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Trump won't rule out terrorism

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20 October 2016

Chris Wallace

Moderator Wallace could not conceal his satisfaction at asking the Republican a "stumper."

LAS VEGAS, Nevada -- Presidential candidate Donald Trump refused to rule out a terrorist attack on the United States during Wednesday's final debate here.

Mr. Trump, by all accounts, had won the third debate, once again using crowd-pleasing wisecracks to counter opponent Hillary Clinton's focus-group-tested talking points. President Obama's Kenya-born brother Malik, in the gallery, was whooping wildly, and even spilled his popcorn. East-coast newspapers were gearing up their Washington Desks for some emergency "fact checking" of Mr. Trump.

But then Mr. Trump stumbled. Moderator Chris Wallace, from the Fox News network, which states that it is Fair And Balanced,® asked the Republican a fateful question: "Mr. Trump, will you react with civility when you lose the election on November 8?

"Or, won't you?"

Famously not a politician, Mr. Trump was unfamiliar with the approved responses to such questions, such as stating, "What difference — at this point — does it make?" or accusing the moderator of being part of a partisan campaign of personal destruction. Experts say another time-tested response is to just mumble incoherently until the moderator elects to "move on" and leave further ridicule to the next morning's papers. Instead, Mr. Trump went coy. "I will look at it. I'll keep you in suspense."

Of course, Mr. Wallace, being Fair And Balanced,® asked Ms. Clinton the same question, on what her reaction will be when she wins the November landslide. Ms. Clinton — a member of the only party that ever actually threw an election into the courts for thirty days — said: "I will be magnanimous in victory, though if Mr. Trump should disappear and the evidence points to me, I am sure that the FBI Director will again insist that no reasonable prosecutor would bring charges." She appeared to have in her hands three steel balls, though they might have been James Comey's testicles.

After the debate, the Republican Party distanced itself from Mr. Trump's remarks, as it had done earlier this month when a drumbeat of women suddenly recalled that Mr. Trump groped them forty years earlier. Mr. Trump had artfully deflected these charges by noting that all the women were "ugly as sin" and that he would never have groped them, but would have gone for beauty queens, and only if they kept the weight off and didn't become fat pigs.

Mr. Trump's running mate, Mike Pence, quickly issued a statement that, "Our campaign, following our certain defeat, will definitely not fly a commercial airliner into the new World Trade Center, or lash out at the American public in other ways." Mr. Pence stated that what is left of the party would act normally: opposing a Democratic President, loudly and ineffectively.

GOP Chairman Reince Priebus stated, "Mr. Trump's implied threat of violence is despicable — I might say deplorable. I want the people to know they can count on the Republican Party to lose this election gracefully." New Hampshire Senator Kelly Ayotte, herself in a tight re-election fight, quickly declared that she would write in Mr. Pence's name for President, or maybe Mr. Priebus or Mr. Wallace, until reminded she had already made that vow during the groping allegations.

Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson was also asked about the exchange at the debate, but merely replied, "What's 'Las Vegas'?"

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