cops remove burkini on Nice beach ‘not bikini ok’

France ‘burkini ban’: Images of police on beach fuel debate

Police patrolling in Nice fine a woman for wearing a burkini
The incident happened close to where more than 80 people died in an Islamist attack in July

Pictures have emerged of French police appearing to enforce the controversial “burkini ban” on a woman on a beach in the southern city of Nice.

Police appear to issue a fine to the woman, who is then seen removing a veil and baring her arms.

Nice’s deputy mayor said the removal of burkinis was a “necessity” after the deadly jihadist attack last month.

The French Council of the Muslim Faith (CFCM) expressed concern at the direction the public debate was taking.

A bid to overturn the ban is due to come before France’s highest administrative court on Thursday.

The incident, which took place on Tuesday, happened close to the site of the jihadist attack on Bastille Day in July.

Rudy Salles, the deputy mayor of Nice, said: “It’s a necessity after… the 14th of July on the Promenade des Anglais.

Media captionA witness describes French “burkini ban” police confronting the woman on the beach

“It is not the habit and the custom of the Muslims in Nice to wear [clothes] like this on the beach.”

Since the photographs went viral, Anouar Kbibech, the president of the CFCM, said he was “concerned over the direction the public debate is taking”, citing the “growing fear of stigmatisation of Muslims in France”.

Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve has agreed to a meeting with the CFCM.

Among many remarks about the incident on Twitter, the European Media Director of Human Rights Watch, Andrew Stroehlein, wrote: “Question of the day: How many armed policemen does it take to force a woman to strip in public?”

It is not clear from the photographs if the woman was ordered to remove items of clothing by the police, or if she did so of her own accord.

The 34-year-old mother, who gave her name only as Siam, told the AFP agency that she had been sitting on the beach in leggings, a tunic and a headscarf, when she was fined.

She said: “I had no intention of swimming.”

The mayor of Cannes’ ruling

A woman wearing a full-body swimming costume walks into the water at a beach in France (file pic)
The rules have been imposed by more than 20 municipalities in France
  • “Access to beaches and for swimming is banned to any person wearing improper clothes that are not respectful of good morals and secularism”
  • “Beachwear which ostentatiously displays religious affiliation, when France and places of worship are currently the target of terrorist attacks, is liable to create risks of disrupting public order”
  • The infringement is punishable with a fine of €38 (£33)
  • The ban remains in place until 31 August 2016

The Muslim rights group, Collective against Islamophobia, said that 16 women have been given fines in the past fortnight on the Riviera under the ban – but argues that none were wearing a burkini.

The group said they were all wearing headscarves, tops and leggings.

BBC Paris correspondent Hugh Schofield says the so-called burkini ban actually makes no mention of the burkini.

The rules simply say beachwear must be respectful of good public manners and the principle of secularism which, he says, leaves large room for interpretation and confusion.

The controversial rules surrounding swimwear have been imposed by more than 20 municipalities in France.



Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump addresses a campaign event in Fredericksburg, Virginia.
Mr Trump’s hardline immigration policy has been at the center of his campaign

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has signalled he may drop his proposal to deport 11 million people who are living illegally in the US.

His campaign manager Kellyanne Conway said the mass deportation plan, which was a central plank of his campaign, was yet “to be determined”.

Her comments at the weekend came after Mr Trump met with a new panel of Hispanic advisers.

He told Fox News on Monday he was not “flip-flopping” but wanted a fair plan.

“We want to come up with a fair but firm process. Fair but firm,” he said, without giving specifics.

The businessman was scheduled to deliver a speech on immigration in Colorado on Thursday but his campaign team told US media on Monday afternoon that it has been postponed.

Mr Trump has taken a hardline stance on immigration since the beginning of his campaign, vowing to create a “deportation force” as well as make Mexico pay for the construction of a wall along the US-Mexico border.

While struggling to keep up with Democratic rival Hillary Clinton in the polls, Mr Trump has addressed black and Hispanic voters in recent days with the aim of broadening his support beyond white working-class voters.


“What he supports is to make sure we enforce the law, that we are respectful of those Americans who are looking for jobs, and that we are fair and humane to those who live among us,” Ms Conway told CNN on Sunday.

