JUDY WOODRUFF: It’s three weeks to go until Election Day, just 24 hours until the last presidential debate, and charges of vote fraud and media bias are swirling.
Today, the current occupant of the White House dismissed such talk, and rebuked the candidate behind it. It was a Rose Garden welcome for the Italian prime minister, and President Obama used it to call out Donald Trump on his claims of a rigged election.
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: You start whining before the game is even over, if whenever things are going badly for you or you lose, you start blaming somebody else, then you don’t have what it takes to be in this job.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Trump shot back this afternoon in Colorado Springs.
DONALD TRUMP (R), Presidential Nominee: But they even want to try and rig the election at the polling booths, where so many cities are corrupt, and you see that. And voter fraud is all too common. And then they criticize us for saying that.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Running mate Mike Pence joined in. Visiting Republican Party offices in rural North Carolina that were firebombed over the weekend, he insisted voter fraud is a reality, and called for voters to be on the lookout.
GOV. MIKE PENCE (R), Vice Presidential Nominee: Donald Trump and I are encouraging all of our supporters around the country and frankly American, whatever their politics, to take the opportunity to be involved in a respectful way in providing accountability at our polling places.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Pence also complained of media bias and what he called scant coverage of negative news about Clinton. The latest such news involved communications between the FBI and a senior State Department official who wanted one of Clinton’s e-mails reclassified. It wasn’t.
But last night in Green Bay, Wisconsin, Trump charged there’s collusion in the Obama administration to help Clinton.
The candidate’s wife, Melania, was on CNN, claiming that the sexual assault allegations against her husband are not true.
MELANIA TRUMP, Wife of Donald Trump: I believe my husband. I believe my husband. This was all organized from the opposition.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Former “People” magazine writer Natasha Stoynoff is one of the accusers. She stated that Trump forced himself on her in 2005. And, today, the publication reported that six of her colleagues and close friends corroborate her account.
Meanwhile, Clinton remained out of the public eye today, even as poll after poll offered her good news. The Washington Post reported she has a clear advantage in the latest survey of battleground states. And a USA Today poll found 68 percent of young voters favor the Democratic nominee, to 20 percent for Trump.
All of this sets the stage for tomorrow night’s third and final encounter between the two nominees, this one in Las Vegas.