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Alabama dad criticizes Roy Moore in memory of his gay daughter

An Alabama father who said that his daughter took her life because “she didn’t want to be gay anymore” stood outside Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore’s rally in Midland City on Monday to urge people not to vote for the former judge.

>> Read more trending news

Photos from the rally showed peanut farmer and Midland City native Nathan Mathis holding a photo of his daughter in a basketball uniform. Near his feet was a sign that said in bold, bright red letters, “Please don’t vote for Roy Moore.”

“Judge Roy Moore called my daughter Patti Sue Mathis a pervert because she was gay,” the sign said. “A 32 year old Roy Moore dated teenage girls ages 14 to 17. So that makes him a pervert of the worst kind.”

Moore has been accused of sexual misconduct by multiple women who said they were teenagers when the former judge approached them. Among them is Leigh Corfman, who told AL.com she was 14 years old when Moore initiated sexual contact with her. She told the news site that they did not have intercourse, but that Moore touched her inappropriately.

Moore has denied the accusations.

Mathis told reporters Monday that he had mixed feelings about going to Moore’s rally.

“But somebody needs to speak up,” he said. “And if it’s all to no avail, so be it. It won’t be the first time I’ve done something to no avail.

“(Moore) didn’t call my daughter by name (but) he said all gay people are perverts, abominations. That’s not true. We don’t need a person like that representing us in Washington. That’s why I’m here.”

In a letter published by the Dothan Eagle in 2012, Mathis wrote that his daughter took her life on March 22, 1995, when she was 23 years old, “because she didn’t want to be gay anymore.”

“She was tired of being ridiculed and made fun of,” he wrote. “She was tired of seeing how a lot of people treat gay people.”

He said his daughter turned to him for help after she decided she no longer wanted to be gay, but he said doctors kept telling the family that she couldn’t help her sexual orientation.

“Patti had been raised by going to church at Christian Home Church of Christ, and she was there almost every time the door was open,” Mathis wrote. “Patti knew the story of Sodom, for oftentimes gay bashing was preached from the pulpit. Looking back now, I wonder how Patti must have felt, or if she even knew she was gay then. I never asked her.”

>> Related: Who is Judge Roy Moore

Mathis told reporters Monday that he didn’t blame Moore, who has made numerous anti-LGBT comments over the years, for his daughter’s death.

“I’m not suggesting that,” he said. “I was anti-gay myself. I said bad things to my daughter myself, which I regret. But I can’t take back what happened to my daughter.

“(Moore is) supposed to uphold the Constitution. The Constitution said all men are created equal. Well how is my daughter a pervert just because she was gay?”

Alabama voters go to the polls Tuesday to decide whether Moore or his rival, Democrat Doug Jones, will fill the U.S. Senate seat vacated in February by Jeff Sessions when he was sworn in as U.S. attorney general. Polls close at 7 p.m. Tuesday.

Kremlin says it views Trump tweets as ‘official statements’

President Donald Trump is a prolific user of Twitter, and his tweets are read by millions of people.

>> Read more trending news

Including Russian President Vladimir Putin, Reuters reported. 

The Russians view Trump’s tweets as an “official statement,” a Kremlin spokesman said Tuesday.

“Everything which is published from his authorized Twitter account is perceived by Moscow as his official statement,” said Putin’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov, who added that it was not his place to comment on Trump’s tweets.

Peskov also said that Putin does not use Twitter, Reuters reported.

“Naturally, (Trump’s tweets are) reported to Putin, along with other information about official statements by politicians,” Peskov said.

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee dead at 65

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, the city's first Asian-American mayor, died suddenly Tuesday morning after a heart attack, officials said in a statement. He was 65.

>> PHOTOS: Notable deaths 2017

>> Click here or scroll down for more

>> Read more trending news 

WATCH: Jimmy Kimmel holds infant son during tearful monologue about children's health care

On Monday, late-night host Jimmy Kimmel delivered an emotional monologue while holding his 7-month-old son, Billy, after taking a week off as the baby boy recovered from heart surgery.

>> Jimmy Kimmel: Senator ‘lied right to my face’ about health care

A tearful Kimmel asked lawmakers to restore the Children's Health Insurance Program, which expired two months ago.