When asked to clarify if Mr Trump would maintain his position on creating a deportation force, Ms Conway responded: “To be determined.”

A U-turn? Anthony Zurcher, BBC News, Washington

Donald Trump has repeatedly said the 11.4 million undocumented immigrants in the US “have to go”. Now he may be wavering on that demand. The political risks of such a move – detractors will call it a flip-flop – are enormous.

It will be difficult for Mr Trump to convince Hispanic voters and moderates that his change of heart is authentic. Meanwhile, Mr Trump’s core base of support could feel betrayed.

The Republican nominee has survived sometimes contradictory positions – on issues such as gay rights, abortion and the minimum wage – that allow supporters to pick and choose what they think he believes.

. It’s a central part of his argument that the US working class has been grievously wounded by economic policies implemented by a globalist elite more concerned with profit margins than American jobs.

A reversal here would be akin to his saying that maybe Nafta isn’t so bad after all. It would tear at the heart of his message.

Given that Mr Trump’s standing with Hispanics – particularly in key battleground states – has been an anchor on his presidential hopes, however, it may be a gamble he’s decided to take.

But Mr Trump’s running mate, Mike Pence, insisted on Monday that the plan remains unchanged.

“I don’t think the message is changing at all. I think people are just getting to know Donald Trump better,” Mr Pence said.

Mrs Clinton’s campaign later released a statement saying there would be little revision to his immigration plan despite Ms Conway’s suggestions.

Supporters hold up signs during a campaign rally of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump in Fredericksburg, Virginia.
Mr Trump struggles to extend his reach beyond white working-class voters

“Donald Trump’s immigration plan remains the same as it’s always been – tear apart families and deport 16 million people from the United States,” said campaign chair John Podesta.

If the deportation plan is dropped or refashioned, it would not be the first shift in Mr Trump’s immigration policy.

His controversial plan to issue a “total and complete shutdown” of Muslims entering the country changed to a ban on countries with a history of terrorism against the US. That switch followed questions raised by constitutional experts.

Last week, the Trump campaign faced a dramatic overhaul with the exit of campaign chairman Paul Manafort as well as the hiring of Breitbart News boss Stephen Bannon as CEO and Ms Conway as campaign manager.


Rio Olympics : US and NZ runners help each other

Hamblin encourages the injured D'Agostino to continue
New Zealand’s Hamblin (left) encourages the injured D’Agostino after the American had helped her earlier

An American runner has been praised as a true Olympian after stopping mid-race to help a fallen rival on to her feet.

Nikki Hamblin helped New Zealand’s Abbey D’Agostino who was lying dazed on the track after the two entangled and fell in the 5,000m heats in Rio.

“Get up. We have to finish this,” Hamblin told her.

Hamblin hung back to encourage the injured American, who hobbled over the line in last place.

They embraced before D’Agostino left in a wheelchair with a hurt ankle.

Neither initially qualified for the final but they earned much praise for their spirit.

Neither initially qualified for the final but they earned much praise for their spirit.

The incident began about 3km (1.9 miles) into the 5km race, when D’Agostino and Hamblin collided and they both went down.

Hamblin fell heavily and Hamblin was first to get to her feet, but D’Agostino was just lying there, appearing to be in tears.

Brazil leaked tape

Instead of continuing the race in an attempt to catch up, the American put her hands under the New Zealander’s shoulders to help her up, telling her not to give up.

As they continued the race, it became clear that D’Agostino’s injury was the more serious and her ankle had been badly hurt.

So it was Hamblin’s turn to be the helper, hanging back to encourage her rival.

“She helped me first. I tried to help her. She was pretty bad,” said Hamblin after the race. She eventually had to leave D’Agostino behind and thought the American would have to give up.

She waited at the finish line where they shared a hug. This time, it was D’Agostino who was in tears and she was taken out of the stadium in a wheelchair.

“That girl is the Olympic spirit right there,” said Hamblin.

The two runners were reinstated as finalists by the organisers, if they are fit enough to race in Friday night’s final.


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Who will be banned under Trump’s immigration plan?

