Jones on stage as well.

"Generations to come will feel the effects of what is going on in Alabama right now," Milano told ABC News' Stephanie Ramos. "To me this election is more than Democrat and Republican, it is about right vs. wrong."

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Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Former White House press secretary Sean Spicer is releasing a book next summer.

Spicer has signed a deal with Regnery Publishing, conservative book publisher. His forthcoming book, titled "The Briefing," will focus on his "turbulent tenure" behind the lectern before resigning in July, according to the book's official description.

The book promises to shed "new light on the headline-grabbing controversies of the Trump administration’s first year," the description states.

Spicer worked as the communications director for the Republican National Committee before being named as now-President Donald Trump's press secretary during the transition.

His tenure got off to a rocky start when he made his first appearance in the White House briefing room the day after Trump took office and read a statement to the press about the size of the crowd at the inauguration.

His resignation came the day after the Trump administration marked its first six months in office.

"The Briefing" hits shelves on July 23, 2018.

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Mark Wilson/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) --   A federal judge scolded former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort Monday for his alleged role in the crafting of a recently-published opinion piece in a Ukrainian newspaper designed to burnish his image.

Judge Amy Berman Jackson warned Manafort that her prior gag order “applies to you and not just your lawyer," but took no further action on the matter.

After thanking the judge, Manafort's lawyer Kevin Downing took the opportunity — in a courtroom full of reporters — to take issue with “a torrent of negative press” against his client that “keeps rolling out again and again,” asking Jackson, “What is it we do” to counter that?

Jackson refused to give “advice,” on the situation, noting that "negative press" was also spreading about the prosecution, which was not raising complaints about it.

She further essentially accepted the defense’s previously-filed argument that any potential jury pool would be drawn from Washington, D.C. and not Eastern Europe, so no jury pool would be tainted — one of the underlying reasons for the Nov. 8 gag order. But the judge noted that the op-ed is “out there” on the internet and therefore widely available and easily shared on “Facebook, Twitter, or a blog.”

The judge warned all parties against any further efforts “to circumvent and evade” the gag order.

The prosecution, which accused Manafort of heavily editing the article, had previously argued that the collaboration was with an individual “assessed to have ties” to Russian intelligence, but there was no mention of that relationship at the hour-long status hearing on Monday at U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

Manafort, 68, and his long-time associate Rick Gates, 45, have both pleaded not guilty to charges filed Oct. 30.

Both Manafort and Gates have, through their attorneys, argued to be released from house arrest with GPS monitoring, but Jackson was still trying to evaluate Monday the properties and other sureties that each defendant is offering to back their individual bonds — $10 million for Manafort and $5 million for Gates.

An exasperated Downing said, “We just want this thing to get done,” adding that with such strict conditions on his confinement, “It’s been real difficult for Mr. Manafort to make a living.”

Downing then took another opportunity to defend his client, in broader terms, saying, with arms outstretched, “Some of the charges in this case, we just don’t get it. We just see it as failing to file some paperwork.”

Jackson, with an amused expression on her face, was unfazed as she asked questions about Manafort’s future plans for residency. No decisions were made on Monday regarding home confinement.

The judge made it clear both defendants would have to report their future whereabouts under any modified release terms, “even when the FBI is following you everywhere you go.”

Despite the seriousness of the proceedings, the judge injected a bit of levity saying of Gates, who has yet to prove the value of his assets backing his bond, the court wants “to get out of the business of monitoring soccer practice.”

Gates is the father of young children and has recently taken on coaching duties for one of his children’s teams. Without his bond being verified as secure, each time he wishes to leave his home, he must obtain permission from the judge.

The next status hearing is scheduled for Jan. 16.

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Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) --   In an attempt to capitalize on college football-crazed Alabamians, a liberal super PAC is urging voters in the state to write-in the names of the head coaches of the University of Alabama and Auburn University football teams in Tuesday's closely watched U.S. Senate special election.

The group, American Bridge 21st Century, is releasing two, 15-second Facebook advertisements specifically targeting Republican voters, telling them to write-in Nick Saban, Alabama's head coach, or Gus Malzahn, Auburn's head coach.

Representatives from the University of Alabama and Auburn did not respond to ABC News’ request for comment.

