Trump re­fuses pledge to re­spect Clin­ton win

> Can­di­dates trade barbs in fi­nal pres­i­den­tial debate

The Sun (Malaysia) - - NEWS WITHOUT BORDERS -

LAS VE­GAS: Turn­ing his fi­nal pres­i­den­tial debate ap­pear­ance into an un­prece­dented as­sault on US po­lit­i­cal con­ven­tion, Don­ald Trump re­fused yes­ter­day to say that he would re­spect a Hil­lary Clin­ton vic­tory.

As the last head-to-head en­counter of the toxic 2016 cam­paign de­scended into mud-sling­ing, the Repub­li­can mogul dou­bled down on claims that his ri­val’s sup­port­ers plan to rig the vote.

And when asked whether he would com­mit to recog­nis­ing the re­sult of the Nov 8 vote no mat­ter what, the real­ity tele­vi­sion star said: “I’ll tell you at the time. I’ll keep you in sus­pense, OK?”

Clin­ton de­clared her­self “ap­palled” by what she said was an at­tack on 240 years of US democ­racy. And, quot­ing her for­mer ri­val Bernie San­ders, she called Trump the “most dan­ger­ous per­son to run for pres­i­dent in the mod­ern history of Amer­ica”.

Trump had come into the third tele­vised debate of the 2016 cam­paign in Las Ve­gas look­ing to re­store hope to his cam­paign just 20 days be­fore Elec­tion Day.

Dogged by al­le­ga­tions of sex­ual mis­con­duct, trail­ing in the polls and los­ing ground in key swing states, the 70-year-old was look­ing to cap­i­talise on his last ma­jor chance to woo wa­ver­ing vot­ers.

“The me­dia is so dis­hon­est and so cor­rupt and the pile-on is so amaz­ing,” Trump said, re­fer­ring to re­ports cit­ing women ac­cus­ing him of sex­ual as­sault, which he said were “fic­tion” and drummed up by Team Clin­ton.

He al­leged that mil­lions of fake vot­ers had been reg­is­tered and that the 68-yearold Clin­ton should not even have been al­lowed to run be­cause she mis­han­dled clas­si­fied State De­part­ment emails.

Even some Repub­li­can law­mak­ers were out­raged. Sen­a­tor Jeff Flake said Trump was “beyond the pale” and one-time pres­i­den­tial can­di­date Sen­a­tor Lind­sey Gra­ham said if Trump loses, it will be “be­cause he failed as a can­di­date”.

Democrats called on Repub­li­can lead­ers to re­pu­di­ate “Trump’s ut­ter con­tempt for our democ­racy”, as Ne­vada Sen­a­tor Harry Reid put it.

“One of our hall­marks has al­ways been we ac­cept the out­come of our elec­tions,” Clin­ton said as she flew home to New York.

The ex­tra­or­di­nary ex­change was only one of a se­ries of fe­ro­cious clashes, as the two stony-faced can­di­dates faced off from be­hind podi­ums on ev­ery­thing from im­mi­gra­tion to Syria.

At one point, Trump broke into one of Clin­ton’s re­sponses to call her “such a nasty woman”. An­other highlight of the night was when Clin­ton warned that Rus­sian Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin is root­ing for Trump in the race be­cause the Repub­li­can would be his “pup­pet”.

The can­di­dates took and left the stage without shak­ing hands. – AFP

Trump and Clin­ton fin­ish their fi­nal debate at UNLV in Las Ve­gas, Ne­vada yes­ter­day.

AFPPIX

An ac­tivist wear­ing a mask de­pict­ing Putin crouch amidst coloursmeared teddy bears dur­ing a protest Wed­nes­day in front of the chan­cellery in Ber­lin, Ger­many.

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