As it happened: Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton spar over taxes, terror in 1st US presidential debate
Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump face off Tuesday in one of the most consequential presidential debates in modern US history, with up to 100 million viewers to tune in for the hotly-anticipated political duel.
On Trump's allegation of this election being rigged
"I will look at it (the election result) at the time," Trump said. "First of all, the media is so dishonest and corrupt...The New York Times wrote an aritcle...I think the people can see through all the lies," he said.
"Millions of people are registered to vote who shouldn't vote," Trump said. "She shouldn't be allowed to run for the Presidency based on what she did with emails," he said.
"I will keep you in suspense," Trump said.
"This is horrifying," Hillary said in response. "When the FBI concluded there was nothing wrong with the emails, he claimed the FBI was rigged," he added.
"There was a time when he didn't get an Emmy for his show and he concluded that the Emmy was rigged," she said.
"We've had free and fair elections and we must accept the results," she said. "It just shows that you're not up to doing the job."
Donald thinks belittling women makes him bigger: Hillary
"Those stories have been largely debunked...I have a feeling it was her campaign that did it," he said, referring to the sexual assault allegations against him. "I didn't even apologise to my wife because I didn't do anything."
"I think they either wanted fame or their campaign did it," Trump said, adding that Obama and Hillary incited violence on many occasions. "It was all fiction and lies."
"Donald held a number of rallies where he said he could not have done those things to women because they were not attractive enough," Hillary said.
"I. Did. Not. Say. That," said Trump.
"Donald thinks belittling women makes him bigger," Hillary said. "America is great because America is good," she said.
"Nobody has more respect for women than I do," Trump said in response. "What isn't fictionalised are the 33,000 leaked emails," he said, raising the same issue he has raised over the last two debates.
India growing at 8%: Trump
"When you inherit the level of economic catastrophe which President Obama inherited...President Obama doesn't get the credit he deserves," Hillary said. "I propose that we invest from the ground up...not the top down," she added.
"I just met some high representatives of India...they are growing at 8 percent," Donald Trump said.
"Our country is stagnant...we've lost out jobs...we're not making anything," Trump said. "I pass factories that were thriving 25 years ago...and because of the bill her husband signed, it's horrible what has happened to these people," he said.
Debate moves to immigration as things get a bit aggressive
"She wants to give amnesty, which is a disaster...We need to secure our borders," Donald Trump said. "Drugs are pouring in through the border. We have no country if we have no border," he added.
"The biggest complaint they have in New Hamshire is heroine...it's poisoning the blood of their youth...We have to keep the drugs out of our country. We cannot give amnesty," he said.
"I want to build a wall...we need the wall," Trump said.
"I don't want to rip families apart...I don't want to see the deportation port in action in our country," Hillary said. "You would have to have a massive law enforcement forces where they would be going from schools to businesses rounding up people," she said. "It is an idea that would rip our country apart...I voted for border security in our nation. But I wanted to put our resources where they are needed: getting rid of any violent person."
"I think we are both a nation of immigrants and a nation of laws," Hillary said.
"I had a very good meeting with the president of Mexico," Donald Trump said. "Hillary Clinton wanted the wall...Hillary Clinton voted for the wall in 2006."
"I had voted for border security..." Hillary said. "Wall," Donald said, interrupting Hillary.
"Donald used undocumented labour to build his tower," Hillary said.
Trump's attack on Bill Clinton
With his campaign in chaos, Trump has stepped up his attacks on former president Clinton, asserting that he has a history of abusing women.
In an extraordinary step, Trump convened a press event just moments before the debate that included several women who accuse him of sexual harassment and rape.
Introduced by Trump as "very courageous women," his invited speakers included Paula Jones, a former government employee in Arkansas who sued Bill Clinton for sexual harassment, and Juanita Broaddrick, also of Arkansas, who claims that Clinton raped her in 1978.
The debate came at perhaps the most pivotal moment of the 2016 presidential race, with Trump needing a dramatic boost if he is to claw back ground against Clinton, who has surged in the polls since their first debate on 26 September.
Clinton's campaign has dismissed Trump's sensational targeting of Bill Clinton as an "act of desperation."
"Republicans are leaving you," Clinton told him on the debate stage, saying his campaign was "exploding." - AFP
No tweet from Mike Pence
It is extremely significant to note that while Hillary Clinton's running mate Tim Kaine was constantly tweeting throughout the debate, Donald Trump's running mate Mike Pence has not put out a single tweet. Remember that Pence had also spoke against Trump on the issue of the tape in which Trump talked proudly about sexual assault.
Question: Can you name one positive thing that you respect in one another?
"I think that's a very fair question," Hillary Clinton said. "I respect his (Trump's) children...they are devoted. I think that says a lot about Donald. I believe that this election has become in part so conflict-oriented because there is a lot at stake."