While Trump won the state of Alabama by nearly 30 points in the 2016 elections, Democrats are hoping their candidate, Doug Jones, a former U.S. attorney, can pull off an upset in the wake of allegations of sexual misconduct against Republican nominee Roy Moore, a former judge.

Moore faces multiple allegations of sexual misconduct with women when they were in their teens and he was in his 30s. Moore has denied the allegations.

"Roy Moore's disgraceful actions make him unfit for public service. Alabama voters have a chance to stand up for moral values on Tuesday, and as Coach Saban says, 'Character is what you do when no one else is watching,'" American Bridge President Bradley Beychock said in a statement released Monday.

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Joe Raedle/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) --  Alabama voters head to the polls Tuesday to elect a U.S. Senator in a race thrust into the national spotlight after allegations of sexual misconduct against the Republican nominee, former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore.

The state has not elected a Democrat to the U.S. Senate since 1992, but Moore is locked in a tight race with his Democratic opponent, Doug Jones, a former U.S. attorney.

Moore faces allegations from eight women who have accused him of sexual misconduct toward them when he was in his 30s and, in some cases, when the women were in their teens. Moore has denied the allegations.

Prior to the allegations surfacing last month, Moore already had a long-standing reputation as a fierce defender of Christianity in the public sphere, and was twice removed from his position as Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court for violating judicial orders.

The race has created a wedge between many Republicans on Capitol Hill, who have maintained that Moore should step aside, and President Donald Trump, who has endorsed Moore.

While he has not campaigned in Alabama, Trump urged Alabama voters to support Moore at a weekend rally in Pensacola, Florida, roughly 20 miles from the Alabama state line and close enough to be seen in the Alabama media market.

The president also recorded a robocall over the weekend urging Alabama voters to back Moore.

"Roy Moore is the guy we need to pass our 'Make America Great Again' agenda," Trump said on the call. "Roy is a conservative who will help me steer this country back on track after eight years of the Obama disaster. Get out and vote for Roy Moore," Trump said.

Trump also has argued that Moore has consistently denied the allegations as part of his rationale for endorsing him.

National Republicans, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., have called on Moore to step aside in the wake of the sexual misconduct allegations, but Moore has remained defiant. Republican senators from Jeff Flake of Arizona to Lindsey Graham of South Carolina have maintained that Moore is not fit to serve in the U.S. Senate, and Flake went as far as donating $100 to the Jones campaign.

Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., the head of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, has maintained that even if Moore should win the election he should be expelled from the United States Senate.

Alabama's senior senator, Republican Richard Shelby, has been particularly outspoken about not backing Moore.

"I wouldn't vote for Roy Moore. I think the Republican Party can do better," Shelby said Sunday on CNN.

But despite the allegations and widespread backlash against Moore, Jones still faces an uphill battle in a state that President Trump won by over 20 points in 2016.

Moore has strongly embraced President Trump, and has tried to paint Jones, who was appointed as a U.S. attorney by Bill Clinton in 1997, as too liberal on issues such as illegal immigration, abortion and same-sex marriage.

Jones has pitched himself as someone who can reach across party lines, and has run a campaign focused on turning out African-American voters as well as Alabama Republicans skeptical of Moore both before and after the allegations of sexual misconduct surfaced.

This past weekend Jones campaigned across the state with numerous high-profile African-American politicians, including Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., and Alabama's only Democrat in the House, Rep. Terri Sewell, D-Ala.

Jones also has also saved his fiercest attacks on Moore for the final weeks of the campaign.

“I damn sure believe that I have done my part to ensure that men who hurt little girls should go to jail and not the U.S. Senate," Jones said at a campaign rally in Birmingham last week.

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Monica Schipper/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Three women who have previously accused President Donald Trump of sexual misconduct or harassment in the years prior to his election are calling for Congress to investigate the allegations against him following a week in which three U.S. senators and congressional representatives stepped down over similar claims.

Rachel Crooks, Jessica Leeds and Samantha Holvey appeared at a news conference Monday.

“I ask that Congress put aside their party affiliations and investigate Mr. Trump's history of sexual misconduct," Crooks said.

Crooks alleged that Trump "has escaped his past unscathed, but over a dozen women have come forward about his sexual misconduct, and we have video proof of him promoting such behavior," referring to the Access Hollywood video from 2005.

