Washington, Oct 18: Just as the 2016 US election is heading into the homestretch, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump clashed with Democrats and his own party on whether the election was rigged.
"The election is absolutely being rigged by the dishonest and distorted media pushing Crooked Hillary - but also at many polling places - SAD," Trump tweeted on Sunday.
While he had brought up the possibility of a rigged election in the past, he stepped up the accusation recently after about a dozen women accused him of sexual assaults in the past, which the Trump campaign denied, Xinhua news agency reported.
Trump's running mate, Indiana Governor Mike Pence meanwhile joined Trump in highlighting the idea that the election was being rigged against the GOP ticket. But in a speech on Sunday, Pence said he and Trump would "absolutely" accept the results of the election.
Trump's claim of a rigged election was met with immediate rejection from the campaign of Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and the White House.
Calling Trump's claim of a rigged election a tactic of desperation, the Clinton campaign over the last weekend issued a statement expressing confidence of the fairness of the election.
"Participation in voting should be encouraged, not dismissed or undermined because a candidate is afraid he's going to lose," said the statement.
"This election will have record turnout, because voters see through Donald Trump's shameful attempts to undermine an election weeks before it happens," it added.