WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump said he will go on to other things if he loses the Nov. 3 election, after Democratic opponent Joe Biden said the Republican might cheat and refuse to leave the White House.
“Certainly if I don’t win, I don’t win. I mean, you know, go on and do other things,” Trump told Fox News Channel in a television interview broadcast on Friday.
As the race between Trump and Biden heats up ahead of the election, the two have increasingly asserted that the other side intends to cheat their way to victory.
Biden, who is leading Trump in most national polls, earlier this week said his greatest concern was that Trump would try to “steal” the election, though the former vice president did not elaborate on how he thought Trump might cheat. Biden said he is confident soldiers would escort Trump from the White House if he loses and does not recognize the result.
Trump’s comment to Fox News suggested he could accept the election result but the president did not specifically say so. Trump campaign spokesman Tim Murtaugh on Thursday said Trump would accept the result.
Trump has accused Democrats of aiming to use an increase in mail-in voting as a venue for rigging the election, while Biden has pledged to deploy lawyers to polling stations across the country to look out for Republican efforts to suppress the vote.
Election experts and officials are bracing for a potentially tumultuous election night.
A surge in mail-in voting is expected due to concerns over the coronavirus pandemic, and experts warn the process could be marred by chaos of the type already seen in primary elections held in states during the viral outbreak.
Large numbers of mail ballots not delivered in time to be cast or counted could lead to legal challenges over election results. Counting mail ballots also takes more time because a voter’s identity must first be validated, raising the prospect that the election outcome will not be known well past Election Day, experts say.
Reporting by Jason Lange; Editing by Colleen Jenkins and Alistair Bell