"In an objective setting, without question a person with this record would have entered the graveyard of political aspirations never to return. Yet, here we are with that man as president," Crooks said.

Trump has denied allegations of sexual harassment or misconduct. He apologized last year for his comments recorded on the Access Hollywood video.

Asked about the women's claims Monday afternoon, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders repeated the president's denials and added that the White House felt the "allegations have been answered" through last year's election, given that Trump was victorious even after the public was aware of the accusations.

The three women appeared earlier Monday on the NBC's "Today" show, where host Megyn Kelly read a statement from the White House in response to the women's allegations.

“These false claims, totally disputed in most cases by eyewitness accounts, were addressed at length during last year’s campaign, and the American people voiced their judgment by delivering a decisive victory," the White House statement said. "The timing and absurdity of these false claims speaks volumes and the publicity tour that has begun only further confirms the political motives behind them."

Crooks first made her allegations in an article in The New York Times in October 2016. She said that in 2005 when she was a 22-year-old receptionist at a real estate investment and development company in Trump Tower in Manhattan, she encountered Mr. Trump outside an elevator in the building one morning.

She said she knew her company did business with Trump, so she introduced herself and they shook hands. But, she told the Times, Trump would not let go and began kissing her cheeks. Then, he “kissed me directly on the mouth,” she said.

“I was so upset that he thought I was so insignificant that he could do that,” Crooks told the Times.

Crooks said at the news conference Monday, “I was shocked. Devastated. It happened so fast."

Leeds, who also first went public in the Times article in October 2016, alleges that Trump groped her during the late 1970s while she was traveling first class on an airplane. Leeds was a traveling salesperson in her 30s at the time.

“They served a meal, and after the meal was cleared, all of a sudden, he’s all over me - kissing and groping and groping and kissing,” Leeds said on the "Today" show.

Leeds also told NBC on Monday that three years after the alleged incident on the airplane, she moved to New York City and ran into Trump while she was working at a fundraiser gala. Leeds claims Trump recognized her as the woman on the plane and, using a profanity, “called me the worst name ever.”

“It was shocking. It was like a bucket of cold water being thrown over me,” Leeds said of the alleged interaction with the president.

Leeds said in the NBC interview Monday that she chose not to tell anyone about the alleged incidents with Trump until he was running for president.

“I wanted people to know what kind of person Trump really is,” Leeds said.

Holvey, a former Miss USA pageant contestant, also went public with her allegations in October 2016 in an interview with CNN.

Holvey was the 2006 Miss North Carolina in the pageant that year, she told CNN. During an event in New York City in the month before the pageant, Trump personally inspected each of the contestants, she alleged.

"He would step in front of each girl and look you over from head to toe like we were just meat, we were just sexual objects, that we were not people," Holvey told CNN. "You know when a gross guy at the bar is checking you out? It's that feeling."

Monday on the "Today" show, Holvey said that after going public with her story it "heartbreaking" to see Trump win the election.

“We’re private citizens, and for us to put ourselves out there to try and show America who this man is and especially how he views women and for them to say ‘Meh, we don’t care.’ It hurt.” Holvey said.

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Joe Raedle/Getty Images(BIRMINGHAM, Ala.) -- Two days before Alabama's special election, Republican Senate candidate Judge Roy Moore kept a low profile, not holding campaign events or making any public appearances, other than an interview with "The Voice of Alabama Politics."

In the interview, Moore again denied the allegations of sexual misconduct against him, and said that he did not know the women who have accused him of sexual assault or molestation.

"I did not know them. I had no encounter with them. I never molested anyone," Moore said about two of the women who have leveled the most serious accusations against him.

Moore, 70, has been accused by eight women of actions ranging from inappropriate behavior to sexual assault when he was in his 30s and, in most of the cases, the women were in their teens. He has denied the allegations.

"These allegations are completely false," he said. "I did not date underaged women, I did not molest anyone. So these allegations are false.”

He blamed the allegations on the "scheme of political parties today."

"They know I've stood for moral values and so they're attacking me in that area," he said. "It's done for political purposes."

The Republican candidate has not made many public appearances this weekend leading into election day, despite facing a tight race against Democrat Doug Jones.

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ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- The only Democratic congresswoman from Alabama said voting for Republican Roy Moore "will only take us backwards."

