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As new grope-accuser comes forward, Trump says he will only accept the election result "if I win"

The billionaire mogul says he will accept a “clear election result” next month, but he will reserve the right to challenge the outcome if he feels it is “questionable”.

Campaign 2016 Debate Source: David Goldman

Updated 20.53

DONALD TRUMP SAYS he will accept a “clear election result” next month, but he will reserve the right to challenge the outcome if he feels it is “questionable”.

Trump stuck firm to his unprecedented defiance of US democratic norms, telling supporters: “I will totally accept the results of this great and historic presidential election – if I win.”

But he went on to say: “I will accept a clear election result, but I will also reserve my right to contest and file a legal challenge in the case of a questionable result.”

Trump sailed into a new political tempest after threatening not to recognise the election outcome during his final debate with Hillary Clinton, the Democratic frontrunner.

With the 8 November elections three weeks away, Trump insists that Clinton’s campaign team and the media are attempting to rig the vote against him.

Asked point-blank during last night’s debate whether he would accept the results no matter what, he responded: “I’ll tell you at the time. I’ll keep you in suspense, OK?”

Clinton declared herself “appalled” by what she said was an attack on American democracy.

New accuser

Campaign 2016 Trump Accusers Karena Virginia is the tenth woman to accuse Donald Trump of inappropriate sexual conduct Source: Richard Drew

Meanwhile, yet another woman has today come forward claiming that Trump groped her and made inappropriate sexual remarks, adding to accusations of nine other women that have emerged in recent days.

Karena Virginia, 45, a New York-area yoga instructor, said at a news conference that the celebrity billionaire and Republican presidential nominee had made an unwanted sexual advance at the 1998 US Open tennis tournament.

Virginia, reading from a written statement, said Trump pointed at her to other men and said “‘hey, look at this one. We haven’t seen this one before. Look at those legs’ as if I was an object rather than a person”.

Virginia, who was 27 at the time, said that Trump grabbed her by the arm and touched her breast.

“‘Don’t you know who I am, don’t you know who I am?’ he said,” according to Virginia’s statement.

“I felt intimidated and I felt powerless,” she said, adding that she “felt ashamed” for wearing a short dress and high heels.

That feeling of shame stayed with me for a while.

The Trump campaign slammed the latest accusation of sexual misconduct as a tool meant to help Clinton win the election.

“Another coordinated, publicity seeking attack by the Clinton campaign, will stop at nothing to smear Mr. Trump,” said Jessica Ditto, the Republican’s campaign deputy communications director, in a statement.

Give me a break. Voters are tired of these circus-like antics and reject these fictional stories and the clear efforts to benefit Hillary Clinton.

Virginia is the 10th woman to level accusations against the Republican White House contender.

During the third and final presidential debate late Wednesday with Clinton, Trump denied all the accusations, saying they were “fiction” and “have been largely debunked,” even suggesting that Clinton had planted them.

“No one has asked me to come forward,” said Virginia. “In fact, many people advised me not to speak publicly.”

According to an official biography in The Huffington Post, where she sometimes writes, Virginia is “a wellness expert… motivational speaker, energy healer, yogi, inspirational mentor and TV personality,” and as a child “was highly sensitive to angels.”

Debate

Turning his final presidential debate appearance last night into an unprecedented assault on US political convention, Donald Trump refused to say that he would respect a Hillary Clinton victory in November.

As the last head-to-head encounter of the toxic 2016 campaign descended into mud-slinging, the Republican mogul doubled down on claims that his Democratic rival’s supporters plan to rig the vote.

And when asked whether he would commit to recognising the result of the 8 November vote no matter what, the reality television star said: “I’ll tell you at the time. I’ll keep you in suspense, OK?”

Clinton declared herself “appalled” by what she said was an attack on 240 years of US democracy.

And, quoting her former rival Bernie Sanders, she called Trump the “most dangerous person to run for president in the modern history of America”.

