McCain: Accepting election results is 'American way'
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Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainMartha McSally fundraises off 'liberal hack' remark to CNN reporter Meghan McCain blasts NY Times: 'Everyone already knows how much you despise' conservative women GOP senator calls CNN reporter a 'liberal hack' when asked about Parnas materials MORE (R-Ariz.) on Thursday slammed Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump rails against impeachment in speech to Texas farmers Trump administration planning to crack down on 'birth tourism': report George Conway on Trump adding Dershowitz, Starr to legal team: 'Hard to see how either could help' MORE for saying he may not accept the outcome of the presidential election. 

"I don’t know who’s going to win the presidential election. I do know that in every previous election, the loser congratulates the winner and calls them 'my president,' " McCain, the 2008 GOP presidential nominee, said in a statement.
"That’s not just the Republican way or the Democratic way. It’s the American way," he said, adding that Americans should "respect the decision of the majority even when we disagree with it. Especially when we disagree with it." 
McCain didn't mention Trump by name in the statement. But it comes one day after the 2016 GOP nominee refused to say during the third presidential debate that he would accept the results of the election. 
"I will look at it at the time. I'm not looking at anything now," Trump said at the Las Vegas debate.
With Democratic Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonNYT editorial board endorses Warren, Klobuchar for Democratic nomination for president Sanders v. Warren is just for insiders Alan Dershowitz: Argument president cannot be impeached for abusing power a 'strong one' MORE leading in most national polls, Trump is doubling down on his allegations of widespread voter fraud ahead of the Nov. 8 election, which he says will be "rigged" against him.
McCain rejected Trump's argument Thursday, stressing while there have been "irregularities" or fraud, they've never impacted the outcome of an election. 
"I did so without reluctance. A concession isn’t just an exercise in graciousness," he said. 
"It is an act of respect for the will of the American people, a respect that is every American leader’s first responsibility. ... This election must not be any different." 
Trump's rhetoric has drawn backlash from some of his supporters, who argue he is going too far, but many are standing by Trump.
Sen. Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsICE subpoenas Denver law enforcement: report Bottom Line DOJ inquiry tied to Clinton, touted by Trump winds down with no tangible results: report MORE (R-Ala.) — Trump's first Senate supporter — separately said that "there is an attempt to rig the presidential election" because the media is unfairly biased toward Clinton. 
Democrats have pounded on Trump's remarks, arguing Republicans who refuse to denounce their party's nominee are backing "dangerous attacks" on democracy. 
"It is still shocking that these candidates stood, and even still stand, with a man who questions the legitimacy of our elections and the very foundation of our democracy," said Sadie Weiner, the communications for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. 
"Their silence in the wake of his claims of a rigged election are both irresponsible and unacceptable.” 
Senate Republicans have largely avoided commenting on Trump's rhetoric. But GOP senators facing reelection this year — including Sens. Pat Toomey (Pa.), Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioApple under pressure to unlock Pensacola shooter's phones Senators offer bill to create alternatives to Huawei in 5G tech Surging Sanders draws fresh scrutiny ahead of debate MORE (Fla.) and Ron JohnsonRonald (Ron) Harold JohnsonHillicon Valley: Barr asks Apple to unlock Pensacola shooter's phone | Tech industry rallies behind Google in Supreme Court fight | Congress struggles to set rules for cyber warfare with Iran | Blog site Boing Boing hacked Congress struggles on rules for cyber warfare with Iran Senators set for briefing on cyber threats from Iran MORE (Wis.) as well as McCain — have tried to distance themselves from Trump's questioning the validity of the election.
- Updated at 12:59 p.m.