"I really hope that the people of Alabama realize this election is about the soul of this nation and the soul of Alabama," Rep. Terri Sewell told This Week co-anchor Martha Raddatz on Sunday.

"We who have been proud Alabamians know that we have been trying to overcome our painful past, and this candidate will only take us backwards and harken us back to the days of segregation," Sewell said.

The congresswoman is campaigning for Democratic candidate Doug Jones for the special election Tuesday for U.S. Senate.

Moore, 70, has been accused by eight women of actions ranging from inappropriate behavior to sexual assault when he was in his 30s and, in most of the cases, when the women were in their teens. Moore has denied the allegations.

Sewell said many Republicans in Alabama are focused on winning the seat for their party and are ignoring the allegations against the GOP candidate.

"At the end of the day, they’re putting party before people, party before principle," she told Raddatz.

Sewell added that she believes Alabama voters will "see through this" and vote for Jones.

"The people of Alabama deserve a senator whose character and integrity and veracity won’t be in question day one in the United States Senate," she said. "When Roy Moore, if he should win, goes to Washington, we will always be questioning his character."



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ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- The top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee said he agreed with President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital but that the announcement should have been handled with greater diplomacy and as a way to advance the Middle East peace process.

"We’ve seen this in so many places of the world -- that Mr. Trump has no appreciation for diplomacy," Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., said to This Week co-anchor Martha Raddatz on Sunday. "I think the president is damaging our national security and standing in the world for his inability to use diplomacy in the right way."

Trump on Tuesday recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and initiated the process of moving the U.S. embassy there from Tel Aviv.

Arab leaders in the Middle East and others, including Pope Francis and French President Emmanuel Macron, spoke out against Trump's decision.

"There was a right way of doing this," Cardin said. "It should have been done in a way to advance the peace process for a two-state solution. Instead, the president just made the announcement and did not take advantage of that, in regards to the Israelis, and offered the Palestinians very little."

"He did not really try to move forward on the peace process," the senator said.


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ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- With the highly anticipated Alabama special election just days away, a top aide for embattled GOP candidate Roy Moore is confident he'll win and that he won't face a Senate ethics investigation when he gets to Washington.

"Judge Moore's going to go to Washington, Judge Moore is going to win, and I highly doubt there's going to be a Senate investigation," Roy Moore's chief political strategist, Dean Young, told This Week co-anchor Martha Raddatz on Sunday.

If there is a Senate probe, Young said Judge Moore is "going to be found telling the truth, just like he always has, and he will win. The stakes couldn't be higher for Alabama."

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters last week that he expects Moore will face a Senate ethics probe if he wins.

“If he were to be elected, I think he would immediately have an issue with the Ethics Committee, which they would take up,” McConnell said.

Young, the Moore strategist, cast the Senate election Tuesday in Alabama as a referendum on President Donald Trump.

"This is Donald Trump on trial in Alabama," Young said on This Week. "If the people of Alabama vote for this liberal Democrat, Doug Jones, then they’re voting against the president, who they put in office."

"It's ground zero for President Donald Trump," Young added. "If they can beat him, they can beat his agenda, because Judge Moore stands with Donald Trump and his agenda."

Trump gave a full-throated endorsement of Moore in a rally Friday in Pensacola, Florida, just 20 miles from the Alabama border.

Moore, 70, has been accused by eight women of actions ranging from inappropriate behavior to sexual assault when he was in his 30s and, in most of the cases, when the women were in their teens. Moore has denied the allegations.



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Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Newly unsealed court documents reveal August 2016 emails between former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort and his former deputy Rick Gates in the days after Manafort left the Trump campaign, discussing a "press strategy" to defend himself after his departure.

The emails, attached to a prosecution filing opposing Manafort’s request to alter his bail conditions entered Friday in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, include correspondence between Manafort and Gates from August 21, 2016, two days after Manafort resigned.

That email outlines three "main attacks" in the strategy: "1. Cash ledger 2. Fara (redacted) 3. Russia."

Manafort and Gates charged in October with, among other charges, making false or misleading statements on Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) filings and acting as unregistered agents of a foreign principal (Ukraine).

Another email, dated September 5, 2016, from Gates to Manafort, contains a strategy memo titled "Outline of Issues." The document includes a section about "PJM work in Ukraine" with the first points being "1. Never worked in Russia or for Russians," and "2. Work was centered on pro-Ukraine efforts to enter into the EU."