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has unveiled his latest plans for immigration screenings. How will it work?Donald Trump speaks about immigration and refugees in the USA during a campaign event in Sunrise, Florida.

The proposal, outlined in a speech in Ohio, includes temporarily suspending visas from countries with terrorist ties as well as introducing an ideological test for those entering the US.

Though Mr Trump has yet to outline which countries would be included on the list, he told supporters at the rally he would “ask the State Department and Department of Homeland security to identify regions where adequate screenings cannot take place”.

The billionaire businessman said the aim of his latest plan is to destroy the so-called Islamic State (IS), adding that he would work with any countries that share that mission.

Trump slams GOP officials’ national security letter

Mr Trump also proposed an ideological test for those entering the US, focusing on issues such as religious freedom, gender equality and gay rights.

The government, he said, would use those test responses as well as social media and interviews with friends and relatives to determine whether a candidate supports American values. It is unclear how the test responses would be assessed.

Is this a revision of his Muslim ban?

Mr Trump’s immigration plan has taken shape throughout his campaign, beginning with his call for a blanket ban on all Muslims entering the country in December 2015.

The proposal drew condemnation from both Democrats and Republicans, including from his running mate Indiana Governor Mike Pence.

The New York developer changed his tune after a shooting at an Orlando nightclub in June, saying he would temporarily ban visas from countries with a history of terrorism against the US and other western nations.

Though the latest iteration would issue a ban on certain countries, some immigration experts say it still unfairly targets Muslims.

A Virginia immigration lawyer, Hassan Ahmad, points out that Mr Trump’s policy seems to reinforce the rise of xenophobic sentiment, with Muslims bearing the brunt of proposals such as implementing ideological tests.

Kevin Johnson, dean of the UC Davis Law School, says the concept of ideological litmus tests recalls the Cold War era and the use of immigration laws to regulate the ideologies of people coming to the US.

Mr Trump did, in fact, invoke Cold War legislation in his speech, noting that the “time is overdue to develop a new screening test for the threats we face today”.

“Using our immigration laws to screen out views we don’t agree with seems arguably un-American in terms of our devotion to free speech rights,” Mr Johnson said.

What countries would be affected?

While it is unclear which countries would fall under Mr Trump’s temporary ban, a Trump campaign official told the BBC to look at the current administration’s lists of countries with terrorism ties.

According to the State Department’s annual assessment on global terrorism, 12 countries provide “terrorist safe havens”. These countries include: Somalia, Mali, Libya, Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Yemen.

The State Department has also designated 14 countries where terror networks such as IS and al-Qaeda have established operations, including Turkey, Nigeria and Russia.

The US also lists Iran, Sudan and Syria as state sponsors of terrorism, bringing the total number of countries with terror links to 29 nations.

But if Mr Trump were to follow the State Department’s list of other nations with smaller, established terrorist cells – which includes France, Belgium and the UK – that would bring the total to 40 nations which could fall under his ban.

However, a Trump campaign adviser told the BBC that Mr Trump would not mention specific countries until he receives full national security briefings and would instead focus on forming partnerships with governments and other agencies to strengthen the vetting process.

How is Mr Trump’s plan different from the current system?

As experts point out, the US has rigorous vetting processes in place when it comes to immigration, and particularly, refugees – a group that Mr Trump has targeted in campaign speeches.

“There is a tremendous amount of vetting that takes place today,” said Doris Meissner, a former commissioner of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, or the predecessor to the Department of Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Ms Meissner, a current senior fellow at the Migration Policy Institute, said the US has modernised screening databases to include criminal information, terrorist watch lists and other intelligence shared between the US and other countries.

The US has spent an enormous amount of time upgrading its systems, she said, and it continues to do so with a “renewed sense of cooperation” with other western countries in the wake of the attacks in Paris and Brussels.

But while the US focuses on individually screening whether someone should be excluded based on terrorist activity, Mr Trump’s plan appears to issue a blanket approach, Mr Johnson said.

“Usually, more focused individualised inquiries tend to bear more fruit when it comes to protecting people’s security,” he added.

Mr Trump’s blanket approach echoes a programme implemented by US officials following the 11 September attacks, Mr Ahmad noted.

