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Publish Date : 17 October 2016 - 23:12  ,  
News ID: 1211
TEHRAN (Basirat)- Donald Trump’s campaign allies joined his baseless accusation of a “rigged election” on Sunday, with Rudy Giuliani speaking in racially charged terms amidst growing fears of a violent backlash from supporters of the Republican presidential nominee.

Donald Trump’s campaign allies joined his baseless accusation of a "rigged election” on Sunday, with Rudy Giuliani speaking in racially charged terms amidst growing fears of a violent backlash from supporters of the Republican presidential nominee.

Trump himself furthered the charge, tweeting: "The election is absolutely being rigged by the dishonest and distorted media pushing Crooked Hillary - but also at many polling places – SAD.”

A request for clarification from the Trump campaign about which polling places he meant was not immediately returned.

The move appeared to be a concerted effort to deflect attention from allegations of sexual harassment or assault by nine women, following the release of a video in which Trump boasted about groping.

The ninth woman to accuse Trump of sexual misconduct, Cathy Heller, told the Guardian on Saturday that at an event at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Florida resort in 1997, the businessman "took my hand, and grabbed me, and went for the lips”.

Trump, who said in the second presidential debate he had never done the things he boasted about, has denied all the claims and blamed a media conspiracy.

At campaign events over the weekend, as controversy over the groping claims continued, Trump described US democracy as "an illusion” and repeated his calls for people to watch polling stations, which have raised concerns of illegal voter intimidation on election day and possible violent unrest after the result is known.

Allies including running mate Mike Pence and top adviser Giuliani, a former mayor of New York, backed up his claim.

Pence dodged Trump’s outright accusation, telling NBC’s Meet the Press: "So many Americans feel like this election is being rigged.” For months, the Indiana governor has tried to bridge the nominee’s extreme positions with the more conventional wing of the Republican party. His support for the "rigged election” claim puts him well outside the mainstream.

Pence did say he and Trump would "absolutely accept the results of the election”.

On Saturday, House speaker Paul Ryan said he did not have any doubts about the American electoral system. "Our democracy relies on confidence in election results, and the speaker is fully confident the states will carry out this election with integrity,” his spokeswoman AshLee Strong said.

On Sunday, representatives for the Republican National Committee and Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

But on Sunday Newt Gingrich, a former House speaker and a periodic adviser to Trump, embraced Trump’s more conspiratorial tone, blaming the press for the nominee’s plummeting poll numbers. "Fourteen million people picked Donald Trump,” he told Fox News. "Twenty TV executives decided to destroy him.”

He claimed: "Without the unending, one-sided assault of the news media, Trump would be beating Hillary Clinton by 15 points.”

Since last week, when a 2005 video leaked to the Washington Post showed Trump bragging about groping women without consent, the candidate’s poll numbers have collapsed.

On Sunday, a NBC/WSJ poll showed Clinton ahead nationally with 48%, Trump with 37% and the Libertarian and Green party candidates with 7% and 2% respectively. In a new Washington Post/ABC poll, Clinton had only a four-point lead, but nearly 70% of voters said Trump had probably sexually harassed women.

A CBS poll showed Clinton up 46%-40% in 13 key states, with a 15-point advantage among women.

Trump, who spent the week launching tirades at Clinton, journalists and his own party, continued on Sunday to portray himself as the victim. He tweeted: "Polls close, but can you believe I lost large numbers of women voters based on made up events THAT NEVER HAPPENED. Media rigging election!”

In another post, he said: "Election is being rigged by the media, in a coordinated effort with the Clinton campaign, by putting stories that never happened into news!”

He goes head-to-head with Clinton in the final presidential debate in Las Vegas on Wednesday evening.

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