"I consider her statement about my children a great compliment. I will say this about Hillary: She doesn't quit. She doesn't give up. She's a fighter. And I consider that to be very good trait," said Donald Trump.
No tweet from Mike Pence so far
Meanwhile, Donald Trump's running mate Mike Pence has not tweeted anything about the debate since it began.
Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump on Syria
"The situation in Syria is catastrophic...There is a determined effort by the Russian airforce to destroy Aleppo. Russia hasn't paid any attention to ISIS. They're interested in keeping Assad in power. We need some leverage with the Russians. Because they're not going to come to the negotiating table unless there is some leverage...Russia has decided that it is all in in Russia. I've stood up to Russia and I've taken on Putin," Hillary Clinton said. "I do support the effort to investigate the war crimes by Syrians and Russians," she added.
"I don't think Obama would be listening to you anymore. She talks tough against Russia. But our nuclear programme is going nowhere. And Russia is going ahead with their nuclear programme. She talks about the rebels...she doesn't even know who the rebels are," Trump said. "We end up arming the rebels," Trump said, adding that soon, the rebels turn against them.
Trump also called the Iran deal the "dumbest deal" he had seen till now. "She wants to fight for rebels...you don't even know who the rebels are. I don't like Assad at all. But Assad is killing ISIS. Russia is killing ISIS," he added.
The moderator then repeated the question to Trump and asked what he would do. "Right now, Syria is fighting ISIS. I believe we have to get ISIS. We have to worry about ISIS," he said.
Trump on his call for ban on Muslims
"The Muslim ban is something that has morphed into extreme vetting," Trump said. "We're going into area like Syria, from where they are coming in by the thousands...We have no idea who they are, where they are from or what they want for our country," he added.
"I don't want to have hundreds of thousands of people from Syria coming into our country when we already have so many problems," he said.
"I will not anyone into our country who I think poses a risk to us. But there are children suffering in this catastrophic war, largely I believe because of Russian aggression," Hillary Clinton said. "It is important for us that as a policy, we don't say, as Donald has said, that we ban people on the basis of religion. How do we do what he has said without causing great distress?" she said.
"I thought what he said was extremely unwise. What Donald Trump said about Muslims is used to recruit fighters (terrorists)," Hillary said, adding that Donald Trump had supported the Iraq war.
"When we want to send the illegal immigrants back, many times the original country do not want them back because they are criminals. I am going to send them back. We are also letting drugs pour through our Southern border at a record rate," Trump said in response.
If you look at Bill Clinton, there has never been anyone in the history of politics that has been so abusive to women: Trump
"That was locker room talk. I am not proud of it. I am person who has great respect for his family. If you look at Bill Clinton, there has never been anyone in the history of politics that has been so abusive to women. Hillary Clinton attacked the same women. One of the women was raped at 12. And she (Hillary) has been seen laughing at the rape victim,"Donald Trump said.
Hillary said Trump tapes show who Donald Trump really is
"I've spent a lot of time thinking about what we heard and saw," Hillary Clinton said. "I never question someone's fitness to serve. Donald Trump is different. I said earlier that he was not fit to be President. Many Republicans have said the same thing. What we saw and heard on Friday was what Donald thinks about women. I think it represents exactly what Donald is. We have seen Donald berate women, rate them on their looks. So, yes, this is who Donald Trump is. But it is not only women and not just this video which raises a question about his fitness. Because he has also targeted African Americans, Latinos, people with disabilities."
"I want to send a message to the entire world: that America is already great. But it is great because we are good. We will respect one another and we will respect diversity," she said.
The Trump tapes
"This was locker room talk. I'm not proud of it...I apologised to the American people. We have a world in which you have ISIS chopping off heads...we have a world where you have so many bad things happen," said Donald Trump. "It's one of those things...I'm going to knock the hell out of ISIS. I will take care of ISIS," he said, trying to move the focus away from his remarks.
"Nobody has more respect for women that I do," said Trump. "I'm going to make our country safe. I'm going to make the borders safe again. And I'm going to make America wealthy again."
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Trump interrupted Hillary a lot
As the debate ends, it is important to note that while Hillary Clinton interrupted Donald Trump once or twice during the debate, Trump interrupted her almost everytime she spoke and almost on every issue. It is clear that he was a lot more careless when it came to following the rules of the debate.
Hillary: I am reaching out to all Americans. We need everybody to make our country stronger. We need your talents and your energy. I know the huge responsibility of protecting out country. I will stand up for families against powerful interests. I will do everything to make sure you have jobs.
Trump: We're going to make America great again. We don't take care of our veterans...we take care of illegal immigrants. Our inner cities are a disaster. I will do more for African Americans and Latinos. We cannot take four more years of Barack Obama.
On national debt
"I'm going to create tremendous jobs," Trump said. "We have a tremendous machine...to do that, we're taking back jobs. We're not going to let our jobs be taken by other countries," he added. "We have people who are political hacks making trade deals with other countries," he said.
