Donald Trump refused to say he’d accept the election’s results if he loses, an extraordinary statement on one of the underpinnings of U.S. democracy, as one of the most unconventional U.S. presidential campaigns entered its final stretch. Hillary Clinton called the Republican nominee’s remark “horrifying” in what was one of the most dramatic moments Wednesday night in Las Vegas during their final debate before the Nov. 8 election. “I will look at it, at the time,” Trump said, as he accused the media of dishonesty and being part of rigging the election against him. “They’ve poisoned the minds of the voters, but unfortunately for them I think the voters are seeing through it.” Always the showman, Trump said he’d let Americans know his decision about accepting the results after the election. “I will tell you at the time,” he said. “I’ll keep you in suspense.” Clinton expressed shock, echoing comments made earlier this week by President Barack Obama on the importance of a peaceful transfer of power in the U.S.
“Let’s be clear about what he is saying and what that means,’’ the Democratic nominee said. “He is denigrating, he’s talking down our democracy, and I, for one, am appalled that somebody who is the nominee of one of our two major parties would take that kind of position.’’
Cases of vote fraud are rare in the U.S. and Trump has offered no evidence of widespread irregularities. Less than an hour before the debate, Trump’s running mate, Indiana Governor Mike Pence, said in a Bloomberg interview that he and Trump had “made it clear that we’ll accept the will of the American people” and expressed confidence that they would win.
But after the debate Pence shifted. He told reporters that there is fraud in some polling locations and so the nominee will “take a wait and see approach.”