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Trump evades debate questions on accepting election results

World

13 days ago
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Donald Trump has refused to explicitly say whether he will accept the result of November's US presidential election.

During his first debate with President Joe Biden on Thursday, Trump was asked three times whether he would accept the outcome "regardless of who wins", finally answering: “If it's a fair and legal and good election, absolutely.”

Trump lost his shot at a second presidential term to Mr Biden in the 2020 election. He has since consistently claimed that the vote was rigged against him, without providing any evidence.

During Thursday night's debate, Trump repeated these claims, and played down his role in the 6 January riot on Capitol Hill.

Mr Biden hit back, accusing Trump of “continuing to promote this lie" about the election being "stolen" from him.

The debate, hosted by CNN in Atlanta, saw Trump remain largely composed and focused, as his opponent struggled to maintain his train of thought and at times finish his sentences clearly.
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CNN moderator Dana Bash had to repeatedly ask Trump if he would accept the election results. The first time, he dodged the question by saying he wanted a fair and free election "more than anybody”.

The second time, he ignored the question and instead ranted about the war in Ukraine, saying Vladimir Putin would never have invaded if he was the US president, because "I got along with him very well... he knew not to play games".

The third time, when told to answer "yes or no", Trump finally said he "absolutely" would accept the outcome if the election was "fair and legal and good".

He then referenced the "ridiculous" fraud in the last election, for which there is no evidence. Trump's repeated claims about the 2020 vote are related to criminal charges he is currently facing, as federal prosecutors allege he pressed officials to reverse the results and knowingly spread lies about election fraud.

Trump then said it would be easier for him to just accept the results rather than have to run for president again.

“I doubt whether you’ll accept it because you’re such a whiner," Joe Biden said. "You can’t stand the loss. Something snapped in you when you lost last time.”
Trump evasive on accepting election results

Trump made several assertions during the debate that either have no evidence or are factually wrong.

On abortion, Trump turned to what he called Democratic extremism - that the party wants to "take the life of the baby in the ninth month and even after birth". He even got graphic when he said they want to "rip the baby out of the womb."

"That is simply not true," Mr Biden said.

Trump's comment stems from a popular falsehood with anti-abortion activists that Democrats are in favour of a policy that allows abortions right up to birth.

When the debate turned to the 6 January riot, Trump dodged the question on what he would say to voters who are worried about his actions and inactions on that day, and that he might do it again.

Instead, he tried to turn the focus to Mr Biden, saying the US went from being respected "all over the world" to a laughing stock when the Democrat became president.

Trump insisted that he told protesters to be "peacefully patriotic".

"What they’ve done to some people that are so innocent, you ought to be ashamed of yourself," he said to Mr Biden, who criticised him for refusing to denounce the rioters.

Trump has pledged to pardon "many" of those convicted of offences over the riot, describing them as "January 6th hostages".

He also blamed the chaos on Nancy Pelosi, who was House Speaker at the time, saying he offered her 10,000 National Guard but she "turned them down".

There is no evidence that this offer was ever made, the Select Committee that investigated the insurrection found. It was also refuted by Trump's acting secretary of defence, Christopher Miller.

Also, if the offer had been made, Mrs Pelosi in her position would not have had the power to accept it anyway.

source: BBC