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Trump: I won't guarantee to accept election result

Published 20/10/2016

The two candidates will go head to head at the University of Nevada, after a tense second debate which saw Mr Trump threaten to jail Mrs Clinton if he was elected.
The two candidates will go head to head at the University of Nevada, after a tense second debate which saw Mr Trump threaten to jail Mrs Clinton if he was elected.

Donald Trump has refused to say if he will accept the result of the US presidential election if he loses, as he clashed with Hillary Clinton in their final head-to-head debate.

The candidates squared off at the University of Nevada in Las Vegas for the last time before Americans go to the polls on November 8.

Republican Mr Trump was questioned about claims he made ahead of the third debate that the election will be rigged in favour of his Democratic rival.

Asked by moderator Chris Wallace if he would accept the election result, Mr Trump replied: "I will tell you at the time. I'll keep you in suspense."

Mrs Clinton described Mr Trump's remarks as "horrifying", while the Republican National Committee said the national party would "respect the will of the people".

"Every time Donald thinks things are not going in his direction, he claims whatever it is is rigged against him," Mrs Clinton said.

"There was even at time when he didn't get an Emmy for his TV programme three years in a row and he started tweeting the Emmys were rigged against him."

In another tense exchange, Mrs Clinton branded Mr Trump a "puppet" of Russian president Vladimir Putin and challenged him to condemn Russia's suspected involvement in the hacking of emails during the election campaign.

"I don't know Putin," Mr Trump said. "He said nice things about me. If we got along well, that would be good.

"He has no respect for her. He has no respect for our president.

"We're in very serious trouble. We have a country with tremendous numbers of nuclear warheads ... 1,800 nuclear warheads and she's playing chicken."

Mr Clinton responded: "That's because he'd rather have a puppet as president of the United States".

Mr Trump replied: "No, you're the puppet."

The billionaire tycoon also addressed claims he sexually assaulted a number of women, accusing Mrs Clinton's campaign team of creating the "totally false" allegations.

"I didn't even apologise to my wife who is sitting right here because I didn't even do anything," he added.

"These women ... I think they either want fame or her campaign did it. And I think it's her campaign."

Mrs Clinton said: "Donald thinks belittling women makes him bigger. He goes after their dignity and self-worth."

In a repeat of the bitter tone of the first two debates, Mr Trump called Mrs Clinton a "nasty woman" and claimed America would be in "some mess" if she is elected.

"The only thing you have over me is experience but it's bad experience," he added.

In a discussion on immigration, Mr Trump said his desire to build a wall on the US-Mexico border was to keep out "bad hombres".

He said: "One of my first acts will be to get all of the drug lords - we have some bad, bad people in this country that have to go out ... We have some bad hombres here and we are going to get them out."

The two candidates also clashed over the rights of women to have abortion.

Mr Trump said he planned to appoint "pro-life judges" to the Supreme Court and allow individual states to determine whether abortion should be legal.

Referring to Mrs Clinton, he said: " Based on what she's saying ... you can take the baby and rip the baby out of the womb in the ninth month, on the final day, and that's unacceptable."

Mrs Clinton responded: "That's not what happens in these cases and just using that kind of scare rhetoric is just terribly unfortunate."

Among the debate audience was US president Barack Obama's half brother Malik, who was a guest of Mr Trump. He had previously told the New York Post be believed the Republican "can make America great again".

Conservative US commentator Ann Coulter told BBC Radio 4's Today programme that it was "refreshing" the debate had focused on the issues rather than on Mr Trump's "personal baggage".

"On issue after issue, he is taking the popular side," Ms Coulter told Today.

"No war, end the job-killing trade bills, bring back manufacturing, build a wall, extreme vetting for Muslim immigrants.

"A lot of that came out in the debate, which was kind of novel compared to the first two debates."

Ms Coulter said she did not believe voters would make their choice based on Mr Trump's controversial character.

"No-one is voting for Donald Trump because of his personality or his character," she said. "It is all about his issues.

"It's not like Americans looked around the country and said 'Let's run this gauche lout reality TV star'. He was the only one who would talk about these issues."

Ms Coulter argued that Mr Trump would not necessarily lose a personality battle against Mrs Clinton, who she described as a "congenital liar and a crook" who was taking an excessively belligerent stance towards Russia.

"What makes my blood run cold is Hillary wanting to start World War Three," she said.

Ms Coulter said she did not "fully trust" polls which have indicated Mrs Clinton is on track for a clear victory. Pollsters found it difficult to take account of people who have not voted in previous elections, millions of whom she expected to turn out to vote for Mr Trump, she said.

Press Association

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