>> Round 3: Jimmy Kimmel continues criticism of GOP’s health-care bill

"This is literally a life-and-death program for American kids," Kimmel said. "It’s always had bipartisan support, but this year, they let the money for it expire while they work on getting tax cuts for their billionaire and millionaire donors."

>> Read more trending news  

He continued: "And imagine getting that letter, literally not knowing how you will be able to afford to save your child’s life. It's not a hypothetical. About 2 million CHIP kids have serious chronic conditions. I don’t know about you, I’ve had enough of this. I don’t know what could be more disgusting than putting a tax cut that mostly goes to rich people ahead of the lives of children."

>> Watch the clip here

Kimmel's son, who was born with congenital heart disease, has had two heart surgeries and will have another at age 6, according to his show's YouTube page.

5 things to watch in Alabama's U.S. Senate election

Alabama voters head to the polls Tuesday to decide the race for U.S. Senate between Republican Roy Moore and Democrat Doug Jones, and the outcome is being closely watched across the nation.

>> Who is Judge Roy Moore?

No Democrat has been elected to the U.S. Senate from Alabama since 1992, and President Donald Trump won the state by nearly 30 percentage points. But allegations that Moore pursued sexual relationships with teenage girls when he was in his 30s have rocked the race. He’s denied the claims.

>> Who is Doug Jones, Democrat facing Roy Moore in Alabama Senate race?

Jones, a former federal prosecutor, has highlighted his opponent’s outspoken conservative views in his bid to energize the state’s Democratic base and flip suburban voters who typically vote for the GOP. Polls show a tight race, though special elections like the one Tuesday are notoriously hard to predict.

>> Read more trending news

Moore is deeply popular with the state’s evangelical voters, a powerful voting bloc that has enthusiastically supported him in past statewide votes. In the closing weeks of the race, he’s had scattered appearances in rural churches while largely relying on supporters to defend him.

Here are five things to watch with Tuesday’s vote to succeed Jeff Sessions, whose seat became open when Trump tapped him to become U.S. attorney general:

>> Trump tweets support for Roy Moore in Alabama Senate race

1. It’s a big deal. Republicans now control 52 seats in the U.S. Senate, including the one held by Luther Strange, who was appointed to fill Sessions’ seat and was soundly defeated by Moore in September. A Democratic win would mean that Republicans could only afford one “no” vote to pass a Senate measure on party lines, since Vice President Mike Pence would break a 50-50 tie. Some Republicans fear a Moore victory could be equally unsettling for the party. Moore has repeatedly called for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to step down, and he in turn has withheld his support and funding for the former judge’s campaign. And Democrats would look to tie Moore to a host of GOP candidates seeking office in the midterm elections in 2018, highlighting not only accusations that he’s a sexual predator but also his history of controversial statements.

>> WaPo: Another Roy Moore accuser comes forward with evidence of relationship

2. The bombshell allegations. Allegations against Moore of sexual misconduct involving teenagers while a prosecutor in Etowah County, Alabama, from 1977 to 1982 have threatened to upend the race. Moore has denied the allegations while claiming media outlets and Washington status quo enforcers are trying to derail his campaign. The women have stuck by their stories, and several said they are willing to testify under oath. They have left GOP voters who are concerned by the allegations in a quandary, debating between supporting a candidate accused of being a sexual predator or sending a Democrat to Washington. Some could also stay home on Tuesday or write in a candidate.

3. Alabama’s rural base. The state’s rural Republican base holds outsized sway in Alabama, where grass-roots Republicans have helped ensure that no Democrat has been elected to major statewide office since 2006. But Moore’s margins as a statewide candidate show he has underperformed other Republicans. In 2012, he narrowly won a vote for Supreme Court chief justice even as Mitt Romney carried the state by 22 percentage points. And in his 9-point victory over Strange in the primary, Moore struggled in the affluent, conservative suburbs in Birmingham and Huntsville. Moore has tried to shore up his base by crisscrossing rural areas he hopes to carry by overwhelming victories, and his advisers expect enthusiastic turnout to mark the difference in Tuesday’s vote.

4. The key to a Democratic victory. Jones must rely on a two-pronged strategy to flip the seat. He needs Alabama’s black population – a predominantly Democratic voting bloc that accounts for about 27 percent of the state – to turn out in droves. Jones, who is white, has leaned on African-American supporters, including New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, to energize black voters in populous areas like Birmingham in the closing days of the race. He has also wooed voters in Republican-leaning suburbs in the outskirts of Birmingham, Huntsville and Mobile in hopes of convincing them to vote across party lines – or not cast a ballot at all. Some suburban voters who have never cast Democratic ballots say they’ve proudly posted Jones signs in their yards.