Trump had come into the third televised debate of the 2016 campaign in Las Vegas looking to restore hope to his campaign just 20 days before Election Day.

Dogged by allegations of sexual misconduct, trailing in the polls and losing ground in key swing states, the 70-year-old was looking to capitalise on his last major chance to woo wavering voters.

“The media is so dishonest and so corrupt and the pile-on is so amazing,” Trump said, referring to reports citing women accusing him of sexual assault, which he said were “fiction” and drummed up by Team Clinton.

Campaign 2016 Debate Clinton during last night's debate. Source: Patrick Semansky/PA

He alleged that millions of fake voters had been registered and that the 68-year-old Clinton should not even have been allowed to run because she mishandled classified State Department emails.

Even some Republican lawmakers were outraged. Senator Jeff Flake said Trump was “beyond the pale” and onetime presidential candidate Senator Lindsey Graham said if Trump loses, it will be “because he failed as a candidate.”

Democrats called on Republican leaders to repudiate “Trump’s utter contempt for our democracy,” as Nevada Senator Harry Reid put it.

“One of our hallmarks has always been we accept the outcome of our elections,” Clinton told reporters as she flew home to White Plains, New York.

So what he said tonight is part of his whole effort to blame somebody else for his campaign, and where he stands in this election.

The extraordinary exchange was only one of a series of ferocious clashes, as the two stony-faced candidates faced off from behind podiums on everything from immigration to Syria.

At one point, Trump broke into one of Clinton’s responses to call her “such a nasty woman.” The candidates took and left the stage without shaking hands.

Ripped from womb

The former Secretary of State scored an early hit against the Republican property mogul, alleging that Russian President Vladimir Putin was backing his run for office.

Clinton cited reports from US intelligence agencies that Russian cyber attacks had targeted her party and campaign and demanded that Trump condemn the interference.

“They have hacked American websites, American accounts of private people, of institutions,” she declared.

Then they have given that information to WikiLeaks for the purpose of putting it on the internet.

The Manhattan billionaire appeared not to mind giving credence to the charge that he sides with Moscow rather than Washington’s own intelligence agencies, declaring: “Our country has no idea.”

Trump argued that he might negotiate better relations with Moscow than Clinton would, declaring: “Putin, from everything I see, has no respect for this person.”

Clinton’s response was sharp:

Well, that’s because he would rather have a puppet as president of the United States.

Trump blustered back: “No puppet. You’re the puppet.”

In what has been a bitter campaign, the two White House hopefuls got off to a subdued but oddly substantive start to the debate, compared to previous brawls.

They were asked about their vision for the Supreme Court, prompting Clinton to argue the election was about “what kind of country are we going to be.”

She insisted gay rights and women’s rights must not be rolled back.

Trump echoed conservatives who believe “the Supreme Court is what it’s all about,” vowing to appoint anti-abortion justices who would also protect gun rights.

“If you go with what Hillary is saying, you can take the baby and rip the baby out of the womb of the mother just prior to the birth of the baby,” he said.

“Using that kind of scare rhetoric is just terribly unfortunate,” Clinton responded.

New Brexit

Pundits have declared the presidential race all but over after the provocative billionaire attacked leaders of his own party and obliterated the normal rules of political decorum.

His debate stance did nothing to quell fears that he and his most passionate fans might not recognise the election’s outcome, thereby plunging the country into a political crisis.

Trump predicts an electoral surprise – what he calls a new Brexit – when Americans vote.

Clinton leads by more than six points in an average of national polls compiled by RealClearPolitics.

Women especially have thrown their support behind the former secretary of state, senator and first lady, who is poised to become the first female president in American history.

A Quinnipiac University poll showed she is winning with female voters by 52% to Trump’s 37%.

First published 16.13

- © AFP, 2016

Read: Clinton’s words of love for Gerry Adams gave her aides cause for concern

Read: “We’ve got some bad hombres in America” – the seven biggest moments from Trump v Clinton III

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