Donald Trump started a rally in Delaware, Ohio (yes, you read that right), on Thursday — one day after the final presidential debate, where he wouldn't say if he would accept the winner of the election — with this head-fake:
"Ladies and gentlemen, I want to make a major announcement today. 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...if I win."
The line drew massive cheers from the crowd.
Trump went on to discuss under what circumstances he would accept the election results, saying, "I would accept a clear election result, but I would also reserve my right to contest or file a legal challenge in the case of a questionable result."
The Republican nominee has maintained the conspiracy theory that the election is "rigged" and that his campaign is being derailed by a vast Clinton-run system that controls the media.
A presidential nominee threatening to not accept the election is unprecedented and drew condemnation even from Republicans loyal to Trump.
Tom Namako is the head of breaking news for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York. Contact this editor at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contact Tom Namako at email@example.com.
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