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In Tampa radio interview, Donald Trump says he hopes election results will be fair

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Working until the last hour to drive out turnout on Election Day, Donald Trump appeared on Tampa radio station 970 WFLA Tuesday morning.

The GOP presidential nominee must win Florida and its 29 electoral votes to take the White House. That strategy compelled him to do rallies in Tampa on Saturday and again in Sarasota on Monday morning.

When asked if he’ll accept the results from tonight’s election after suggesting for months that the results will be “rigged”, Trump said he would, provided everything was on the “up and up.”

“They have a clip of Obama basically saying that Chicago elections are rigged, and I’m saying to myself, can you believe that?,” he told “Morning Tampa Bay” hosts Jack Harris and Tedd Webb. He was referring to a comment made by Barack Obama when he was running for president in 2008 when he said that, “I come from Chicago, so, so I want to be honest. It’s not as if it’s just Republicans who have monkeyed around with elections in the past. Sometimes Democrats have, too,” Obama said. “Whenever people are in power they’re, you know, they have this tendency to try to, you know, tilt things in their direction.”

“So no, if I think everything’s on the up and up, that’s a lot different,” Trump continued. “And we can only see what happens. I hope it’s going to be very fair. I think we’re going to do very well.”

When asked what would be the first thing he’d do in office, Trump said it was all about border security. “The drugs are pouring in,” he said. “People are coming in illegally. Lots of problems are being had.”

Harris said Trump’s early-on declaration that he’d build a wall along the U.S.-Mexican border was what catapulted him in the Republican race, though it “caused controversy.”

Trump interjected with a chuckle: “It certainly did cause controversy, no question about it.”

Trump reiterated his pledge for “extreme vetting” when it comes to taking in Syrian refugees. “You look at Orlando, you look at San Bernardino, you look at the World Trade Center,” he said. “We can’t look at what’s happened in Paris. We just can’t allow this. We have too many problems. We have to protect our people.”

Trump said he didn’t realize that calling for such action (he didn’t refer to it as a ban on Muslims) would be so controversial, but said it resonated with the American people. “Maybe that’s why I’m talking to you guys now. Maybe that’s what got me here to a certain extent.”

When asked by Webb if he would pursue an investigation of the Clinton Foundation if elected, Trump lamented that “the whole thing is just so sad.” He went on to again rail against Hillary Clinton’s 33,000 emails missing from her private server. “That’s a crime if it’s you suing me. But here’s the U.S. Congress and they brush over these things, and yet generals are going to jail.”

Trump said he didn’t want to comment about whether he’d want to boot out FBI Director James Comey, who Trump was hailing a week ago when he announced new emails that possibly could be linked to the investigation into Clinton’s private server. That attitude changed, however, after Comey announced Sunday that he found no evidence in those new emails to change his conclusion that Clinton should not face charges over her handling of  classified information.

“Everybody’s disappointed — nobody’s seen anything like this,” Trump complained. “I mean you read a report where ‘guilty, guilty, guilty, guilty,’ and then at the end, you say that nothing’s going to happen,” referring to Comey’s decision in July not to pursue an indictment against Clinton.

Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served as five years as the political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. He also was the assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley. He's a San Francisco native who has now lived in Tampa for 15 years and can be reached at [email protected]

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