In 2002, the US created “Special Registration,” a programme requiring Arab and Muslim men to register with authorities with the aim of uncovering terror links.

However, as Mr Ahmad notes, of the 25 countries listed in the programme, 24 were predominantly Muslim nations (except for North Korea).

The programme yielded little results, with only 11 of the more than 85,000 men registered in the first year found to have a link to terrorism, the New York Times reported.

But even so, the Bush administration’s immigration policies did not issue temporary blanket bans as Mr Trump has suggested, Mr Johnson added.

“When you have blanket approaches, you generally get less effective security because you can’t spend your time and effort on where the real problems are,” Ms Meissner said.

Will Mr Trump’s plan make the US safer?

Mr Trump vowed to “aggressively pursue joint and coalition military operations to crush and destroy ISIS” while also only allowing “those who share our values and respect our people” to enter the US.

But will his proposals strengthen US national security?

Experts seem to think his pledges are still too opaque to tell.

“It is not clear to me that there is any security benefits from either ideological exclusions or blanket exclusions from people from particular countries,” Mr Johnson said.

Mr Ahmed describes his plan as “an act of security theatre”.

“We already have a vetting system and it’s focused on what people actually do rather than what their Facebook status says,” he said.

Using social media and ideological tests also opens up the vetting process to misinterpretation, Ms Meissner added.

“Interviews with friends and family, vetting to under stand people’s support for American values,” she said, “Those are highly subjective factors.”

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Clinton says Trump incited violence

Clinton says Trump incited violence with ‘Second Amendment’ remarks

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton addresses supporters during a rally at the Osceola Heritage Park in Kissimmee, Florida.
Mrs Clinton said: “Words can have tremendous consequences.”

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton has said Donald Trump incited violence when he said gun rights supporters could stop her from winning.

Speaking at a rally in Des Moines, Iowa, Mrs Clinton said “words can have tremendous consequences.”

Mr Trump sparked backlash after suggesting “Second Amendment people,” or gun owners, could take action against her.

Mrs Clinton also said Mr Trump did not have the temperament to be president.

The former secretary of state called out Mr Trump for his recent row with the family of a fallen American Muslim soldier, which the military refers to as a Gold Star family.

“Yesterday we witnessed the latest in the long line of casual comments from Donald Trump that cross the line. His casual cruelty to a Gold Star family, his casual suggestion that more countries should have nuclear weapons. And now his casual inciting of violence,” she said.

“Every single one of these incidents shows that Donald Trump simply does not have the temperament to be president and commander in chief of the United

Mr Trump was speaking at a rally in North Carolina on Tuesday when he said Mrs Clinton would put liberal justices on the Supreme Court if she wins the presidency.

The Republican nominee suggested her liberal nominations would threaten gun ownership rights when he said: “Hillary wants to abolish, essentially abolish the Second Amendment. By the way, and if she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks.

“But the Second Amendment people, maybe there is, I don’t know.”

Social media users swiftly responded, condemning Mr Trump for appearing to incite violence.

Mr Trump dismissed the claims, tweeting that he was trying to unify gun rights supporters to turn out to vote to defeat Mrs Clinton.

His campaign said: “Second Amendment people have amazing spirit and are tremendously unified, which gives them great political power.”

“And this year, they will be voting in record numbers, and it won’t be for Hillary Clinton, it will be for Donald Trump.”


Trump slams GOP officials’ national security letter

gAnti-Trump group wants to get NeverTrump voters to polls for down ballot races
Donald Trump on Monday lashed out at 50 top Republican national security officials for criticizing his presidential campaign.

“The names on this letter are the ones the American people should look to for answers on why the world is a mess, and we thank them for coming forward so everyone in this country knows who deserves the blame for making the world such a dangerous place,” he said in a statement.

“They are nothing more than the failed Washington elite looking to hold onto their power, and it’s time they are held accountable for their actions.”

Trump said the coalition dismissing his national security positions are many of the same voices guiding Hillary Clinton’s poor foreign policies.

