This is the part of the debate that’s already getting all the attention.
â€œI will look at it at the time. I’m not looking at anything now, I will look at it at the time,â€ Trump said during the final presidential debate. â€œWhat I’ve seen, what I’ve seen is so bad. First of all, the media is so dishonest and so corrupt. And the pile-on is so amazing.â€
He then said the media has “poisoned the minds of voters.”
â€œIf you look at your voter rolls, you will see millions of people that are registered to vote,â€ he continued, claiming to cite a “Pew report.” â€œMillions of people that are registered to vote that shouldn’t be registered to vote.â€
Pressed by moderator Chris Wallace on not accepting â€œone of the prides of this countryâ€¦ the peaceful transition of power,â€ Trump said of his acceptance of the election results: â€œI will tell you at the time. I will keep you in suspense, okay?â€
Hillary Clinton called Trumpâ€™s response â€œhorrifying.â€
There are in fact a lot of dead people who are still on the nation’s registration votes. There often is a time lag between a death and a name’s removal from the registration rolls. However, instances in which dead people actually vote are quite rare.
The Trump surrogates already are trying to walk this back –Â he just meant that he would contest the election if there is evidence of fraud, they are saying. But that’s not what he said. Not just the Trump camp but every Republican in national office is going to be pushed to defend or reject what Trump said tonight. A lot of them are likely going to use this as an opportunity to sever ties to what promises to be a loss of epic proportions.
See also Josh Marshall’s postmortem.