Donald Trump, Mike Pence seem to disagree on accepting election results

Mike Pence says he and Donald Trump will accept the election results on Nov. 8
(Image credit: NBC News/YouTube)

On Sunday morning's Meet the Press, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence (R) said that he and his running mate, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, "will absolutely accept the result of the election." NBC's Chuck Todd had asked him the question because Trump has been increasingly alleging, without proof, that the election is being "rigged" against him by the media and "Crooked Hillary" Clinton, by Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim, or by "international banks" secretly plotting with Clinton for "the destruction of global sovereignty."

Pence said that while he and Trump will accept the results, "the American people are tired of the obvious bias in the national media, that's where this sense of a rigged election goes here, Chuck." Look, he repeated, "we'll fight our way through to Nov. 8 and we'll accept the will of the American people," and he reiterated that a third time after Todd asked him: "Governor, you keep saying 'rigged election.' Are you concerned the more you say it, the more you actually undermine our democracy unintentionally?"

Not long after that interview aired, Donald Trump seemed to disagree, tweeting out: "The election is absolutely being rigged by the dishonest and distorted media pushing Crooked Hillary - but also at many polling places - SAD." Arguing that a U.S. election is rigged at the ballot box, especially three weeks before the election, is not normal behavior from a presidential candidate, and Democrats aren't the only ones worried about how Trump and his supporters will react to a Trump loss, especially as he loses ground in the polls — Reuters/Ipsos currently gives Clinton more than a 95 percent chance of winning on Nov. 8, based on the electoral college.

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"Donald Trump keeps peddling the notion the vote may be rigged," Associated Press political reporter Julie Pace writes. "It's unclear whether he understands the potential damage of his words, or simply doesn't care. Trump's claim, made without evidence, undercuts the essence of American democracy, the idea that U.S. elections are free and fair, with the vanquished peacefully stepping aside for the victor." In an AP-NORC poll, only about a third of Republicans said they have a great deal or quite a bit of confidence that the votes will be counted fairly on Election Day, Pace notes. And if you have any questions about how elections are kept honest, read this 33-tweet primer from the D.C. law firm Ashby Law.

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Peter Weber

Peter Weber is a senior editor at, and has handled the editorial night shift since the website launched in 2008. A graduate of Northwestern University, Peter has worked at Facts on File and The New York Times Magazine. He speaks Spanish and Italian and plays bass and rhythm cello in an Austin rock band. Follow him on Twitter.