Pence: GOP ticket will respect outcome

WASHINGTON — Mike Pence said Sunday he and Donald Trump will abide by “the will of the American people” on Election Day and suggested that Trump’s claim of a “rigged” election stems from his belief that the media are ganging up on him.

“We will absolutely accept the results of the election,” Pence said in television interviews. He said Trump’s complaint, articulated from the campaign stage and across Twitter but without evidence, reflects fatigue with “the obvious bias in the national media. That’s where the sense of a rigged election goes here.”

Not long after Pence said that, Trump partly undermined his comments.

“The election is absolutely being rigged by the dishonest and distorted media pushing Crooked Hillary — but also at many polling places,” Trump tweeted. “SAD.”

Pence’s words were the latest attempt by Trump’s surrogates to attempt to explain that some things the GOP presidential nominee has said and tweeted are not what he meant.

Much of that cleanup duty has fallen to Pence little more than three weeks before the Nov. 8 vote. Trump is struggling to shift the focus away from mounting accusations that he sexually assaulted women in ways similar to what he is recorded describing on a recently released video. Trump says all  the accusations are fabricated.

Several of Trump’s unfounded claims — such as the one Saturday that Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton was on drugs at the most recent debate and his call for drug testing before the next — also overshadowed the release over the weekend of more emails hacked from accounts of Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta.

Some showed the campaign worrying whether Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., might endorse Sen. Bernie Sanders in the party’s primary, and wrestling with how to respond to revelations about Clinton’s private email use. The emails also show aides lining up materials to respond to fresh accusations from a woman who accused Bill Clinton of raping her decades ago. The former president denied the accusation, which was never adjudicated by a criminal court.

Amid the intensity, Trump reiterated this weekend that a conspiracy is responsible for the FBI declining to prosecute Clinton for mingling private and official business on a homebrew email server so that she might compete in a fraudulent election.

“Hillary Clinton should have been prosecuted and should be in jail. Instead she is running for president in what looks like a rigged election,” Trump tweeted to his 12 million followers on Saturday.

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