The Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump cast doubt on the outcome of the 8 November US presidential elections
Washington: Donald Trump’s rhetoric on the campaign trail grew even darker on Monday after a new poll was released showing him trailing Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.
Criticizing Vermont senator Bernie Sanders’ endorsement of Clinton, Trump pulled no punches.
“He made a deal with the devil. She’s the devil," Trump said of Clinton at an evening rally in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
Trump, who has come under withering criticism over his attacks on the family of the family of slain Army Captain Humayun Khan, also fired political adviser Ed Brookover on Monday. Brookover, who helped with planning for the Republican convention, confirmed his termination to Bloomberg Politics, but declined to comment further.
A CNN poll released Monday showed Clinton with a 52% to 43% lead over Trump in an head-to-head match-up taken after the Republican and Democratic conventions. Hours after the latest poll numbers were released, Trump told a crowd in Columbus, Ohio, that he worries the general election in November will be “rigged" against him, launching a fresh attack on the legitimacy of a US system his candidacy is premised on upending.
“I’m afraid the election’s gonna be rigged, I have to be honest," the Republican nominee said.
The remark comes after Trump complained about the upcoming presidential debate schedule.
“As usual, Hillary & the Dems are trying to rig the debates so 2 are up against major NFL games. Same as last time w/ Bernie. Unacceptable!" the candidate wrote on Twitter.
The debate schedule is set by the non-partisan Commission on Presidential Debates, which said in a statement that it “did not consult with any political parties or campaigns" when setting the dates.
Trump has repeatedly asserted that the Democratic primary was “rigged" against Bernie Sanders, a perception the Vermont senator fed for months before he endorsed Clinton on 12 July.
The billionaire real estate developer riled up his base during the primary by complaining regularly about a “rigged" system as his GOP foes plotted ways to stop him at the convention even while he led the field in popular votes and delegates. He further escalated his criticisms in late April when his last two rivals, Ted Cruz and John Kasich, cut a deal aimed at starving Trump of delegates.
Trump’s remarks have capitalized on a belief among conservatives that voter fraud is a rampant problem, even though studies find it to be extremely rare—31 credible cases have been identified out of one billion ballots cast from 2000 to 2014, according to one study.
The comments also play on a long-running theme that has fueled Trump’s unlikely candidacy: a growing distrust in US institutions. A Gallup survey in June found that Americans’ confidence was eroding in institutions spanning the presidency, the Supreme Court, Congress, television news, big business and organized labour.
But what Trump critics saw was an attempt to lay the groundwork to delegitimise the result of the election if he loses. It wouldn’t be the first time for him: after President Barack Obama won re-election in 2012, Trump took to Twitter to blast the result as “a total sham and a travesty." Bloomberg
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