Thu | Aug 17, 2017

Trump says he'll accept election results 'if I win'

Published:Friday | October 21, 2016 | 10:00 AM
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump gestures as he arrives to speak at a campaign rally at the Delaware County Fair in Delaware, Ohio, yesterday.

WASHINGTON (AP):

Donald Trump opened the door yesterday to the possibility he would contest the results of the presidential election if there is a "questionable result", teasingly promising to fully accept the outcome "if I win".

The Republican presidential nominee said he was reserving his right to "contest or file a legal challenge" if he loses. The comments came a day after he sent shockwaves through the campaign by saying in the final debate that he might not accept the results. Yet he brushed off the likelihood of that happening with a confident prediction that "we're not going to lose".

"I would like to promise and pledge to all of my voters and supporters and to all of the people of the United States that I will totally accept the results of this great and historic presidential election," Trump said. Then after letting that vow hang in the air for a few seconds, he added, "If I win".

Trump's campaign was reeling from near-universal astonishment over his refusal to commit to the time-honoured American tradition of the election's loser acceding gracefully to the winner. Trump has warned repeatedly of impending, widespread voter fraud, despite no evidence to support him and plenty of evidence to the contrary.

MAINTAINING SUSPENSE

Asked at the debate whether he would accept the outcome, Trump said: "I will tell you at the time. I will keep you in suspense."

As he entered the campaign's final stretch yesterday, Trump tried to turn the tables on Hillary Clinton by accusing her of "cheating" and questioning whether Clinton should "resign from the race".

He cited a hacked email that showed Clinton's campaign was tipped off about a question she'd be asked in a town hall meeting during the Democratic primary.

"Can you imagine if I got the questions? They would call for the re-establishment of the electric chair, do you agree?" Trump asked supporters at a rally in Ohio.