5. How the election will affect the 2018 elections in other states. For example, although Georgia and Alabama are vastly different states, Peach State strategists are closely watching their neighbor for clues about next year’s elections in Georgia. Like in Alabama, Democrats in Georgia hope to flip independent voters in affluent suburbs who have fled to the GOP. And Republicans in both states see a path to victory through maximizing their advantage in rural areas. U.S. Rep. John Lewis, D-Atlanta, was among the black leaders enlisted to help Jones’ campaign across the state line. And Stacey Evans, a Democratic candidate for governor, has already made clear she intends to weaponize Moore’s campaign. She called on her GOP rivals to disavow Moore’s candidacy. None did so.

Trump accusers call for congressional investigation into alleged sexual misconduct

Update 3:15 p.m. Dec. 11: White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders denied the allegations levied against President Donald Trump in a news briefing Monday, telling reporters that the president has “addressed these accusations directly and denied all of these allegations.”

"The American people knew this and voted for the president, and we feel like we're ready to move forward," she said. "This took place long before he was elected to be president and the people of this country had a decisive election."

Original report: At least four women who have accused President Donald Trump of sexual harassment called on Monday for a congressional investigation into Trump’s behavior, pointing to recent investigations announced into lawmakers accused of sexual misconduct.

>> Read more trending news

Rachel Crooks, Jessica Leeds, Samantha Holvey and Lisa Boyne were among the more than a dozen women who accused Trump of sexual harassment in the run-up to last year’s election.

“They’ve investigated other Congress members, so I think it only stands fair that (Trump) be investigated as well,” Holvey said Monday at a news conference. “I think also a nonpartisan investigation is very important, not just for him but for anybody that has allegations against them. This isn’t a partisan issue. This is how women are treated every day.”

In a statement, White House officials dismissed the accusations as false and politically motivated.

>> Related: Who is accusing Trump of sexual misconduct? 

Leeds said she was motivated to speak out again in the wake of recent allegations against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein.

“In some areas, the accusations of sexual aggression were being taken seriously. People were being held accountable. Except for our president,” Leeds said. “In fact, his staff made a big point of calling us all liars.”

Earlier on Monday, Crooks, Leeds and Holvey appeared on “Megyn Kelly Today” to share their stories.

Leeds said she shared her story because she "wanted people to know what kind of person he is.” Holvey said his election despite the allegations against him made Trump’s inauguration day particularly difficult.

“It was like the entire country said, ‘Meh, we don’t care that he’s like this,’” she said.

Holvey, a former Miss USA contestant, told CNN last year that Trump inspected each woman during an event in New York City in the month before the contest. 

"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."

Crooks told The New York Times that she shook hands when she met Trump while working for a firm in Manhattan's Trump Tower in 2005. Crooks, then 22, said he wouldn't let go of her hand, kissed her cheeks, then kissed her "directly on the mouth."

>> Related: Rep. John Conyers announces retirement in wake of sexual harassment allegations

"It was so inappropriate," she told the Times. "I was so upset that he thought I was so insignificant that he could do that."

Leeds told The New York Times that Trump put his hands up her skirt after meeting her on a plane in the early 1980s.

"He was like an octopus," she said. "His hands were everywhere."

Boyne told The Huffington Post that Trump made models walk on a table during a dinner in New York in 1996.

She told the news site Trump “stuck his head right underneath their skirts” and made crude comments about their underwear and genitalia.

In a statement released Monday, White House officials called the accusations false.

“The American people voiced their judgment by delivering a decisive victory (last year),” the 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 called the White House statement “laughable.” 

“I think, if they were willing to investigate Sen. (Al) Franken, I think it’s only fair that they do the same for Trump,” Crooks said.

>> Related: Al Franken will resign amid allegations of sexual misconduct

Franken announced last week that he plans to resign in the wake of multiple allegations of sexual misconduct levied against him by several women. The Minnesota Democrat was accused of groping women as they posed for photos with him and forcibly kissing at least two women.

He is one of three lawmakers who have announced their intention to leave office in weeks amid sexual misconduct scandals.

