When Donald Trump doesn't win, he whines about the system being rigged against him. That's the message Hillary Clinton delivered during the third presidential debate last night in Las Vegas. And she backed up her argument with ample evidence.
"Every time Donald thinks things are not going in his direction, he claims whatever it is is rigged against him," Hillary Clinton said. "The FBI conducted a year-long investigation into my emails. They concluded there was no case. He said the FBI was rigged. He lost the Iowa caucus, he lost the Wisconsin primary - he said the Republican primary was rigged against him. Then Trump University gets sued for fraud and racketeering - he claims the court system and the federal judge is rigged against him. There was even a time when he didn't get an Emmy for his TV program three years in a row and he started tweeting that the Emmys were rigged. This is a mind-set. This is how Donald thinks. And it's funny, but it's also really troubling."
But those examples are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Trump's conspiracy theories. Here's a full list of things that Trump says have been rigged against him.
1. The 2012 Election
The 2016 battle for the White House isn't the first time that Trump's claimed that a general election was rigged. Back in 2012, he called for a revolution when Barack Obama won re-election over Republican challenger Mitt Romney. And this is no exaggeration. He actually called for a march on Washington, D.C. to "stop this travesty" from happening. So you should probably expect another call to arms this November if Clinton beats him.
2. The Emmys (And The Oscars)
Donald Trump is probably the sorest loser in the history of the Emmy Awards. From 2012-2014, he took to Twitter to vent about The Apprentice getting snubbed by judges. According to him, the Emmys are all about politics instead of substance. Which is a ballsy claim coming from a guy whose show featured spats between Gary Busey and Meatloaf.
The Emmys are all politics, that's why, despite nominations, The Apprentice never won--even though it should have many times over.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 24, 2012
@ShawnGarrett I should have many Emmys for The Apprentice if the process were fair-in any event, it's not my day job. ,— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 30, 2013
Trump has also taken a swipe at the Oscars.
Which is worse and which is more dishonest - the #Oscars or the Emmys?— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 3, 2014
No doubt he's also miffed because he hasn't won the Nobel Prize for Economics in honor of his book, The Art of the Deal.
3. The Iowa Caucus
Donald Trump is many things - a billionaire, a business mogul, a reality TV star. But one thing he isn't is a gracious loser. When Texas Senator Ted Cruz beat him in the Republican Party's Iowa Caucus last February, he was quick to quick to call foul.
Ted Cruz didn't win Iowa, he stole it. That is why all of the polls were so wrong and why he got far more votes than anticipated. Bad!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 3, 2016
Even though he wasn't expected to win that caucus, Trump insisted that the vote wasn't handled properly. And he demanded a re-do.
Based on the fraud committed by Senator Ted Cruz during the Iowa Caucus, either a new election should take place or Cruz results nullified.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 3, 2016
He'll probably call for another do-over on November 9 if Clinton beats him in the election.
4. The Trump University Lawsuit
Trump doesn't always wait until he has lost before crying foul. At a campaign rally in Arkansas last February, he suggested that the judge overseeing a lawsuit against Trump University was biased against him.
"We have a very hostile judge because, to be honest with you, the judge should have thrown the case out on summary judgment but, because it was me and because there’s a hostility towards me by the judge – tremendous hostility – beyond belief – I believe he happens to be Spanish, which is fine – he’s Hispanic, which is fine, and we haven’t asked for recusal, which we may do, but we have a judge who’s very hostile."
In other words, the trial is rigged against him because of Judge Gonzalo Curiel's race. Basically, Trump doesn't think he'll get a fair trial because of Trump's plans to build a massive wall and keep illegal immigrants from crossing the Mexican-American border.
5. The Wisconsin Primary
Iowa wasn't the only time that Trump complained about unfairness during the fight for the Republican Party's presidential nomination. After a bad loss to Senator Cruz in the Wisconsin Primary last April, Trump said party insiders were pulling strings to keep him from winning.
“The bosses are trying to run it,” Trump told CNN. "It’s a rigged party. The bosses want to pick whoever they want to pick."
His solution? Let's drop the whole primary process and just give Trump the nomination.
“I’m leading in both votes and delegates. I’m leading by millions of votes. I’m leading by hundreds of delegates. What’s the purpose of going through the primary?”
Yes, democracy just gets in the way sometimes.
6. The Republican Party
After winning the Republican Party's presidential nomination, Trump stunned critics by doubling down on his claim that the GOP was rigged against him. But he didn't care about fixing the system because he won.
"You've been hearing me say it's a rigged system, but now I don't say it anymore because I won. It's true. Now I don't care. I don't care," Tump said at a rally in West Virginia last May. "And the only way I won was I won by such big margins because it is a rigged system. But the only way you can do it, it's like a boxer, you got to knock them out then you don't got to worry about the judges. But it's true."
So he's just as much of a sore winner as a sore loser.
7. The FBI
When the FBI decided not to press charges against Hillary Clinton following her email scandal, Trump alleged that the country's domestic intelligence and security system was rigged in favor of Clinton.
Since making that claim, he has vowed to appoint a special prosecutor to charge Clinton and perhaps put her in jail over her deleted emails. To date, no presidential candidate in American history has jailed an opponent as Trump threatens to do.
Google is in Hillary Clinton's back pocket, according to Trump. After the first presidential debate last September, Trump rallied supporters by telling them that he had won the verbal battle with Clinton even though the deck was stacked against him.
“The Google poll has us leading Hillary Clinton by two points nationwide, and that’s despite the fact that Google search engine was suppressing the bad news about Hillary Clinton,” he said.
Trump was referring to the debunked conspiracy theory that Google's search engine was calibrated to hide negative stories about Clinton.
Less than a month after using the polls to claim victory in the first presidential debate, Trump claimed that the polls were rigged against him. And they're just one part of a larger conspiracy against his candidacy for president, he added.
"Even the polls are crooked. Look, we're in a rigged system."
10. The Election
And the poll story brings us to the bigger picture. Trump's most outlandish claim yet is that the election itself is rigged against him.
Including collusion between the media and Hillary Clinton.
The election is absolutely being rigged by the dishonest and distorted media pushing Crooked Hillary - but also at many polling places - SAD
The election is absolutely being rigged by the dishonest and distorted media pushing Crooked Hillary - but also at many polling places - SAD— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 16, 2016
And wide-scale voter fraud.
Of course there is large scale voter fraud happening on and before election day. Why do Republican leaders deny what is going on? So naive!
Of course there is large scale voter fraud happening on and before election day. Why do Republican leaders deny what is going on? So naive!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 17, 2016
But the most unsettling thing is that Trump might use this conspiracy theory to refuse conceding the election if he loses in November. When Chris Wallace - moderator of the third presidential debate - asked Trump if he would conceded, The Donald refused to give a straight answer.
"I will look at it at the time," he said. "I will keep you in suspense."
The response could lead to a major crisis for American democracy.
"The comments at the Las Vegas showdown marked a stunning moment that has never been seen in the weeks before a modern presidential election," Stephen Collinson of CNN wrote. "[Trump's] stance threatens to cast doubt on one of the fundamental principles of American politics -- the peaceful, undisputed transfer of power from one president to a successor who is recognized as legitimate after winning an election."
So the lowest point in the 2016 election - which is already being called the most negative in American history - may be yet to come.