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Dec 9, 5:29 AM EST

The Latest: Trump says his agenda 'cannot afford' Moore loss

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AP Photo/Jonathan Bachman

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Latest on President Donald Trump (all times EST):

9:05 p.m.

President Donald Trump is urging voters to elect embattled Republican candidate Roy Moore in next week's Alabama Senate race in spite of sexual misconduct allegations.

Trump says at a rally in nearby Pensacola, Florida, that he needs more Republicans in the House and Senate to help him pass his agenda.

He says the GOP "cannot afford to lose a seat in the very, very close" U.S. Senate.

Trump is also blasting Moore's Democratic opponent Doug Jones, saying he would be a "total puppet" of Democratic congressional leaders Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer.

Moore is facing multiple allegations of sexual misconduct, including accusations that he molested two teenage girls and pursued romantic relationships with several others while in his 30s. He has denied the allegations.

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8:50 p.m.

President Donald Trump has an approval rating lower than any of his modern predecessors had at the same point in their presidencies, but the crowd at his campaign rally in northwest Florida offers adoring praise.

More than a half-hour into his remarks, the president has enjoyed chants of "Trump! Trump! Trump!"

Jason Kimball calls him "phenomenal." The 28-year-old drove from Tampa to wave his 2016 campaign Trump-Pence flag. He credits Trump with economic growth and bringing more order to war-torn Syria.

Navy veteran Jeff Nichols says the president is a "shot in the arm" keeping "every promise" he made to voters, the most recent being Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

Former Marine Forrest Holt says he loves the president because "he doesn't back down to anybody."

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8:30 p.m.

President Donald Trump says "there's been no year" like his first year in office as he kicks off a rally in Pensacola, Florida.

Trump is speaking in front of an enthusiastic crowd at Pensacola Bay Center, where he's touting his accomplishments in office so far and celebrating his 2016 election win.

Trump says the Republican tax bills making their way through Congress will be "great for so many," including the middle class. And he's pointing to improvements in the economy, including record stock market highs.

He says he thinks "it's going to be very hard" for anyone to beat him in a few years.

He says his pitch to voters will be simple: "With us it goes up, with them it goes down."

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7 p.m.

Supporters of President Donald Trump are lining the block outside of a Pensacola, Florida, arena ahead of his rally Friday evening, unbowed by an unseasonably cold mist and a few solitary protesters.

Many in line are keeping warm with Trump-Pence caps. Others are sticking with his signature red "Make America Great Again" hats.

The stage inside the arena is adorned with red poinsettias, along with red and green signs printed with the words "Merry Christmas" and images of trees.

A year ago, then President-elect Trump held a post-election rally in Mobile, Alabama, in front of a giant tree cut down by the mayor's office and brought to the football stadium as a backdrop. The chief of staff to Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson ended up losing his job.

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1:50 p.m.

President Donald Trump is touting statistics showing declining rates of illegal immigration to the U.S.

Presiding over the ceremonial swearing-in of Kirstjen Nielsen as secretary of homeland security, the president says "the numbers have been so incredible."

Nielsen's nomination was confirmed Monday by the Senate. Trump says, "you're going to take it to new levels."

Vice President Mike Pence administered the oath of office, with much of the West Wing senior staff joining Nielsen's family to watch.

Nielsen spoke briefly before reporters were escorted from the room, thanking acting-secretary Elaine Duke, who had filled the vacancy created when John Kelly was elevated to become Trump's chief of staff.

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10:55 a.m.

President Donald Trump is urging Alabama voters to support Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore, saying on Twitter the "LAST thing" his agenda needs is a "Liberal Democrat" in the Senate. He tweets, "VOTE ROY MOORE!"

Trump was tweeting in advance of a Friday night rally in Pensacola, Florida, near the Alabama border. The White House has said the Florida rally is a campaign event for Trump.

Trump tweets that his agenda doesn't need a Democrat in the Senate "where we have so little margin for victory already." He says Moore's Democratic opponent, Doug Jones, "would vote against us 100% of the time."

Moore has faced allegations of sexual misconduct involving teenage girls decades ago in the Dec. 12 special election against Jones.

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