During the final presidential debate on Wednesday night, Donald Trump refused to answer whether he would accept the election result should he end up losing.
I'll keep you in suspense. OK?
Moderator Chris Wallace addressed Trump's claims of a "rigged" election during the debate.
Mr. Trump, I want to ask you about one last question on this topic. You have been warning at rallies recently that this election is rigged and that Hillary Clinton is in the process of trying to steal it from you. Your running mate, Governor Pence, pledged on Sunday that he and you -- his words -- 'will absolutely accept the result of this election.' Today your daughter, Ivanka, said the same thing. I want to ask you here on the stage tonight: Do you make the same commitment that you will absolutely -- sir, that you will absolutely accept the result of this election?
Trump gave a very vague response,
I will look at it at the time. I'm not looking at anything now. I'll look at it at the time. 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. The New York Times actually wrote an article about it, but they don't even care. It's so dishonest. And they've poisoned the mind of the voters. But unfortunately for them, I think the voters are seeing through it. I think they're going to see through it. We'll find out on November 8. But I think they're going to see through it.
Trump then implied voter fraud is a major problem in this country (it isn't),
If you look -- excuse me, Chris -- if you look at your voter rolls, you will see millions of people that are registered to vote -- millions, this isn't coming from me -- this is coming from Pew Report and other places -- millions of people that are registered to vote that shouldn't be registered to vote. So let me just give you one other thing. So I talk about the corrupt media. I talk about the millions of people -- tell you one other thing. [Hillary Clinton] shouldn't be allowed to run. 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
Wallace, who originally wasn't going to serve as the "truth squad" in the debate, broke his promise (thankfully) and pressed Trump on his position.
Sir, there is a tradition in this country -- in fact, one of the prides of this country -- is the peaceful transition of power and that no matter how hard-fought a campaign is, that at the end of the campaign that the loser concedes to the winner. Not saying that you're necessarily going to be the loser or the winner, but that the loser concedes to the winner and that the country comes together in part for the good of the country. Are you saying you're not prepared now to commit to that principle?
Trump then offered what was arguably the shadiest answer possible,
What I'm saying is that I will tell you at the time. I'll keep you in suspense. OK?
The Republican presidential nominee is deliberately attempting to discredit America's democratic process.
On Tuesday, President Obama told Trump to "stop whining" about the outcome of an election that hasn't even ended yet.
The president stated,
I have never seen, in my lifetime or in modern political history, any presidential candidate trying to discredit the elections and the elections process before votes have even taken place. It's unprecedented. It happens to be based on no facts.
He added that Trump's demeanor, and his suggestion the election is rigged, is a sign he's not fit to be president,
You start whining before the game's even over, if whenever things are going badly for you and you lose you start blaming somebody else, then you don't have what it takes to be in this job.
The US presidential election almost always feels like a prolonged national divorce. It can be very tough, contentious and wearing on the nation.
But the president is correct; in spite of all this, there has always been a peaceful transfer of power after elections -- and Trump's behavior is dangerous to the health of our democracy.