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Sunday 25 February 2018

Donald Trump fears presidential vote is 'going to be rigged'

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump (AP)
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump (AP)

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has suggested that he fears the general election "is going to be rigged".

Mr Trump, speaking in Ohio, said he felt the Democrats had fixed their primary system so Hillary Clinton could defeat Bernie Sanders.

He also claimed the Republican nomination would have been stolen from him had he not won by significant margins.

Mr Trump then asserted that November's general election may not be on the up-and-up.

"I'm afraid the election is going to be rigged, I have to be honest," the Republican nominee told a town-hall crowd in Columbus.

He said he hears "more and more" that the election may not be contested fairly.

Mr Trump did not elaborate on his contention and a request to his campaign for additional explanation was not immediately returned.

If Mr Trump were to lose in November and publicly declare the election results were bogus, he would break with general election tradition, yielding unpredictable reactions from his supporters and fellow Republicans.

Mr Trump has not been shy of asserting that the electoral process has been "rigged".

It became a frequent catchphrase of his during a low-water mark of his primary campaign this spring when forces allied with Republican rival Ted Cruz managed to pack state delegations with supporters of the Texas senator.

The celebrity businessman also asserted the Republican party had changed the delegate allocation in the Florida primary to favour a native candidate, like Jeb Bush or Marco Rubio, at Mr Trump's expense.

In recent weeks, in an effort to woo angry Sanders supporters to his campaign, Mr Trump has made the claim that the Democrats' process was also rigged.

The event in Ohio was Mr Trump's first campaign appearance since the onset of his tussle with the parents of a slain Army veteran.

He spoke for nearly an hour in Columbus but did not mention his criticism of Khizr and Ghazala Khan, Muslims whose son was killed in Iraq in 2004.

The Khans spoke out against Mr Trump and questioned his familiarity with the Constitution last week at the Democratic National Convention.

Mr Trump struck back by questioning whether Ghazala Khan had been allowed to speak. She said she is still too grief-stricken by her son's death.

Mr Trump criticised the family in an interview on Sunday and again in a pair of tweets on Monday morning.

Press Association

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