The memo also included a section about "PJM work in other countries" and the "need to beat back the idea that this was nefarious work." The memo referred to the work as being "on behalf of the US government" and "in support and promotion of pro-democratic values around the world."

Manafort, in an earlier filing, had requested that his restrictive house-arrest conditions be relaxed.

The special counsel shot back in a filing last Monday that alleged Manafort defied the court's strict gag order "requiring all interested parties, in particular, counsel for both sides, to refrain from making further statements to the media or in public settings that are substantially likely to have a materially prejudicial effect on this case." Manafort, the government alleged, worked with a Russian associate to draft an op-ed that was published in the Kyiv Post in hopes of influencing public opinion.

After Manafort's attorneys replied on Thursday, the government responded late Friday, saying Manafort's conduct "raises serious concerns about his trustworthiness" that warrant denial of his request for a relaxed conditions of release.

The court also unsealed a declaration from FBI Special Agent Brock W. Domin, which contained a detailed accounting of Manafort’s revisions to the op-ed, which was published Thursday under the byline of Oleg Voloshin, the former spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine.

Prosecutors had filed the declaration and its attachments under seal to prevent the draft op-ed from becoming public, but prosecutors suggested the declaration could be unsealed since the potentially prejudicial material had been made public.

The government asked that Manafort’s bail conditions remain unchanged, saying in its opposition papers that Manafort’s conduct undermines trust in his adherence to bail conditions.

“Bail is fundamentally about trust -- whether a defendant can be trusted to appear and to abide by the conditions put in place to assure his appearance,” prosecutors wrote in the Friday filing. “Manafort cannot bring himself to state that he had a role in drafting the op-ed, although that fact is established by irrefutable evidence.”

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ABCNews.com(NEW YORK) -- Roy Moore's campaign is set to run a robocall featuring the voice of President Donald Trump, in what would be Trump's most direct involvement with Moore's campaign efforts to date.

Alabama voters will begin receiving calls with the president's endorsement starting Sunday, according to a Moore campaign official.

"We need Roy voting for us and stopping illegal immigration and crime, rebuilding a stronger military and protecting the Second Amendment and our pro-life values," Trump's voice is heard saying in a version of the robocall played for ABC News. "But if Alabama elects liberal Democrat Doug Jones, all of our progress will be stopped full.

"Roy Moore is the guy we need to pass our 'Make America Great Again' agenda," Trump adds.

The helping hand will come just two days after Trump's campaign rally in Pensacola, Florida, less than 20 miles from the Alabama state border. Trump polled the audience for attendees who crossed the state line to see his rally, and urged voters to "get out and vote for Roy Moore."

"The President has recorded a robocall for Roy Moore’s Senate campaign," White House deputy press secretary Raj Shah said in a statement Saturday.

A White House official separately confirmed the authenticity of the audio to ABC News.

Moore is facing allegations from multiple women of sexual misconduct committed against them decades ago, some of whom claim they were pursued by Moore as teenagers. One of the women alleges he initiated sexual contact when she was 14.

Moore has repeatedly denied the allegations and dismissed them as politically motivated attacks.

Voters will take to the polls Tuesday in the Alabama special election when Moore faces off against Democratic candidate Doug Jones.

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Carolyn Van Houten/The Washington Post/Getty Images(JACKSON, Miss.) -- The head of the NAACP and two black congressmen, including prominent civil rights leader John Lewis, say they were not present for Saturday's opening of the nation's newest civil rights museum because President Donald Trump was there.

“We take this stand out of respect for our heroes and ancestors who, often at the cost of their lives, paved the way for the ending of segregation and racial discrimination in Mississippi,” NAACP President Derrick Johnson said in a statement Saturday. “We honor that legacy by speaking truth to power and calling out this administration’s divisive policies and its pullback from civil rights enforcement.”

Instead of attending the opening of the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum in Jackson, Johnson held a "separate event" with local leaders at the Smith Robertson Museum in the state capital to "pay homage to those who have dedicated their lives to the civil rights of Mississippians, without the presence of President Donald Trump," according to a press release.

Lewis, a Democratic congressman from Georgia, and Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., released a joint statement Thursday announcing their decision to skip Saturday's museum's opening, also citing Trump's attendance.

