US Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has challenged the legitimacy of American democracy, declaring that he might not accept the results of the November 8 presidential election if there is evidence it was rigged.
“I will look at it at the time. I’m not looking at anything now,” Trump said on Wednesday night in the city of Las Vegas in Nevada during his final presidential debate with Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton.
“The media is so dishonest and so corrupt and the pile-on is so amazing, The New York Times wrote an article about it. They don’t even care, it’s so dishonest, they’ve poisoned the minds of the voters, but unfortunately for them, I think the voters are seeing through it,” he added.
Trump said that Clinton “shouldn’t have even been allowed to run” for the White House. “It’s crooked — she’s — 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, because she should never…she should never have been allowed to run for the presidency based on what she did with emails and so many other things.”
Clinton shot back at Trump, describing his stand as “horrifying”. She went on to assert that accepting the results of an election is fundamental to American democracy.
“This is how Donald thinks, it’s funny, but it’s really troubling. That is not the way our democracy works,” Clinton stated.
“He is denigrating. He is talking down our democracy. I am appalled,” she said.
“I am appalled that someone who is the nominee of one of our two major parties would take that position,” continued Clinton, who according to leaked WikiLeaks emails, stole the Democratic nomination from Senator Bernie Sanders.
The whistleblowing website has published thousands of hacked emails belonging to the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and some of Clinton’s aides.
The emails revealed that the DNC undermined the primary campaign of Sanders and helped Clinton clinch the nomination.
Over the last week, Trump has intensified his criticism of the American electoral system. He called the election process rigged, and said the media is colluding with Clinton in order to beat him.
He has strongly questioned the legitimacy of the US elections, saying that he believed the vote was already being “rigged” at many polling places.
According to a new poll released on Monday, 41 percent of American voters are saying the 2016 election could be “stolen” from Trump due to widespread voter fraud.
And 73 percent of Republican voters think the election could be stolen from the billionaire businessman, while 17 percent of Democrats agree with the prospect of rigging.
American writer and political commentator Stephen Lendman toldPress TV on Monday Washington has been rigging elections for nearly 200 years in order to keep anti-establishment candidates away from the White House.
He said that voter fraud in America is not a new phenomenon. “It’s a phenomenon that goes back to the early days of the Republic… I remember an article where I cited elections going back to around 1820 in America – my God almost 200 years ago! – when an election was rigged to ensure that one candidate got into office as president, and the other candidate was defeated.”
‘Trump will accept results because he’ll win’
On Sunday night, Trump’s campaign manager said if the Republican nominee defeated Clinton next month, he would accept the result of the election.
“Donald Trump will accept the results of the election because he will win the election, so they’ll be easy to accept,” Kellyanne Conway told CNN following the final debate.
American political analyst and activist Myles Hoenig told Press TV hours before the final debate that Trump has no proof that the DNC or Clinton are stealing the election from him, but “rigging elections is all-American.”
Hoenig said the establishments of both Democratic and Republican Parties are trying to silence Trump because they fear that the talk of rigging “would create chaos and mistrust of the final results.”