Donald Trump refuses to say he'll accept the results of election at final debate: "I will keep you in suspense"

For the first time ever (almost certainly), a major-party nominee won't say whether he'll accept election results

By Sophia Tesfaye

Senior Politics Editor

Published October 20, 2016 3:35AM (EDT)

Donald Trump   (Reuters/Rick Wilking)
Donald Trump (Reuters/Rick Wilking)

Along with adding Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad to the list of dictators he argues are "stronger" than U.S. President Barack Obama, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump refused to commit to conceding the upcoming election should he lose to rival Hillary Clinton.

When asked by debate moderator Chis Wallace about his recent baseless claims that the election is "rigged," Trump did not say that will accept the results of the election.

“I will look at it at the time. I'm not looking at anything now, I will look at it at the time,” Trump told the Fox News host at the third and final debate.

“What I've seen, what I've seen is so bad. First of all, the media is so dishonest and so corrupt. And the pile-on is so amazing,” Trump rambled on, before adding that the media has "poisoned the minds of voters."

Of course, the first Fox News host ever selected to moderate a presidential debate did not call out Trump when he then perpetrated voter fraud myths to evidence his claim of a "rigged" election.

“If you look at your voter rolls, you will see millions of people that are registered to vote,” Trump claimed. “Millions of people that are registered to vote that shouldn't be registered to vote.”

After refusing to vow to uphold the centuries-old U.S. tradition of peaceful transitions of power if he loses on election day, Trump then turned his target to the Democratic presidential nominee.

"She should not be allowed to run," Trump said.

For her part, Clinton got serious about Trump's unprecedented response.

“It’s funny,” Clinton said, “but it’s also very troubling.” She then called Trump’s refusal to acknowledge the legitimacy of the election results “horrifying."

"Every time Donald thinks things aren't going in his direction, he claims everything is rigged against him," Clinton said. "The FBI conducted a yearlong investigation into my emails. They found nothing. He said it was rigged. He said the Republican primary was rigged against him. He claims the court system and the federal judge is rigged against him. There was even a time when he didn't get an Emmy for his TV program three years in a row and he started tweeting that the Emmys were rigged against him."

"Should have gotten it," Trump then interrupted.

"This is a mindset. This is how Donald thinks," Clinton retorted. "That is not the way our democracy works. We've been around for 240 years. We've had free and fair elections. We've accepted the outcomes when we may not have liked them, and that is what must be expected of anyone standing on a debate stage during a general election."

By Sophia Tesfaye

Sophia Tesfaye is Salon's senior editor for news and politics, and resides in Washington, D.C. You can find her on Twitter at @SophiaTesfaye.

MORE FROM Sophia Tesfaye

Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Donald Trump Election 2016 Elections 2016 Rigged Election Video Voter Fraud Myth