“These insiders – along with Hillary Clinton – are the owners of the disastrous decisions to invade Iraq, allow Americans to die in Benghazi, and they are the ones who allowed the rise of [the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria],” the GOP’s presidential nominee said.

“Yet despite these failures, they think they are entitled to use their favor trading to land taxpayer-funded government contracts and speaking fees,” Trump added.

“It’s time we put our foot down and declare that their gravy train is over: No longer will Crooked Hillary Clinton and the other disasters in Washington get rich at our expense.”

A group of 50 top Republican national security officials published a letter earlier Monday declaring Trump is unfit for the presidency.

The letter was signed by aides and Cabinet members from past GOP administrations including former Presidents George W. Bush’s and Richard Nixon’s.

“Mr. Trump lacks the character, values and experience to be president,” the letter says. “He weakens U.S. moral authority as the leader of the free world.

“He appears to lack basic knowledge about the belief in U.S. Constitution, U.S. laws and U.S. institutions, including religious tolerance, freedom of the press and an independent judiciary.”

The letter comes as some top Republicans have publicly chosen to support Clinton, the Democratic presidential nominee, rather than Trump.


Donald Trump wants to Buy Puerto Rico

In Controversial Campaign Move, Donald Trump to Buy Puerto RicoDonald Trump pauses during a speech in Virginia.

Donald Trump told a large, enthusiastic Keokuk, Iowa audience that he’s going to purchase the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico in order to resolve its debt crisis and rename it Puerto Trump.

Trump later heatedly denied to reporters that buying Puerto Rico was a way to repair bridges with Latino voters offended by his comments about Mexican immigrants.

“I love Puerto Rico,” Trump told 4,000 flag-waving supporters in the early primary state of Iowa. “I go there every winter, to visit my hubcabs.

“Seriously, they got the rug pulled out from under them when the idiots in Washington changed the rules of the game about how they can borrow money.

“I don’t need to wait until I’m elected President to fix this. I’m just buying the whole damn island right now.”

Reaction to Trump’s plan, the details of which his advisors hurriedly released after the surprise announcement, has been mixed.

“Jobs and money,” Alejandro Garcia Padilla, Governor of Puerto Rico, said in a news conference. “And probably more golf courses. What’s not to like?”

“It’s just a bald-faced way to buy back support among Hispanic voters,” a spokesman for Hillary Rodham Clinton’s campaign said. “As soon as we let the media out of their rope-like pen, we’re certain they’ll share our viewpoint.”

Trump told his Keokuk audience, “One of the best things about being very rich is that you can buy whatever you want, and in this case, I want Puerto Rico.

“It’s a beautiful place, the weather’s great, and the people are already American, even though they speak Spanish.

“I have no idea how that happened, but so be it.”

Puerto Rico has been considering defaulting on loans or finding other means of discharging its massive debts.

The island’s financial crisis have been overshadowed by the much larger financial issues emanating from Greece’s troubles.

Trump has come under massive criticism for his repeated comments about Mexico deliberately exporting criminals to the United States because its leaders are “smarter” than those in Washington.

“I’m buying Puerto Rico to make a point,” Trump told his Iowa followers. “You can speak Spanish. You can be an American. And you can play golf, too.”

After the rally, Trump told reporters that he intended to turn much of the island into a “really fabulous” 1,800-hole golf resort.

“We’ll have 100 courses,” he said, “stretching from one end of the island to another. I don’t think there’s really that much in the way. Maybe some chickens.”

Asked whether he thought that the Puerto Rican electorate would support his purchase of their island and turning it into a golf paradise for wealthy Americans, Trump snapped, “They don’t have a say in this. I’m assuming their debt. What happens next is up to me.”

Puerto Rico is seeking from Congress the ability essentially to declare bankruptcy so that it can get its finances in order and provide basic services like electricity and healthcare.

Currently, more than half of the island’s revenues go to debt service.

Some critics of Trump’s plan suggest that hedge funds, to which Puerto Rico owes billions of dollars, are providing the money for Trump’s purchase of the island.

“If Puerto Rico can go bankrupt,” a Treasury official who requested anonymity, reasoned, “then hedge funds stand to lose a fortune. By putting up money with Trump, they can keep their loans to Puerto Rico from getting wiped out.”

