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Mich. GOP chairman responds to Trump’s stance on election results

Oct 20, 2016

In the days leading up to last night's third and final presidential debate, a question was put to key members of Donald Trump's team: Would he support the results of the election?

Ronna Romney-McDaniel, Michigan state Republican Party chair
Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Running mate Mike Pence, daughter Ivanka Trump and campaign manager Kellyanne Conway all said yes, Trump would uphold the results.

That echoed what Trump himself said in the first debate when moderator Lester Holt asked him the same question.

“I’m going to be able to do it,” Trump said. “I don’t believe Hillary will. The answer is if she wins, I will absolutely support her.”

Then came last night’s debate when moderator Chris Wallace pressed Trump on this very question. This time, Trump’s response differed:

“What I’m saying is I will tell you at the time. I’ll keep you in suspense,” Trump said.

With that, reaction exploded on both sides of the aisle.

Ronna Romney McDaniel, Chairman of the Michigan Republican Party, joined Stateside to discuss.

“I didn’t hear him say that there’s going to be massive fraud,” McDaniel said. “What I heard is ‘Let’s wait and see. Let’s let the votes be counted.’ What if it is so close that there’s a recount?”

Yet a fundraising letter McDaniel sent out this week said the following in the post script:

I’ve instructed the Michigan Republican Party staff attorneys to prepare a massive statewide voter fraud effort.

McDaniel said it's normal for the parties to put efforts like these into motion.

“We’ve always recruited poll watchers and had legal teams ready,” she said. “Everybody wants to make sure there’s no voter fraud.”

On Nov. 8, she said she will feel confident in the election's fairness as soon as secretaries of state across the country have certified the results.

“I have every confidence in them,” she said. “Of course they’re going to determine whether it’s fair. They run the statewide elections in every state. And once that’s done, I think everybody should say it’s fair. I would say that. So would Donald Trump."