This week, we saw Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton appear together twice in what may have been the last time they'll be in the same room before Election Day — or maybe ever. I'm going to guess that America isn't really sad about that. Trump continued to say that the election is rigged against him and stunned everyone by declaring that he may not accept the results if he loses. Thankfully, this will all be over in less than three weeks! (Unless Clinton wins and Trump challenges the results and it becomes the election we never escape.)
It's your For the Record week in review. Let's get started.Trump thinks he may be the next Al Gore
During Wednesday’s debate, Trump broke with historical precedent by saying he wasn’t quite sure if he’d accept the election results. (“What I’m saying is that I will tell you at the time. I'll keep you in suspense, okay?”) That statement defied tradition and shocked almost everyone. In fact, his own running mate said earlier in the day that he would "certainly" accept the results. But as we’re learning, Trump and Pence disagree on some things.
After the debate, I talked to Trump adviser Sarah Huckabee Sanders in Las Vegas. (She's the daughter of former GOP presidential nominee and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee).
"His (Trump's) whole point is that until the election actually takes place and the results are certified and verified that we won’t accept it, but once they are, we will," she said. “The process usually takes days. I mean look at Al Gore — that didn’t happen the night of the election.”
I pointed out that Al Gore was an extremely unique case — Gore won the country’s popular vote but George W. Bush won the state of Florida by 537 votes, which meant Bush ultimately won the presidency because he won the electoral college vote.
“I think that could be a very potential problem we have in this exact election," Huckabee Sanders responded. "We’re going to have a very close and tight election and I think it may come down to a few ballots in certain states."
Trump echoed that statement during a rally in Ohio on Thursday: "Of course we will accept a clear election result, but we also reserve the right to contest or file a legal challenge in the case of questionable results."
But if the election were held today, it probably wouldn’t be decided by “a few ballots." The RealClearPolitics rolling average has Clinton 6 points ahead of Trump. USA TODAY’s Rick Hampson has some other reasons why 2016 is very different from 2000.U.S. is worried Russia is trying to interfere with election, so Russia offers to help
You can’t make this stuff up! Democrats are accusing Russia of trying to interfere with the election to help Trump win. Earlier this month, the U.S. intelligence community issued a statement that they were “confident” the Russian government was behind the release of private emails.
"These thefts and disclosures are intended to interfere with the US election process,” the statement said.
Over the summer, a trove of emails from the Democratic National Committee were released, and, this month, Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta’s emails have been leaked out almost daily.
So the Russian government has decided it might be helpful for them to come on over to the USA and monitor our polling places. Russia attempted to send monitors to the U.S. but was rebuffed by the State Department, according to Russian media.Trump on Obama campaigning for Clinton: "He ought to be working"
"Why is Obama out campaigning?" Trump said during a rally in North Carolina on Friday. "He ought to be working."
"We have a president — all he wants to do is campaign," Trump added. "His wife — all she wants to do is campaign."
The president and first lady Michelle Obama have enthusiastically hit the trail for Clinton. The president is enjoying high approval ratings and his wife has become one of the breakout stars of the campaign.
The two actually are spending an unusually high amount of time on the campaign trail. Former Obama adviser David Axelrod spoke to conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt on Friday about how rare it is to have both the president and first lady out campaigning.
“It is a unique circumstance, but it’s also unique that you have a president who is a political asset to the nominee, and is fully supportive of the nominee,” Axelrod said.News from the trailWikiLeaks exposes what voters disdain — and candidates fail to fix (USA TODAY)Clinton out with new ad featuring Khizr Khan (USA TODAY)Election officials fear untrained poll watchers (USA TODAY)It’s 3 a.m., Trump is tweeting, he says he won third debate (USA TODAY)Dem operative out after video claims to show plot to stir up violence at Trump rallies (USA TODAY)Google suggests Sanders may get a bunch of write-in votes (USA TODAY)Awww....
Trump may think Clinton is a “nasty woman,” but on Thursday, when all the cameras were off, he reportedly had something nice to say. Cardinal Timothy Dolan, who during Thursday night’s Al Smith Dinner in New York had possibly the worst seat in all of 2016, right between the two candidates, went on NBC’s Today show on Friday and shared some behind-the-scenes moments.
“After the little prayer, Mr. Trump turned to Secretary Clinton and said, 'You know, you are one tough and talented woman.' And he said this has been a good experience and this whole campaign, as tough as it’s been,” Dolan said. “And she said to him, 'And Donald, whatever happens, we need to work together afterwards.’"