Catch up on what you missed in the final debate between Clinton, Trump

Trump says he may not accept election result

The final debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump promised to be a Sin City smackdown, and it didn’t disappoint. Catch up on all the highlights here.

The final question

The last of the debates ends with a simple inquiry: Why should people elect you president?

Clinton says she is appealing to members of all parties in an effort to help people against too powerful special interests.

Trump says Clinton will raise taxes, while he will protect the veterans, the military, and the inner cities — and says Clinton will only be another term for President Obama.

— David Jackson

Here’s tomorrow’s headlines today

Via the guy who runs the Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard:

Some of Trump’s staunchest supporters are weighing in on his refusal to say he will respect the election results and concede to Clinton if he loses.

— Donovan Slack

Entitlements

Trump says a growing economy will help finance Social Security and Medicare — and seizes the opportunity to bash President Obama's health care plan as well.

Clinton says higher taxes will help finance entitlement growth.

The Republican interjects: "Such a nasty woman."

— David Jackson

National debt

Trump says he will reduce the national debt through job and economic growth. He says "political hacks" have hurt the economy, particularly with bad trade deals.

Clinton says Trump has criticized the nation for decades while arguing that he is the only one who can fix things.

— David Jackson

Syria, again

Trump again attacks Clinton over violence in Syria — and says Syrian refugee programs could bring terrorists to U.S. shores.

Clinton echoes her call for a no-fly zone in Syria — and says all refugees will be thoroughly vetted, contrary to Trump's claims.

"I am not going to slam the door on women and children," Clinton says.

Trump again blames the rise of the Islamic State on "stupid" leadership.

— David Jackson

John, Bernie, Donald and Hillary

Trump noted that Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta has questioned her instincts while Bernie Sanders has criticized her judgment.

"I agree with both," he says.

Clinton notes that Sanders is campaigning for her — and called Trump the most dangerous candidate to ever run for president.

— David Jackson

Iraq and Syria

During a discussion of the Mosul offensive, Clinton says she won't put U.S. soldiers back in Iraq as an occupying force and would also keep American forces out of the civil war in Syria.

Trump blames Clinton, the former secretary of State, for problems in Mosul to start with. He also his the Obama administration for telegraphing plans for Mosul and says the biggest beneficiary of current foreign policy is Iran.

The two candidates also clash over whether Trump initially supported the Iraq invasion of 2003.

Clinton also repeats an earlier dig at Trump: He was hosting Celebrity Apprentice the night Obama authorized the raid that killed Osama bin Laden.

— David Jackson

Did you see this?

In addition to the word “Right,” which appears behind both candidates depending on the angles, an eagle-eyed Clinton staffer points this out.

— Donovan Slack

A rigged election

Trump is asked about his claims that the election is "rigged" against him — and is also asked whether he will respect the results of the election, win or lose.

Trump won't make that commitment: "I will look at it at the time."

He repeats: "I will tell you at the time — I will keep you in suspense."

Clinton calls that response "horrifying" and notes that he claims any contest he loses as being rigged — even a race for a television Emmy.

"I should have gotten it," Trump says.

Clinton replies: "It's funny, but it's also really troubling."

— David Jackson

The Clinton Foundation — and taxes

The Democratic candidate is called upon to defend her family's foundation, saying there were no "pay to play" arrangements at her State Department.

Clinton praises the foundation as a world-class charity, while Trump describes it as a "criminal enterprise."

She blasts questionable expenses by the Trump Foundation, including a six-foot portrait of the businessman himself. "Who does that?" she says.

For good measure, Clinton attacks Trump for not releasing his taxes, as well as evidence that he did not pay any federal taxes in some years.

Trump said he used the tax laws on income losses, as did some Clinton backers.

— David Jackson

And then things got uglier

A sensitive topic: the dozen or so women who have accused Trump of inappropriate sexual advances.

