Republican candidate Donald Trump has refused to confirm he will accept the outcome of the US election, leaving open the possibility he could challenge the ultimate result.
In the third and final presidential debate with Democratic rival Hillary Clinton, Mr Trump said he would wait to decide whether to take the unprecedented step of mounting a legal challenging if he loses.
“I will tell you at the time, I will keep you in suspense,” Mr Trump said.
— Sky News Australia (@SkyNewsAust) October 20, 2016
Ms Clinton responded: “Let’s be clear about what he is saying and what that means: He is denigrating, he is talking down our democracy and I for one am appalled that someone who is the nominee for one of our two major parties would take that position.”
— DNC Press (@dncpress) October 20, 2016
In the lead-up to the debate, Mr Trump claimed the election was being “rigged” and encouraged his supporters to monitor movements at polling stations.
At the debate, he attempted to explain his mistrust of the result, pointing the finger at “corrupt media” and the Hillary Clinton email scandal.
“If you look at your voter rolls, you will see … millions of people who are registered to vote who shouldn’t be registered to vote,” he said.
“She shouldn’t be allowed to run,” he added. “She’s guilty of a very serious crime.
“She should never have been allowed to run based on what she did with her email and so many other things.”
More substance than slander
In a fiery debate that centred more on policy than did earlier showdowns, Mr Trump accused Ms Clinton’s campaign of orchestrating a series of accusations by women who said the businessman made unwanted sexual advances against them.
Mr Trump said all of the stories were “totally false” and suggested Ms Clinton was behind the charges. He called her campaign “sleazy”.
“I think they either want fame or her campaign did it, and I think it’s her campaign,” Mr Trump said.
Ms Clinton said the women came forward after Mr Trump said in the last debate that he had never made unwanted advances on women.
In a 2005 video, Mr Trump was recorded bragging about groping women against their will.
“Donald thinks belittling women makes him bigger. He goes after their dignity, their self-worth and I don’t think there is a woman anywhere who doesn’t know what that feels like,” Ms Clinton said.
“This is a pattern. A pattern of divisiveness, of a very dark and in many ways dangerous vision of our country where he incites violence, where he applauds people who are pushing and pulling and punching at his rallies. That is not who America is,” she said.
- with AAP