Trump rejected that argument in a series of tweets last evening:


“In NYC I’ve known many Puerto Ricans. They have a nice parade. I like the drums they play.”


In Controversial Campaign Move, Donald Trump to Buy Puerto Rico Donald Trump told a large, enthusiastic Keokuk, Iowa audience that he’s going to purchase th

with Puerto Trump that they might all leave NYC and go

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Melania: Republican’s wife denies” Visa” rule break

Melania Trump visa: Republican’s wife denies rule break

Donald Trump leaves the stage with his wife Melania after she spoke at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, U.S., July 18, 2016

Melania Trump, the wife of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, has rejected suggestions that she violated visa rules when she started working as a model in New York.

In a statement she said she had followed immigration laws “at all times”.

Mrs Trump has yet to clarify what type of visa she used during a 1995 photo shoot in New York.

Mr Trump has taken a hard line on illegal immigration in his campaign.

So far, the Trump campaign has refused to say exactly which visas Mrs Trump had, and when she had them.

The development comes during a turbulent week for the billionaire property developer.

There are reports of deep divisions in the Republican Party after a series of controversial statements by the nominee.


Mrs Trump said she began working as a model in the US in 1996, but nude photos published at the weekend by a New York tabloid appear to have been taken in 1995 for a now defunct French magazine.

BBC Washington correspondent Gary O’Donoghue says this discrepancy has raised questions about her immigration status at the time and whether she had the right to work.

Donald Trump walks with vice-presidential nominee Mike Pence after arriving in Cleveland, Ohio, (20 July 2016)
Donald Trump’s campaign has experienced a turbulent week

The owner of one modelling agency, Paolo Zampolli, says he sponsored Mrs Trump for an H1B work visa in 1996.

She has said that she had to go back to her native Slovenia every few months to renew her permit – something that is only generally necessary for tourist and business visas that do not permit work.

Our correspondent says the confusion has the potential to do significant damage to Mr Trump’s campaign, given his robust views on illegal immigrants.

He has also railed against the use of the H1B visa specifically, suggesting abuse of it is widespread and rampant.

Mr Trump was formally adopted last month as the Republican candidate for November’s presidential election.


Ortega names his wife as running mate

Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega has named his wife as his running mate and candidate for vice-president as he seeks re-election for a third term.Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega (left) next to his wife Rosario Murillo (04 December 2013)

First Lady Rosario Murillo already has a prominent role as the chief government spokeswoman and is widely seen as sharing power with her husband.

She appears on Nicaraguan television almost every day.

Critics accuse the first couple of running Nicaragua – which has elections in November – like a personal fiefdom.

Power couples: Ten presidential spouses who ran for political office

While President Ortega rarely speaks to the media, his wife is regularly seen on TV discussing policy and promoting her own brand of New Age spirituality.

Supporters of Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega in Managua (19 July 2016)
The president and his wife are passionately supported by members of their Sandinista party

Mother of the president’s seven children, she is fluent in English and French in addition to being a renowned poet.

She also has a reputation for wearing colourfully extravagant outfits and jewellery more commonly seen in the hippy 1960s.

Correspondents say many Nicaraguans see Ms Murillo as wielding the most power in her country because of her higher public profile.

Husband and wife officially submitted their candidacy papers in the capital Managua, accompanied by the legal adviser of their Sandinista party.

Hundreds of Sandinista supporters cheered the couple when they left the building.

But opposition supporters are concerned her promotion may herald the rise of a new family dynasty in the impoverished Central American nation.

Mr Ortega, 70, is a former left-wing guerrilla who formed part of the government junta following the Sandinista revolution against the dictatorship of the Somoza family, which ruled Nicaragua for four decades.

The Cuban-inspired Sandinistas seized power in 1979.

The party lost elections in the 1990s, but Mr Ortega returned to power in January 2007, after a successful election campaign.

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OBAMA:Trump unfit to be president

President Barack Obama has said Republican nominee Donald Trump is unfit to be president, and questioned why his party still supports the New York billionaire’s candidacy.Donald Trump speaks at a rally in Ohio

Now, however, he’s calling into question one of the foundations of US democracy – the legitimacy of its electoral process.

