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Donald Trump says he would accept 'a clear' election result, but challenge a 'questionable' one

Republican Donald Trump on Thursday said he would accept a "clear" election result but reserved the right to file a legal challenge, clarifying his stance a day after he refused to promise he would trust the outcome if he loses on Nov. 8.

When asked during debate if he would accept a loss, Republican candidate said: 'I'll keep you in suspense'

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally in Delaware, Ohio, on Thursday, where he said he reserves the right to challenge any election result he deems 'questionable.' (Evan Vucci/Associated Press)

Republican Donald Trump on Thursday said he would accept a "clear" election result but reserved the right to file a legal challenge, clarifying his stance a day after he refused to promise he would trust the outcome if he loses on Nov. 8.

"Of course, I would accept a clear election result, but I would also reserve my right to contest or file a legal challenge in the case of a questionable result," Trump said at a rally in Ohio.

He also said he would accept the results if he wins, and alleged without evidence that Democrat Hillary Clinton's campaign was trying to "rig" the election — a claim he has repeated multiple times in recent weeks. 

Asked on Wednesday at the final U.S. presidential election debate with Clinton if he would accept a losing outcome, Trump said he would "keep you in suspense."

Clinton seized on the remark, calling it "horrifying."

Donald Trump will determine if election was rigged after voting ends 1:41

Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway on Thursday tried to defend Trump, saying in television interviews he was "putting people on notice" about voting irregularities.

"We'll have to see what happens," she told ABC News, adding that Trump "was willing to accept the election absent widespread fraud."

John McCain denounces remarks

Republican Senator John McCain, who lost the 2008 presidential election to Barack Obama, says he conceded defeat "without reluctance" even though he didn't like the outcome.

'That's not just the Republican way or the Democratic way. It's the American way. This election must not be any different.- Senator John McCain

McCain said in a statement that he doesn't know who will win this election. But he says the loser has always congratulated the winner and called them "my president."

"That's not just the Republican way or the Democratic way. It's the American way. This election must not be any different," McCain said. 

McCain did not mention Trump by name in his statement.

Obama calls Trump 'unfit'

At a Clinton rally in Florida, President Barack Obama encouraged voters to "reject somebody who proves himself unfit to be president every single day in every single way."

Obama said he doesn't believe Trump represents the values of Florida. He said Trump has failed to pay employees who have worked for him in the past, and that he hasn't released his tax returns as other major party candidates have done for decades.

Obama also took Republican Senator Marco Rubio to task for continuing to support Trump even though he's called Trump a "con artist." The president said Rubio's actions were the height of cynicism. "Come on man," Obama said.

Several times — when Obama mentioned Trump's actions and the crowd would boo — the president turned to a familiar phrase: "Don't boo, vote."

More allegations of sexual misconduct

Unlike Rubio, McCain withdrew his tepid endorsement of Trump after a 2005 video surfaced of Trump bragging about groping women.

Since its release, multiple women have come forward to allege Trump touched or groped them without their consent. Trump has denied all the allegations. 

New Yorker accuses presidential candidate of groping her in 1998 5:47

Another woman entered the fray on Thursday with allegations the Republican candidate groped her.

Speaking to reporters at a New York news conference, Karena Virginia alleged Trump grabbed her arm and touched her breast after a tennis tournament in 1998.

With files from The Associated Press and CBC News

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