Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab refuses to condemn Trump election 'fraud' claims
The Foreign Secretary has refused to condemn remarks from Donald Trump claiming the US presidential election is a “fraud”.
Dominic Raab, who was speaking to the BBC, was reacting to claims from the incumbent president, who said the election had been an “embarrassment to our country” and a “fraud on the American public”.
Votes are still being counted in several crucial swing states, including Georgia, North Carolina and Wisconsin, with the final result of the election unlikely to be confirmed for days and now subject to a potential legal challenge as intimated by Mr Trump when he claimed victory.
Asked whether the UK Government should be distancing itself from Mr Trump’s comments, the Foreign Secretary said he would not comment on “commentary”.
Mr Raab said: "Look it is a very close election, we are watching with great interest. It is for the American people to decide and ultimately whatever the election night comments from either side of the campaign, I am confident and have full faith in the US institutions and the checks and balances in the US system that will produce the definitive result.”
Challenged on his position, he added: “You are asking me to comment on the campaign commentary from both sides and indeed pundits which, forgive me, I will refrain from doing.”
Asked if it would be good to “call your close friend out”, Mr Raab replied: “Well I think that you’re now engaging in the campaign rather than just reporting on it.
“But the truth is, I think what’s really important now is we wait and see how this uncertainty unfolds.
"This is clearly though a much closer election than was expected.
"We’ll be there, willing and able and enthusiastic to work with our American friends and partners, irrespective of the outcome.”
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon reacted to the close nature of the race on Twitter, saying the coming days would be “crucial” for democracy of the USA.
Ms Sturgeon tweeted this morning: “The ‘good luck, America’ sentiment of last night seems even more apposite this morning. Crucial hours and days ahead for the integrity of US democracy. Let’s hope we start to hear the voices of Republicans who understand the importance of that.”
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