In the fever swamps on the left and the right, plenty of Americans have doubted the integrity of US elections.

They’ve levelled accusations of voter fraud. Or hacked voting machines. Or polling-place intimidation.

Some of the allegations even contain kernels of truth.

Many US voting electronic machines are woefully unsecure and produce no hard-copy backup. There have been instances of voter impersonation – although they’re extremely isolated and usually involve absentee balloting. New Black Panther activity around Pennsylvania polling sites in 2008 inflamed conservatives, although a US Justice Department investigation found no illegal activity.

You don’t have to dig too deep into social media or the partisan commentariat to find a thorough rehashing of any of these particular concerns. What you don’t hear – at least not until now – is such accusations coming from the top of a presidential ticket.

At a rally on Monday Mr Trump said he was afraid that the November election “is going to be rigged” – backing up his statement by saying it was something he was hearing “more and more”.

In a television interview, he repeated the warning.

“November 8th, we’d better be careful, because that election is going to be rigged,” he said. “And I hope the Republicans are watching closely, or it’s going to be taken away from us.”

The “rigging” accusation isn’t particularly new for Mr Trump, although he’d previously only levelled it toward the sometimes Byzantine candidate nomination process. It’s much easier to question party systems that rely on state-by-state primaries and often poorly managed caucuses, as well as frequently altered delegate allocation procedures.

Mr Trump has said Hillary Clinton benefitted from a rigged Democratic Party apparatus to defeat Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. (Mrs Clinton received roughly 3.7 million more votes than Mr Sanders, but recently released hacked emails indicate that the Democratic National Committee was manoeuvring to support the former secretary of state behind the scenes during the final months of the primary season).

Mr Trump also accused Republican Party officials of attempting to deny him the nomination, after presidential rival Ted Cruz took advantage of delegate rules to position himself to upset Mr Trump – who had a significant advantage in the popular vote – in a contested convention.

Calling the US presidential nomination system “rigged” can be overheated rhetoric, but that playing field is often tilted toward the establishment. US politics isn’t too far from removed a time when nominees were picked by party bosses, while rank-and-file voters had little or no say in the process.

General elections are different. Their rules are set forth in state and federal law, overseen by courts and governed by provisions enshrined in the US Constitution.

“National elections have a clear cut set of rules,” writes Josh Marshall of Talking Points Memo. “The only way to rig them is to change the vote numbers.”

For Mr Trump to call the fairness of US elections into question – months before Americans head to the polls, no less – is a significant break with the tradition of presidential candidates paying respect to the electoral process, win or lose.

In 2000, after a contentious presidential contest that careened past election day and into an extended recount of the Florida vote and multiple rounds of lawsuits only settled by the US Supreme Court, Democrat Al Gore conceded defeat and called for unity.

“This is America,” he said. “Just as we fight hard when the stakes are high, we close ranks and come together when the contest is done.”

Eight years later, Republican nominee John McCain did his part to tamp down unrest within his own party following Barack Obama’s election. When the audience booed his every mention of his opponent during his concession speech, he rebuked them.

“Please, please,” he said to quiet the crowd.

“I urge all Americans who supported me to join me in not just congratulating him,” he continued, “but offering our next president our good will and earnest effort to find ways to come together to find the necessary compromises to bridge our differences and help restore our prosperity, defend our security in a dangerous world, and leave our children and grandchildren a stronger, better country than we inherited.”

Mr Trump’s “rigged” language may simply be a rhetorical flourish from a candidate prone to extemporaneous musings – but it’s already making the rounds among his supporters

In a podcast last week, long-time Trump advisor Roger Stone said that if the election results in November don’t match opinion polls, the Republican nominee should challenge the validity of the election and warned that the unrest could end in a “bloodbath”.

“If there’s voter fraud, this election will be illegitimate,” he said. “The election of the winner will be illegitimate, we will have a constitutional crisis, widespread civil disobedience, and the government will no longer be the government.”

Such upheaval may be painfully familiar to those living in the world’s less established democracies. It would be uncharted territory for the United States.