"We have the greatest businesspeople in the world. We need those to make negotiations...We have to use our great people. We will create an economic machine the likes of which people have not seen in many years," Trump added.
"It's important to recognise that he has been criticising our governments for decades," Hillary said, adding that Trump had used the exact words against Ronald Reagan. "I pay for everything I am proposing," Hillary said.
"When I talk about how we are going to pay for education, we are going where the money is," she said. "There is no evidence that will diminish our growth...we have to go back to making the middle class stronger," she added.
Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump face off Monday in one of the most consequential presidential debates in modern US history, with up to 100 million viewers to tune in for the hotly-anticipated political duel.
With polls tightening into a virtual dead heat, the stakes could hardly be higher: the first woman to win the White House nomination for a major US party, against a New York tycoon turned reality star who has upended the political establishment.
Commentators call it a clash of the titans: a 90-minute endurance test between Clinton the Democrat, arguably the most experienced US presidential candidate ever, and Trump the Republican, perhaps the least experienced nominee for a major party.
The outcome of this political show for the ages could shape the last six-week stint of an election that has deeply polarised the country and left Trump fighting to overcome allegations of bigotry and sexism.
Wall Street stocks tumbled Monday in anticipation of the first of three live, televised debates before the November 8 election.
A decisive win for Clinton could see her pull ahead. A strong performance from Trump could keep the vote competitive or even possibly see him pull out in front.
Hosted at Hofstra University on Long Island, a mere 60-minute drive from Manhattan and chaired by NBC Nightly News anchor Lester Holt, the debate may attract an audience closer to the size of the Super Bowl when it kicks off at 9:00 pm (0100 GMT Tuesday), beamed live around the country.
The questions will revolve around three themes: "America's direction, achieving prosperity, and securing America."
Both candidates, the most disliked US presidential rivals in contemporary history, have spent days furiously prepping and honing which strategy they believe will inflict maximum damage on the other.
Clinton, 68, is nothing if not experienced with four decades of public service tucked under her belt -- a veteran of 34 primary debates, having run and lost for president in 2008 against Barack Obama.
"When the spotlights are at the brightest and the pressure is the most intense, that's when she brings her A-plus game," said Clinton running mate Tim Kaine.
Trump, the 70-year-old maverick billionaire, has refused to play by the rules. He has never held public office but stormed through the primaries, crushing his 16 opponents with a populist, say-it-how-it-is message that has resonated among Americans fed up with establishment politicians.
According to a recent Washington Post/ABC News poll, 53 percent of Americans voters do not believe that Trump is qualified to be president, lacking the temperament and knowledge.
The Republican Trump is unrivalled at hogging the limelight, but considered weak on policy.
But while Clinton is masterful when it comes to policy details, she suffers from perceptions that she is untrustworthy and dishonest.
And Trump's campaign manager Kellyanne Conway says for all Clinton's proficiency it has not translated into campaign success.
"She's smart, but this isn't her sweet spot," she told MSNBC, calling her boss "a natural debater" by comparison.
"I have been in politics for 28 years," she said. "And I think Donald Trump has gifts and skills that sometimes escape typical politicians."
Polls tied, stocks tumble
Monday's target will be the estimated nine percent of American voters who are still undecided. Can the Democrat win their minds, if not their hearts? Can Trump persuade them that he has the gravitas to lead?
Clinton will no doubt aim to seize on Trump's toxic campaign trail rhetoric, using his words to paint her rival as a divisive demagogue.
But if Trump remains disciplined and focuses on issues, he could earn credibility among college-educated whites, according to veteran Democratic campaign strategist Joe Trippi.
"I do expect Donald Trump to be more genteel and a calmer force tonight, and I expect her to try to bait him out," Trippi told Fox News.
Stocks skidded on Wall Street with the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropping 0.9 percent to 18,094.83 amid unease over the debate.
The latest opinion polls have Clinton and Trump virtually tied: 41 percent each according to the Washington Post-ABC poll and 43 for Clinton to Trump's 42 percent according to Quinnipiac University.
The Quinnipiac poll found that voters expect Clinton to win the debate 41 to 32 percent, and that 84 percent said they intend to watch.
Clinton's campaign has expressed concerns of being held to a double standard, saying the bar is higher for her while Trump stood to win praise for a merely adequate performance.
"All that we're asking is that if Donald Trump lies, that it's pointed out," Clinton campaign manager Robbie Mook told ABC.
Trump has already stated that he does not believe Holt's role as moderator is to police each candidate.
Obama, who is likely to be working in the White House with the debate "on in the background," believes Clinton needs to show Americans what motivates her to want to be president, spokesman Josh Earnest said.
"He obviously believes that she's got a strong case to make," Earnest told reporters.
With inputs from AFP
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