Donald Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway said Thursday that it would be “insane” for the Republican nominee to say that he would accept the outcome of the presidential election before the results are “certified.”
“Why would [Trump] before he knows the results and their verified and they’re certified concede an election that didn’t happen yet. That’s insane,” Conway said on CNBC’s “Squawk Box.”
Trump stunned political observers at the final presidential debate for saying he would keep the American public “in suspense” over whether or not he would concede the race if he lost.
In the spin room after the debate, Conway and his other surrogates tried to draw comparisons to Al Gore, who accepted a recount in Florida after voting irregularities surfaced. Yet Gore first conceded the race to George W. Bush after a very close popular vote, and only agreed to a hand recount in Florida after an automatic recount showed he trailed the Republican nominee by only 327 votes in the Sunshine State.
The situation is not analogous to Trump refusing, weeks before Election Day, to assume that the outcome of the election will be fair and to verbally commit to a peaceful transfer of power.
Yet Conway again invoked Gore while making the rounds on cable news to try to clean up Trump’s comments.
“I imagine if you had asked Al Gore in 2000 if he was going to respect the election results, he would have said yes,” she said on ABC’s “Good Morning America.” “He actually called to concede the election to Gov. George W. Bush, called back to retract the concession and, as you know, George, we had six weeks until the Supreme Court of the United States decided who the next president would be.”
Conway asserted that the media was unfairly trying to force Trump to “lay out every single possible hypothetical” about the outcome of the race, though Hillary Clinton has said outright that she would cede the race if he won.
“Of course if there is no widespread fraud and irregularities and evidence of malfeasance, you can count on him for a peaceful transfer of power,” Conway told CNBC of Trump.
Election experts insist voter fraud is exceedingly rare in the United States, with one Loyola Law School investigation finding only 31 credible incidents of fraud among one billion ballots cast.