“After careful consideration and conversations with church leaders, elected officials, civil rights activists, and many citizens of our congressional districts, we have decided not to attend or participate in the opening of the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum," the congressmen said in the statement.

“President Trump’s attendance and his hurtful policies are an insult to the people portrayed in this civil rights museum. The struggles represented in this museum exemplify the truth of what really happened in Mississippi. President Trump’s disparaging comments about women, the disabled, immigrants, and National Football League players disrespect the efforts of Fannie Lou Hamer, Aaron Henry, Medgar Evers, Robert Clark, James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, Michael Schwerner, and countless others who have given their all for Mississippi to be a better place."

“After President Trump departs, we encourage all Mississippians and Americans to visit this historic civil rights museum," the congressmen added.

Jackson Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba was among the elected officials who attended the competing press conference during Trump's visit to the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum.

“It is my appreciation of martyrs both known and unknown that will not allow me to share the stage with a president who does not have a containing commitment to civil rights," Lumumba said at the press conference. “Mr. President, we don’t need you to tell us what civil rights means in Mississippi."

Dozens of protesters, some holding signs that read "Love Trumps Hate" and "Trump Trounces on Civil Rights," gathered outside the state-sponsored museum as the president arrived in Jackson for a private tour of the facility's exhibits.

Although his attendance was deemed controversial by civil rights leaders such as Lewis, Trump veered from any confrontation in his brief remarks inside the museum after the viewing.

"The civil rights museum records the oppression, cruelty and injustice inflicted on the African-American community, the fight to bring down Jim Crow and end segregation, to gain the right to vote and to achieve the sacred birthright of equality," he said at the museum. "And it’s big stuff. That’s big stuff."

Trump spoke broadly of the "heroes" of the American civil rights movement, without making a direct mention of Lewis. He also praised Martin Luther King Jr., describing him as a "man who I've studied and watched and admired for my entire life."

"Here, we memorialize the brave men and women who struggled to sacrifice, and sacrifice so much, so that others might live in freedom," Trump said. "Today, we pay solemn tribute to our heroes of the past and dedicate ourselves to build a future of freedom, equality, justice and peace."

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Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call(WASHINGTON) -- After Special Counsel Robert Mueller removed a senior FBI agent from his team for allegedly expressing potentially anti-Trump views, a veteran FBI official briefly involved in the launch of the agency's probe into Hillary Clinton's private email server has stepped in to join Mueller’s ranks, ABC News has learned.

Agent David Archey is described by colleagues as a utility man of sorts within the FBI.

The FBI later told ABC News he played a fleeting administrative role in the initial opening of the Clinton-related probe. He quietly joined Mueller’s team over the summer, according to sources with knowledge of the matter.

While Archey’s exact role within the Special Counsel’s office remains unclear, some in FBI circles believe he was sent there to replace Peter Strzok, who was brought onboard by Mueller to help manage the far-reaching investigation but removed in early summer. Others questioned whether Archey’s enlistment had anything to do with Strzok.

The Justice Department’s inspector general, looking into an array of FBI actions tied to last year’s election, found text messages from last year sent by Strzok that could be interpreted as critical of Donald Trump, sources told ABC News.

“Immediately upon learning of the allegations, the Special Counsel’s Office removed Peter Strzok from the investigation,” Mueller spokesman Peter Carr said in a recent statement.

Trump seized on the news, saying in a tweet on Sunday that the FBI’s “reputation is in tatters.”

During a House hearing on Thursday with FBI Director Chris Wray, Republicans similarly used Strzok’s situation to question the integrity of federal investigations, including the probe being led by Mueller -- a Republican himself who was appointed special counsel by a Trump nominee.

Strzok has spent much of his law enforcement career working counterintelligence cases, and he has been widely praised by federal law enforcement officials who spoke with ABC News.

He reportedly left Mueller’s team in late July and is now working for the FBI's human resources division. At the time of Strzok’s departure, Archey was serving as the acting head of the FBI’s field office in Birmingham, Alabama.

Archey is “very seasoned and smart,” one source who’s worked alongside Archey told ABC News. The limited public profile offered of Archey reflects a low-key man who has repeatedly been asked to temporarily step into vacancies within his own agency.

