He told advisers that he didn’t want the results to be seen as a referendum on him and asked if he still had a solid base of support in the state. He also questioned Wednesday if he had made the right decision and if Sen. Luther Strange — the Republican he grudgingly endorsed who went on to lose the party’s primary — could have beaten Jones in the general election…

The president himself spread the blame. He faulted his former chief strategist, Stephen K. Bannon, for selling him what one outside adviser described as “a bill of goods” in urging him to support Roy Moore, and he faulted Moore himself for being an abysmal candidate.

In the lead-up to Tuesday night, he had also groused about Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), saying he had been too aggressive in trying to push out Moore.