Republican candidate Donald Trump on Wednesday would not commit to accepting the outcome of the November 8 US presidential election if he loses, challenging a cornerstone of American democracy and sending shockwaves across the political spectrum.
Trump’s refusal, which his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton called “horrifying,” was the standout remark of their third and final debate and ratcheted up claims he has made for weeks that the election was rigged against him.
Asked by moderator Chris Wallace whether Trump would not commit to a peaceful transition of power, the businessman-turned-politician replied: “What I’m saying is that I will tell you at the time. I’ll keep you in suspense. Ok?” Trump’s statement may appeal to his anti-establishment followers, but it was unlikely to reverse opinion polls that show him losing, including in key states that will decide the election. (Where Clinton and Trump stand on key issues)