New York Daily News

Paranoid Trump: Maybe I’ll reject will of the people

Paranoid Trump won’t commit to elex result


DONALD TRUMP refused to promise he’ll participat­e in the peaceful transition of power in the final presidenti­al debate Wednesday, raising the specter that he’ll undercut America’s most crucial democratic tradition if he goes down in defeat.

“I will look at it at the time. I’m not looking at anything now. I will look at it at the time. What I’ve seen is so bad,” he said onstage in Las Vegas, repeating earlier claims of a “rigged” election before painting Clinton as a crook.

“She shouldn’t be allowed to vote. It’s crooked. 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,” he continued.

Trump refused to back down even when pressed by moderator Chris Wallace of Fox News about whether he’d adhere to the principle of the “peaceful transition of power” that is the glue of democracy.

“What I’m saying is that I will tell you at the time. I will keep you in suspense,” Trump warned.

“That’s horrifying,” Clinton responded. “He is denigratin­g, he is talking down our democracy, and I for one am appalled that someone who is the nominee of one of our two major parties would take that position.”

Clinton pointed out that “every time Donald thinks things aren’t going in his direction” he starts complainin­g about a rigged system — from his Iowa caucus loss to attacks on the judge of Mexican heritage overseeing the fraud case against Trump University all the way back to when “The Apprentice” didn’t win an Emmy.

“Should have gotten it,” he said with a smirk.

Trump has talked about a rigged system and election with increasing volume in recent days as his poll numbers have continued to nosedive, weaving dark conspiracy theories that internatio­nal bankers, the mainstream media and Clinton are conspiring to steal the election from him.

He extended that argument to the many women who have come forward to accuse him of unwanted sexual advances, suggesting that Clinton put them up to it.

“Those stories have been largely debunked. Those people, I don’t know those people,” he said. “She mentions this, which is all fiction, all fictionali­zed, probably or possibly started by her or her very sleazy campaign.”

When Clinton repeated back at Trump his recent remarks that they weren’t “attractive enough” to molest, he claimed three times “I did not say that” — allowing her to paraphrase his remarks that one “would not be my first choice.”

The number of women accusing Trump continues to grow: Attorney Gloria Allred announced in a press release as the debate closed that yet another woman will come forward Thursday.

“Donald thinks belittling women makes him bigger,” Clinton fired back. “He goes after their dignity, their self-worth. There’s not a woman anywhere who doesn’t know what that feels like.”

Trump’s stunning comments about refusing to accept the election’s results had his closest allies scrambling to spin.

“Donald Trump will accept the results of the election because he’s going to win the election,” Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway insisted on CNN just after the debate concluded.

“He’ll accept the results of the election,” retired Gen. Michael Flynn claimed during a Bloomberg interview right afterward. “What he meant was . . . he’ll accept the outcome.”

Trump started out strong, calmly talking policy and showing he’d done more debate prep than in previous rounds. But by the end, Clinton had clearly gotten under his skin once again.

“Such a nasty woman,” he sniped near the debate’s end, interrupti­ng Clinton as she discussed Social Security.

Even while talking policy, Trump generated controvers­y with his rhetoric.

His declaratio­n that “We have some bad hombres here, and we’re going to get them out” while talking about undocument­ed immigrants drew strong rebukes on social media.

The two sparred hard on Russia as well, with Trump denying that he knew Russian President

I will look at it at the time. What I’ve seen is so bad. I will keep you in suspense. DONALD TRUMP

Vladimir Putin.

“I don’t know Putin. He says nice things about me. If we got along well, that would be good,” he said after Clinton pivoted off questions about WikiLeaks emails that showed she discussed open borders in a positive light to slam the Russian government for its meddling in U.S. elections.

When Clinton said Putin liked Trump because he’d “rather have a puppet as President,” he erupted.

“No puppet. No puppet. You’re the puppet! No, you’re the puppet!” he yelled over her.

He even sought to settle a score with Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg while answering a question about future judicial appointmen­ts, blasting her “very inappropri­ate statements toward me” and claiming she’d been “forced to apologize.”

Trump and Clinton had clearly contrastin­g goals as they took the stage.

Clinton took the stage feeling strongly confident about her chances, with polls showing her with a solid lead nationally and in key swing states.

But her personal popularity remains weak, and she needed to not only dodge Trump’s grenades but give voters a positive reason to support her as she looks to try to claim a postelecti­on mandate to get anything done.

Trump has seemed more intent on explaining away what’s looking like a likely loss and settling scores with his enemies in recent days.

The pair once again didn’t shake hands as they took the stage in Las Vegas on Wednesday.

Recent polling indicates the race is all but over. Clinton has a national lead in the upper single digits in most surveys.

Traditiona­lly Republican states like Arizona and Georgia suddenly appear to be in play, while traditiona­l swing states like Virginia have fallen off the map.

Even Trump’s closest allies are bracing for a loss, with Conway saying recently that she was “mystified” Clinton wasn’t up by more.

That’s horrifying. He is denigratin­g, he is talking down our democracy, and I for one am appalled HILLARY CLINTON

 ??  ?? Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton face off in Las Vegas in contentiou­s final debate, in which the Republican claimed even the Emmys were rigged against him.
Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton face off in Las Vegas in contentiou­s final debate, in which the Republican claimed even the Emmys were rigged against him.
 ??  ??
 ??  ??
 ??  ??
 ?? GETTY ??

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United States