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Donald Trump says US presidential election could be rigged

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Donald Trump has said he fears the presidential election “is going to be rigged” – an unprecedented assertion by a modern White House candidate.

The Republican nominee’s extraordinary claim – which, FYI, he didn’t back up with any immediate evidence – would seem to threaten the tradition of peacefully contested elections and challenge the very essence of a fair democratic process.

“I’m afraid the election is going to be rigged, I have to be honest,” the Republican nominee told a town hall crowd in Columbus, Ohio.

ABOVE PHOTO: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump applauds after speaking during an Ohio town hall event (Evan Vucci/AP)

He added that he’s been hearing “more and more” that the election may not be contested fairly. But he didn’t elaborate further.

Trump made the claim after first suggesting that the Democrats had fixed their primary system so Hillary Clinton could defeat Bernie Sanders.

The billionaire tycoon has previously backed up that allegation by pointing to hacked emails from the national party – they appeared to indicate a preference for Clinton.

Still, the former secretary of state and Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, [PICTURED] received 3.7 million more votes than Sanders nationwide. She had established a clear lead in delegates by March 1.

The celebrity businessman also claimed that the Republican nomination would have been stolen from him had he not won by significant margins.

He repeated the charge on Monday night on Fox News, saying: “November 8th, we’d better be careful, because that election is going to be rigged. And I hope the Republicans are watching closely or it’s going to be taken away from us.”

The statement could be an effort by Trump to lay the groundwork of an excuse if he goes on to lose the election.

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