Rep. John Conyers, the longest-serving member of Congress, submitted his resignation last week after he was accused of sexually harassing several women who worked for him. Conyers, D-Michigan, denied the allegations but said he decided to retire because of health concerns. The 88-year-old congressman was hospitalized in Michigan earlier this month.

Rep. Trent Franks, R-Arizona, said last week that he plans to resign from his seat by the end of January after the House Ethics Committee announced it was investigating allegations of sexual harassment levied against him by his former employees.

Alabama Sen. Richard Shelby 'can't vote' for Roy Moore

Sen. Richard Shelby prefers a write-in candidate for Tuesday’s special election in Alabama instead of Republican candidate Roy Moore, CNN reported.

>> Read more trending news

“I'd rather see the Republican win, but I'd rather see a Republican write-in,” Shelby told CNN on Sunday. “I couldn't vote for Roy Moore. I didn't vote for Roy Moore.”

Moore has denied accusations of pursuing sexual relationships with teenagers when he was in his 30s, CNN reported. He and Democratic candidate Doug Jones are in a virtual dead heat for the seat that was vacated when Jeff Sessions became Attorney General in President Donald Trump’s cabinet.

Shelby, a Republican, said he has no reason to doubt the women who have made the accusations and added that where there is “a lot of smoke, there's got to be some fire somewhere."

“(W)e call it a tipping point,” Shelby said. “I think, so many accusations, so many cuts, so many drip, drip, drip -- when it got to the 14-year-old’s story, that was enough for me. I said I can't vote for Roy Moore.”

WATCH: The Army-Navy national anthem in the snow was one to remember

When it came to the Army-Navy college football game on Saturday, there was no doubt what the national anthem was going to look like in terms of participation, but the addition of snow to the equation made the moment that much more memorable.

>> Watch the clip here

>> PHOTOS: Army beats Navy 14-13

The rendition by the West Point and U.S. Naval Academy glee clubs was a hit on social media, with many Twitter users saying the performance gave them "goosebumps” and “chills.”

Other commenters took the opportunity to call out the NFL players who have been kneeling in protest of racial inequality as the anthem is performed before games.

Army went on to win Saturday's game 14-13.

– The Cox Media Group National Content Desk contributed to this report.

Obama had the most-liked tweet of 2017; here's what it said

Twitter has released its end-of-year stats and revealed that former President Barack Obama had the most-liked tweet of 2017.

>> Read more trending news

His tweet, sent in August after white nationalists marched on Charlottesville, Virginia, has been liked 4.6 million times. The tweet reads, “No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin or his background or his religion,” accompanied by a picture of him looking up at a group of children.

The tweet, a portion of a quote from late South African President Nelson Mandela, was followed up by two more tweets from Obama, which finished the quote.

>> See the tweet here

 “No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin or his background or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love. For love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite,” the quote, in whole, reads.

>> Obama's Charlottesville response becomes most-liked tweet of all time

Obama’s tweet following the Charlottesville march wasn’t his only top tweet. He also took the third spot for most-liked, and the second, fifth, and eighth spots for most-retweeted tweets.

His other top tweets included his tweet to Sen. John McCain after the Arizona Republican was diagnosed with cancer; the final line of his presidential farewell address in Chicago; and his farewell after leaving the Oval Office for the last time.

Other top tweets included Ariana Grande’s tweet after the bombing at her Manchester, England, concert; LeBron James’s tweet when he called President Donald Trump a “bum"; a tweet promising to donate 6 pounds of dog food to Houston dogs affected by Hurricane Harvey for every retweet it received; another tweet asking for retweets to raise donations for Houston;, a photo from Linkin Park of its former frontman, Chester Bennington, after he committed suicide earlier this year; the number to the suicide hotline tweeted by social media star Seth Joseph; and finally, the most-retweeted tweet of the year came from 16-year-old Carter Wilkerson begging for retweets so he could win free chicken nuggets from Wendy’s for a year.

While Trump didn’t win a top spot for any of his own tweets, he was the most-tweeted-about world leader.

Al Franken will resign amid allegations of sexual misconduct

Sen. Al Franken said Thursday that he will resign "in the coming weeks" from his seat in the U.S. Senate amid growing calls for him to step down after multiple women accused him of sexual misconduct.

>> Read more trending news

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