A beleaguered Donald Trump sought to undermine the legitimacy of the presidential election on Saturday, pressing unsubstantiated claims the contest is rigged against him, vowing anew to jail Hillary Clinton if he's elected and throwing in a baseless insinuation his rival was on drugs in the last debate. Not even the country's more than two centuries of peaceful transitions of political leadership were sacrosanct as Trump accused the media and the Clinton campaign of conspiring against him to undermine a free and fair election.
Either we win the election or we lose the country. This is the last time. This is it.Trump
In a country with a history of peaceful political transition, his challenge to the election's legitimacy — as a way to explain a loss in November, should that happen — was a striking rupture of faith in American democracy. It was not the first time Trump has raised the idea the election is unfairly tilted against him but it has become a resurgent theme for the Republican nominee and many of his most ardent supporters in the past several days as he's slipped in preference polls and faced numerous allegations of sexual misconduct. House Speaker Paul Ryan, whose decision not to campaign for Trump angered the GOP nominee, made clear he does not share the candidate's concern about the election's legitimacy.
Our democracy relies on confidence in election results, and the speaker is fully confident the states will carry out this election with integrity.Ryan's press secretary AsheLee Strong