HARI SREENIVASAN: On this day after the final debate, Donald Trump is at the center of a political storm again. It blew up last night with his refusal to say he’d acknowledge next month’s outcome.
DONALD TRUMP (R), Presidential Nominee: I will totally accept the results of this great and historic presidential election, if I win.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
HARI SREENIVASAN: Donald Trump in Delaware, Ohio, today, stirring the pot again on what happens if he loses.
DONALD TRUMP: Of course, I would accept a clear election result, but I would also reserve my right to contest or file a legal challenge in the case of a questionable result.
HARI SREENIVASAN: All of that after the nominee touched off a furor during his final debate with Hillary Clinton.
CHRIS WALLACE, Moderator: Are you saying you’re not prepared now to commit to that principle?
DONALD TRUMP: What I’m saying is that I will tell you at the time. I will keep you in suspense. OK?
HILLARY CLINTON (D), Presidential Nominee: Well, Chris, let me respond to that, because that’s horrifying.
HARI SREENIVASAN: Clinton went further post-debate while flying from Las Vegas early this morning.
HILLARY CLINTON: So, what he said tonight is part of his whole effort to blame somebody else for his campaign and for where he stands in this election.
HARI SREENIVASAN: Trump also got pushback from fellow Republicans, including John Thune, the number three Republican in the Senate. He said all such talk — quote — “undermines an electoral system that is a model for nations around the world.”
Another Republican senator, Bob Corker, who has campaigned with Trump, tweeted: “It is imperative that Donald Trump clearly state that he will accept the results.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell declined comment today.
And House Speaker Paul Ryan’s office said he is fully confident the states will carry out this election with integrity.
And, late today, President Obama weighed in, stumping for Clinton in Miami.
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: That is not a joking matter. No, no, no, I want everybody to pay attention here. That is dangerous, because when you try to sow the seeds of doubt in people’s minds about the legitimacy of our elections, that undermines our democracy.
HARI SREENIVASAN: Meanwhile, in New York, another woman came forward to accuse Donald Trump of groping her. Karena Virginia says it happened in New York in 1998.
And Trump today accused Clinton of political cheating. He cited a hacked e-mail that showed she was tipped about a death penalty question during a primary season town hall.
DONALD TRUMP: That is cheating at the highest level.
HARI SREENIVASAN: As for last night’s final face-off, early ratings show about 68 million Americans watched, more than the second debate, but far fewer than the first. Tonight, both candidates share a stage again, this time, at the gala Al Smith Dinner in New York.
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