Donald Trump started a rally in Delaware, Ohio (yes, you read that right), on Thursday — one day after the final presidential debate, where he wouldn’t say if he would accept the winner of the election — with this head-fake:
“Ladies and gentlemen, I want to make a major announcement today. I would like to promise and pledge to all of my voters and supporters and to all of the people of the United States, that I will totally accept the results of this great and historic presidential election…if I win.”
The line drew massive cheers from the crowd.
Trump went on to discuss under what circumstances he would accept the election results, saying, “I would accept a clear election result, but I would also reserve my right to contest or file a legal challenge in the case of a questionable result.”
The Republican nominee has maintained the conspiracy theory that the election is “rigged” and that his campaign is being derailed by a vast Clinton-run system that controls the media.
A presidential nominee threatening to not accept the election is unprecedented and drew condemnation even from Republicans loyal to Trump.