WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Senator Marco Rubio, an ally of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, will not accept the results of the Nov. 5 election if they are “unfair,” he said on Sunday.

“Will you accept the election results of 2024, no matter what happens, senator?” NBC News’ “Meet the Press” host Kristen Welker asked Rubio, a Florida Republican, in an interview.

“No matter what happens? No,” Rubio answered. “If it’s an unfair election, I think it’s going to be contested by either side.”

Trump and his allies are laying the groundwork to contest a potential loss in November, stoking doubts about the election’s legitimacy even as polls show the former president leading in battleground states, Reuters reported on Thursday.

In recent interviews, Trump has refused to commit to accepting the election results, intensifying a strategy he used during the 2020 election. Trump’s false claims that his 2020 defeat was the result of fraud inspired his supporters to assault the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

Rubio, now in his third term in the Senate, is considered a potential candidate to be named as Trump’s vice presidential running mate.

Earlier this month, two other potential running mates – U.S. Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina and North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum – refused to commit to accepting election results.

Rubio said Democrats “opposed every Republican victory since 2000” although those candidates conceded their losses.

“If it’s unfair, we are going to do the same thing Democrats do,” Rubio said. “We’re going to use lawyers to go to court and point out the fact that states are not following their own election laws.”

(Reporting by Ted Hesson in Washington; Editing by Scott Malone and Leslie Adler)

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