Trump ‘will accept the results of a free and fair election,’ White House says, without addressing the president’s earlier refusal.

Kayleigh McEnany, the White House press secretary, told reporters on Thursday that President Trump “will accept the results of a free and fair election,” downplaying his refusal the day before to commit to a peaceful transfer of power without categorically stating whether he would accept the results.

“He will accept the will of the American people,” she added.

During a daily press briefing, Ms. McEnany was pressed on Mr. Trump’s remark, which he made Wednesday evening in response to a question about the possibility that he might lose the November election at a time of widespread unrest in American cities.

Ms. McEnany would not further characterize the president’s views, but sought to turn against Democrats the outrage and alarm triggered among both parties by the president’s comments.

“I think that your question is more fitting to be asked of Democrats who have already been on the record saying they won’t accept the results of an election,” she said, quoting party leaders who have in fact warned that Mr. Trump might try to claim victory illegitimately.

She cited an August comment from Mr. Trump’s 2016 opponent, Hillary Clinton, that former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. “should not concede under any circumstances.” But Mrs. Clinton was referring only to election night itself, warning that a final accurate tally may not be known until days or weeks later, in part because of potentially late-arriving mail-in votes Mr. Trump is seeking to discredit.

She also repeatedly noted that the reporter who had asked Mr. Trump yesterday about a power transfer works for Playboy magazine. The White House has previously complained about that reporter, Brian Karem, and even unsuccessfully sought to revoke his press pass. It is unclear why Mr. Trump continues to call on him in briefings.

Ms. McEnany also condemned protesters who jeered Mr. Trump as he visited Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s coffin atop the Supreme Court steps on Thursday. “The chants were appalling, but certainly to be expected when you’re in the heart of the swamp,” she said.

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Arson suspected in fire at St. Paul ‘nightmare’ house where man was fatally shot a day earlier

A suspicious fire struck a home Sunday where a man was shot to death a day earlier in St. Paul, authorities said.

The blaze at the residence in the 800 block of E. Lawson Avenue, which has drawn a substantial amount of police attention this year, was being investigated as a possible arson, Fire Department personnel at the scene said.

A 37-year-old man showed up at the home about 2:20 a.m. Sunday while intoxicated and “attempted to enter the crime scene that was protected by crime scene tape and monitored by officers,” said Police Sgt. Mike Ernster.

The man was told by police to leave, but he sat down on the drive and defied the officers’ orders, Ernster said. Police arrested him and booked him in jail on suspicion of obstructing the legal process, a misdemeanor.

Police left the scene about 9 a.m. only to return about two hours with firefighters after “witnesses reported smoke and flames coming from the house,” the sergeant said. The blaze was extinguished, and no injuries were reported.

On Saturday, officers called to the scene about 4 p.m. and found a man suffering from a gunshot wound to his upper body. Paramedics pronounced him dead at the scene. The victim’s identity has yet to be released.

The death marked St. Paul’s 24th homicide of the year. No arrests have been announced.

Ernster said that the residence has been connected to 170 911 calls this year.

“They were everything from drug offenses to property crime calls to quality-of-life issues and disorderly conduct,” the department spokesman said.

Al Thompson, who lives nearby, said, “That house has been a nightmare to our neighborhood. We hear gunshots almost on a daily basis just from that address.

“This was going to be my kids’ bus stop if they were not distance learning. I am so glad I do not have to worry about that address or the kids playing at the park nearby.”

Homicide investigators were interviewing witnesses at police headquarters Saturday night. Anyone with information is asked to call police at 651-266-5650.

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