Donald Trump stunned both his supporters and the media Thursday when he said at a rally “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…” But then he added the kicker: “If I win.”
Yes, instead of calming the nerves of his campaign staff by reversing his refusal during the previous night’s debate to say whether he will accept the election results on Nov. 8, Trump did what he also does and doubled down.
Among those he almost fooled was Stephen Colbert, who told a booing audience in his monologue Thursday night, “You gotta give it to him. You really got me. For a second there, I actually believed you had a shred of integrity.”
Colbert compared Trump’s “national psych-out” to “that joke where you offer to shake someone’s hand, but when they go to shake it, you undermine our system of government.”
“How did we get to the point,” Colbert asked, “where the fate of the American experiment rests in Donald Trump’s tiny, whining, loser hands?”
“Of course 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,” Trump added in his speech. But, he added, “Bottom line, we’re going to win.”