(ABC News) — Speaking for the first time since the presidential debate Wednesday night, Donald Trump said he would “promise and pledge” to accept the results of the election with one major caveat: if he wins.
“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,” Trump said at his rally Thursday in Delaware, Ohio.
During last night’s showdown in Las Vegas between Trump and Hillary Clinton, the Republican nominee would not commit to accepting the election results.
“What I’m saying is that I will tell you at the time,” said Trump. “I’ll keep you in suspense, OK?”
This week the businessman and former reality TV star has revved up his argument that this year’s election is “rigged” and the result may be tipped by voter fraud.
Today Trump said, “Of course, I would accept a clear election result.”
He added, “But I would also reserve my right to contest or file a legal challenge in the case of a questionable result. Right?”
Trump called debate moderator Chris Wallace’s question to him about accepting the election results “unprecedented.”
“Hillary Clinton is the most corrupt and dishonest person ever to seek the office of the presidency,” Trump said. “So it’s in that context that I was asked a question about whether I would agree in advance to concede the results on election night if for some reason we should lose, which we’re not going to lose. And that was sort of an unprecedented question.”
Trump then pointed to the 2000 election between Al Gore and George W. Bush and the U.S. Supreme Court case Bush v. Gore, in which the justices decided, 5-4, to halt the manual recount of nearly 6 million votes in Florida.
“If Al Gore or George Bush had agreed three weeks before the election to concede the results and waive their right to a legal challenge or a recount, then there would be no Supreme Court case and no Gore v. Bush or Bush v. Gore, and there have been numerous other cases.”