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Trump refuses to commit to accepting election results if he loses
20 July 2020, 06:29
US President Donald Trump is refusing to say if he will accept the November election result if the polls go against him.
The President has recalled a similar threat he made weeks before the 2016 vote.
In an interview with Fox News Sunday recorded at the White House on Friday, Trump said “I’m not losing, because those are fake polls” and refused to say if he would accept the result if Biden won in November.
“I have to see,” Trump said. “I have to see. No, I’m not going to just say yes. I’m not going to say no, and I didn’t last time either.”
Four years ago, in the closing stages of Mr Trump's race against Hillary Clinton, he said he would not commit to honouring the election results if the Democrat won.
Pressed during an October 2016 debate about whether he would abide by the voters' will, Mr Trump responded that he would "keep you in suspense".
The Biden campaign responded to the president's latest remarks, saying: "The American people will decide this election. And the United States government is perfectly capable of escorting trespassers out of the White House."
Trump has seen his popularity as President erode over his handling of the coronavirus pandemic and the wave of Black Lives Matter protests which swept across the USA in the wake of the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis nearly two months ago.
He contends that a series of polls that show his popularity eroding and Mr Biden holding an advantage are faulty, saying he believes Republican voters are underrepresented in such surveys.
"First of all, I'm not losing, because those are fake polls," Mr Trump said in the recorded interview, which was broadcast on Sunday.
"They were fake in 2016 and now they're even more fake. The polls were much worse in 2016."
The president went on to describe the nation's top infectious diseases expert, Dr Anthony Fauci, as "a little bit of an alarmist" about the coronavirus pandemic and stuck to what he said back in February - that the virus was "going to disappear".
Leading Republicans were preparing to meet Donald Trump on Monday over the United States' next Covid-19 aid package as the administration baulked at calls for more virus testing money and interjected other priorities that could complicate relief plans.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was prepared to roll out the $1 trillion (£800 billion) package in a matter of days, but divisions between the Senate Republican majority and the White House posed fresh challenges.
Congress will return session this week as the coronavirus crisis many had hoped would have improved by now continues to worsen - and just as earlier federal emergency relief expires.
Mr Trump insisted again on Sunday that the virus would "disappear" - a view that did not match projections from the leading health professionals straining to halt the US's alarming caseloads and death toll.