Donald Trump Is Setting up a Defense in Case He Loses the Election

August 2nd 2016

Danielle DeCourcey

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump already has a defense ready if he loses the election: it was "rigged."

During a campaign stop in Ohio Monday, Trump made the case that if he loses to Hillary Clinton it will be because someone tampered with the election.

"I'm afraid the election is going to be rigged. I'm going to be honest," Trump said to a crowd of voters in the important battleground state.

The statements in Ohio about a rigged election follow a Trump tweet from late last week that said the Clinton campaign is trying to stack the upcoming debates against him by scheduling them on the same nights of NFL games.

The time and date of the debates was set last year by the nonpartisan Commission on Presidential Debates, according to The Hill.

Trump's strategy is two-fold.

For starters, Trump is trying to tap into concerns among disaffected Bernie Sanders supporters, who believe that the Democratic National Committee stacked the odds against their preferred candidate in his bid for the party's nomination.

While no evidence of vote rigging on the Democrat's side exists, Former Democratic National Committee chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz was forced to resign from her position after leaked emails suggested an inappropriate bias toward Clinton over Sanders.

Trump has long said that the Democratic Party was unfair to Sanders and he called Sanders' endorsement of Clinton a "deal with the devil."

He also wants to save face.

Trump surrogate Roger Stone set up this line of defense for Trump on a podcast with Breitbart writer Milo Yiannopoulos, which was released on Friday.

“I think your audience knows, I think we all know, that in this day and age, a computer can do anything," he said to Yiannopoulos, according to a transcript posted on Breitbart. "These voter machines are essentially a computer. Who is to say they could not be rigged?”

Stone also said that Republicans commit voter fraud as well and that's why he left the Republican Party briefly to become a Libertarian. He advised during the podcast that Trump should start talking about voter fraud constantly.

“I think we have widespread voter fraud, but the first thing that Trump needs to do is begin talking about it constantly. He needs to say for example, today would be a perfect example: ‘I am leading in Florida. The polls all show it. If I lose Florida, we will know that there’s voter fraud. If there’s voter fraud, this election will be illegitimate, the election of the winner will be illegitimate, we will have a constitutional crisis, widespread civil disobedience, and the government will no longer be the government.'"

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