PHOENIX — Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump said Thursday that he would accept November’s election results, but only if he wins.
“I will totally accept the results of this great and historic presidential election if I win,” he told a crowd of supporters in Delaware, Ohio.
In recent weeks, Trump has said on numerous occasions that the general election is being “rigged” to favor Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.
In the third and final presidential debate on Wednesday, Trump told moderator Chris Wallace “I will tell you at the time. I’ll keep you in suspense,” about accepting the election results.
He also said the election was rigged because Clinton should not be permitted to run.
“(Hillary) shouldn’t be allowed to run [for president]. She’s guilty of a very, very serious crime. She should not be allowed to run, and just in that respect, I say it’s rigged,” Trump said. “She should never have been allowed to run for the presidency based on what she did with emails and so many other things.”
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), who pulled his endorsement of Trump earlier this month, said in a statement that Americans should be confident in election results.
“There have been irregularities in our elections, sometimes even fraud, but never to an extent that it affected the outcome,” he said. “We should all be proud of that, and respect the decision of the majority even when we disagree with it. Especially when we disagree with it.”
Arizona State University presidential historian Brooks Simpson said this year’s election brings voting concerns that have not been seen in 150 years to the forefront of the conversation.
“Back in 1876, there was a disputed presidential election, in fact, in which Democrats in particular, who supported the candidate of New Yorker Samuel J. Tilden, actually threatened violence if the Republican candidate Rutherford B. Hayes claimed the White House, as he eventually did,” Simpson said.
“But we’ve not had anybody state prior to people voting on Election Day that they’re already getting ready to contest the results of an election, and so in this way as in many others, this election has broken new ground.”