Donald Trump says if he loses the presidential election to Hillary Clinton, he’d be fine with it because he’s got a lot of money and he’s the one telling the truth.
“I’m a truth teller,” the Republican nominee told CNBC on Thursday. “All I do is tell the truth. And if at the end of 90 days I fall short because I’m somewhat politically [incorrect] even though I’m supposed to be the smart one and even though I’m supposed to have a lot of good ideas, it’s OK. You know, I go back to a very good way of life.”
“It’s not what I’m looking to do,” Trump continued. “I think we’re going to have a victory, but we’ll see.”
Trump said this after being pressed on his comments the night before. At a raucous rally in Florida, he repeated and doubled down on his claim that President Obama was “founder of ISIS” and Hillary Clinton “co-founder” of the terror organization.
“ISIS is honoring President Obama,” Trump said Wednesday night. “He is the founder of ISIS … and I would say the co-founder is crooked Hillary Clinton.”
But Trump said Thursday that he wasn’t going to back off his brash claims, even if it could cause him to lose.
“Whatever happens, happens,” he said. “I’m giving it straight. I don’t know that it will work because I’m a nonpolitical person and I’m proud of that. But I’m giving it straight.”
It was not the first time the real estate mogul has considered losing. In April, Trump told a crowd in Maryland that if he didn’t win the Republican primary, “I don’t think you’re ever going to see me again, folks. I think I’ll go to Turnberry and play golf or something.”
But Trump’s latest reflection comes on the heels of several rough weeks for his campaign — marred by a string of controversies that have apparently resulted in Clinton’s rise in the polls. According to RealClearPolitics’ most recent average of national polling data, the former secretary of state has opened up an eight-point lead over Trump (48 percent to 40 percent) among likely voters. Following last month’s Republican National Convention, Trump held a one-point lead over Clinton in RCP’s poll average.
Earlier this month, Trump said he’s “afraid the election is going to be rigged” against him.
But asked about his flailing poll numbers Thursday, he shifted from fear to acceptance.
“At the end, it’s either going to work or I’m going to have a very, very nice long vacation,” he said.
— Dylan Stableford (@stableford) August 11, 2016
In an interview with Time magazine published Thursday, Trump said he has been taking the advice of GOP leaders, including Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus, to stay on message.
“I am now listening to people that are telling me to be easier, nicer, be softer,” he said. “And you know, that’s O.K., and I’m doing that. Personally, I don’t know if that’s what the country wants.”
But he’s clearly not backing off his claims about Obama and Clinton supposedly founding ISIS.
“He was the founder, absolutely,” Trump said on CNBC. “In fact, he and Hillary Clinton get the ‘Most Valuable Player’ award for creating the trouble in the United States.”
(Cover tile photo: Molly Riley/AFP)