Donald Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway on Sunday morning defended Trump’s claim that a polling place staying open late in Nevada shows that the system is “rigged.”
A polling location in Clark County, Nevada, stayed open for about two hours after the polls were set to close for the night to accommodate early voters who had been waiting in line since before the time polls were set to close.
Introducing Trump at a rally in Reno Saturday, the chairman of the Nevada Republican Party, Michael McDonald, suggested that the polls were held open to accommodate Democratic voters.
“Last night, in Clark County, they kept a poll open ’til 10 o’clock at night so a certain group could vote,” he said. “The polls are supposed to close at 7. This was kept open until 10. Yeah, you feel free right now? You think this is a free and easy election? That’s why it’s important.”
Trump then followed on stage, lamenting the “rigged” system and claimed that Democrats bussed in voters.
“It’s being reported that certain key Democratic polling locations in Clark County were kept open for hours and hours beyond closing time to bus and bring democratic voters in. Folks, it’s a rigged system. It’s a rigged system and we’re going to beat it. We’re going to beat it,” Trump said.
On CNN’s “State of the Union,” anchor Jake Tapper asked Conway about Trump’s remarks, noting that the polls stayed open to accommodate voters who were in line before closing time and that the Trump campaign would likely want polling places to do the same for Trump supporters.
“We just always want the law followed and rules followed. I do predict that you’re going to see really long lines — serpentine-like lines on Tuesday of folks there for Donald Trump. You’re going to see record turnout in many of these places,” Conway responded. “It’s concerning when you hear reports about special favors and perhaps special rules for Democratic voters. We already know that their presidential nominee has special rules for her.”
When pressed on the “special rule” for Hillary Clinton, Conway claimed that “we’ve got reports of that.”
Tapper again pressed Conway, noting that the polling place stayed open late to accommodate voters already in line. But Conway insisted that hadn’t been verified.
“We’ve not been able to independently verify that. I’m telling you that we just want the rules and laws followed and that will be fine. Excuse us that the Democratic presidential nominee is somebody who lives under a separate set of rules than the rest of us. That’s very clear,” Conway replied, launching into a rant about Clinton’s email use.
When asked again how Trump had a problem with the polling place staying open, Conway replied, “If that is true, there isn’t a problem. But we don’t know that’s true. And we’ll take a look at Tuesday as well.” She then noted that Trump has been talking about the “rigged” system throughout his campaign.
During an interview on ABC’s “This Week,” Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta was also asked about Trump’s claims about the Nevada poling place. Podesta called Trump’s claim “ridiculous” and noted that it’s normal for polling places to accommodate voters who got in line before the polls were set to close.
“But you know with Donald Trump, if he’s losing, everything’s rigged,” Podesta added.