WASHINGTON -  US President Donald Trump said Monday he "feels badly" for his former national security advisor Michael Flynn, who pleaded guilty last week to lying to the FBI, and lamented that his former rival Hillary Clinton "lied many times" and nothing happened. Trump 's comments to reporters were the latest in a series of outbursts over the FBI's sprawling Russia probe after Flynn's guilty plea on Friday and his admission he is cooperating with investigators. "I feel badly for general Flynn. I feel very badly," Trump said before heading off on a trip to Utah. "He's led a very strong life, and I feel badly about it."

"I will say this - Hillary Clinton lied many times to the FBI. Nothing. Flynn lied, and they destroyed his life. I think it's a shame," he said, calling Flynn's treatment "unfair." Flynn, Trump 's first national security advisor, has pledged to cooperate with special counsel Robert Mueller's probe into whether members of Trump 's team colluded with covert Russian efforts to sway the 2016 US election in the Republican's favor. As part of the deal, the retired three-star general pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his conversations with Russia's ambassador to Washington during the presidential transition.

Trump lashed out at the FBI over the weekend, accusing it of bias in favor of Clinton during its election-year probe of the former secretary of state's use of a private server for classified email. The FBI declined to bring charges in that case.

Meanwhile, the US president Monday issued his most explicit endorsement to date of embattled Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore, who has been accused of sexual assault by multiple women including one who was 14-years-old at the time.

 

 

Trump had previously characterized the allegations, first reported by The Washington Post, as "very troubling" before changing tack and warning voters in Moore's home state of Alabama that a victory for his Democratic rival Doug Jones "would be a disaster!"

On Monday, he cited Democrats' opposition to his legislative agenda, including tax cuts, as reasons for his support.

"Democrats refusal to give even one vote for massive Tax Cuts is why we need Republican Roy Moore to win in Alabama," he tweeted.

"We need his vote on stopping crime, illegal immigration, Border Wall, Military, Pro Life, V.A., Judges 2nd Amendment and more. No to Jones, a Pelosi/Schumer Puppet!"

He added: "Look at your 401-k's since Election. Highest Stock Market EVER! Jobs are roaring back!" he added, referring to an employer-sponsored retirement savings plan.

Moore, a 70-year-old Christian conservative with a history of controversy stemming from his tenure on Alabama's supreme court, had been a strong favorite to win the rightwing state's special election on December 12 before the allegations broke.

Most of the allegations about Moore relate to when he was a prosecutor in his mid-30s and sought to pursue relationships with teens, according to the reports.

One of the women, Leigh Corfman, now 53, said that when she was 14 Moore took her into his house in the woods near Gadsden, Alabama, removed her shirt and pants, and fondled her over her bra and underpants.

Moore has denied the allegations and said they are politically motivated.

The race, which is being held to replace Jeff Sessions, who was named US attorney general, has national repercussions because Republicans hold only a slim 52-to-48 majority in the senate.

Allegations of sexual harassment have plagued both of America's main political parties in recent weeks.

Democrat John Conyers, a celebrated civil rights leader who is the longest-serving member of Congress, announced he was stepping down from a leadership position last month as he battles harassment claims from members of his staff.

Trump himself has been accused of misconduct by several women, ranging from groping to unwanted advances and kissing, though these did not prevent his election last year.