For a brief period in 2015, he served as the acting deputy assistant director of the FBI’s counterintelligence division at headquarters in Washington. According to documents released by the FBI, he was one of a small group of senior FBI officials who -- on the day that the FBI launched its criminal probe into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server as secretary of state -- approved the move. He was not otherwise involved in the FBI’s investigation related to Clinton.

“Whether they are elected or appointed, public officials are servants of the public's interest,” Archey said in a press release, unrelated to Clinton, during his time in Alabama. “While the vast majority of public officials are honest, those who are not should know that there is no acceptable level of corruption, and my office is dedicated to rooting out corruption at every level.”

Even amid the public spectacle that has engulfed Mueller’s investigation -- with reporters and photographers chasing prosecutors and others around the nation’s capital -- the FBI agents behind the sprawling probe have largely remained unseen and unsung.

But with every charge brought by Mueller, an FBI agent working on the case is identified in open court, offering the public another peek at the team of FBI agents working for the special counsel.

When former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort and his deputy, Rick Gates, appeared in court for the first time to face money-laundering charges, prosecutors were accompanied by FBI agent Omer Meisel.

Meisel has known Mueller’s top prosecutor, Andrew Weissmann, for several years.

In 2002, after focusing on fraud, insider trading and money laundering from the FBI’s San Francisco field office, Meisel was assigned to the FBI task force created to investigate the collapse of energy giant Enron. Weissmann was the lead prosecutor on the case.

Each member of the Enron Task Force was “uniquely skilled at drilling deep into balance sheets and following the money,” the FBI said in a 2006 summary of the investigation, which lasted five years. It added that their job was “to learn how company officials perpetrated fraud on such a grand scale, build a strong criminal case, and hold accountable those responsible.”

Ultimately, top Enron officials were convicted of federal fraud charges and 16 others pleaded guilty to their roles in what the FBI called a “sham accounting” scheme. At the time, it was “the largest and most complex white-collar investigation in FBI history,” according to the FBI.

When Trump’s former national security, Michael Flynn, admitted in court last week that he lied to FBI agents about his contacts with the Russian government, prosecutors in that case were accompanied by FBI agent William Barnett.

Little is publicly known about Barnett.

Before leaving Mueller’s team, however, Strzok had become well-known among reporters covering the FBI.

As chief of the FBI's counterespionage section last year, he helped oversee the FBI's investigation into Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server, and he took part in the bureau's interview of her.

Within weeks of the end of the Clinton probe, Strzok found his office facing a new challenge: investigating Russia's alleged efforts to influence last year's presidential election, including hacking of Democratic National Committee computers.


During the congressional hearing Thursday, Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee repeatedly pressed FBI Director Wray about Strzok and questioned whether Mueller’s investigators could be fair and impartial.

“We do not know the magnitude of this insider bias on Mr. Mueller’s team,” the committee’s chairman, Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Virginia, said. “One thing is clear though: It is absolutely unacceptable for FBI employees to permit their own political predilections to contaminate any investigation.”

Wray balked at such comments.

“Congressman, there is no shortage of opinions out there,” Wray said. “What I can tell you is that the FBI that I see is tens of thousands of agents and analysts and staff working their tails off to keep Americans safe from the next terrorist attack, gang violence, child predators, spies from Russia, China, North Korea and Iran. The FBI that I see is tens of thousands of brave men and women who are working as hard as they can to keep people that they will never know safe from harm."

Wray noted that the Justice Department’s “outside” and “independent” inspector general is currently looking into allegations related to Strzok and others.

“And when that independent fact-finding is complete, we will hold our folks accountable if that’s appropriate,” he said.

At the hearing Thursday, Republicans also raised concern that Strzok played a key role in then-FBI Director James Comey’s remarks last year announcing that Hillary Clinton would not face charges for her use of a private email server as secretary of state.

After coming to the conclusion that Clinton bore no criminal responsibility, Comey had planned to describe Clinton’s actions as “grossly negligent,” but based on Strzok’s recommendation, he changed the phrase to “extremely careless,” according to sources with knowledge of the matter.

U.S. law makes such “gross negligence” a federal crime, “but I believe also that almost anybody who grabbed a thesaurus would say that ‘gross negligence’ and ‘extremely careless’ are pretty darn close to each other,” Wray told lawmakers.

A spokesman for the Special Counsel’s office declined to comment for this article. An FBI spokesman also declined comment.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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