Trump denies it all — "it was all fiction" — and suggests the "very sleazy" Clinton campaign put his accusers up to it. For good measure, he cites reports that Democrats encouraged people to start fights at Trump rallies.

Clinton says it sounds like Trump's accusers are acting honestly and cites her rival's frequent critical comments about women.

"Donald thinks that belittling women makes him bigger," Clinton says.

Trump refers back to Clinton's use of private emails and her "lies" about it.

Clinton says Trump denies responsibility for all his insults and actions, whether it's women or former Vietnam POW John McCain. She calls it a "a pattern of divisiveness."

Each candidate accuses the other of inciting violence.

— David Jackson

The thirty-year battle

Trump bashes Clinton's experience, asking why she hasn't already gotten her proposals done during the 30 years she's been in politics.

"You talk, but you don't get anything done, Hillary," Trump says at one point.

Clinton says she's happy to compare her experience to Trump's years as a bankrupt businessman and reality TV show host.

"I'll let the American people make that decision," Clinton says.

— David Jackson

Stimulus

Clinton is called upon to defend President Obama's stimulus plan, despite the sluggish growth of recent years. Clinton says Obama helped the country rally from a devastating recession, and that takes time.

"We're standing, but we're not yet running," Clinton says, and her plan will speed things up.

Trump is called upon to defend his plan against claims that his numbers don't add up. He avoids specifics and instead dwells on the nation's current problems, particularly trade and lost jobs.

After Trump hit her on trade, Clinton says she will oppose a new Asian trade deal — then accuses her opponent of using dumped steel for his building.

— David Jackson

The economy

Clinton talks about her college aid plan (and name-checks Bernie Sanders), saying the goal is to train people for high-paying jobs. She talks about higher taxes for the wealthy, while Trump's plan only benefits the rich.

Trump says Clinton wants to raise taxes while he would cut them. He also returns to an earlier topic, saying U.S. allies should "pay up" for mutual defense programs. He then complains about trade deals he says are shipping U.S. jobs to other countries.

Another sharp exchange:

Clinton: "Let me translate that if I can."

Trump: "You can't."

— David Jackson

Wikileaks — and Putin

The first Wikileaks question produces the first big clash of the evening, and it involves Vladimir Putin.

Clinton is asked about a speech in which she says she wants "open borders" and a hemispheric free-trade zone, comments revealed by a Wikileaks document dump.

Clinton says "I was talking about energy" — and then flips the question to say that the Russians are hacking Democratic officials and giving the info to Wikileaks.

She calls on Trump to denounce President Vladimir Putin and the Russians for trying to influence the U.S. election — to which Trump says he doesn't know Putin but notes that he doesn't have respect for Clinton.

"That's because he'd rather have a puppet" for U.S. president, Clinton says.

Trump replies, "You're the puppet."

The two continue to argue; Clinton says Trump is little more than Putin's agent; Trump says Putin "outsmarted" Clinton when she was secretary of State and later calls her "a liar."

— David Jackson

‘Bad hombres’ turns into a thing

When Trump said there are a lot of “bad hombres” that need to go, of course, it became an instant meme.

— Donovan Slack

The Wall

Immigration surfaces, for the first time in all three debates

Trump touts his proposed wall, saying "we need strong borders" while Clinton backs "open borders." He also talks about deportations: "We have some bad hombres here and we're going to get them out of here."

Clinton says Trump wants to deport all undocumented people, ripping up families and costing too much money to boot. She says her immigration plan will protect the border while focusing on deporting criminals. She adds: "We will not have open borders."

As for the wall, Clinton said Trump "choked" and didn't even bring up the idea when he met with the Mexico president. Trump notes that Clinton has also backed the wall, though Clinton says only in certain high-problem places.

The two clash over attitudes toward undocumented workers.

— David Jackson

Abortion

The candidates clash over abortion rights.

Trump says he will put "pro-life" justices on the Supreme Court, meaning it will eventually overturn Roe vs. Wade — the key abortion rights ruling —and send the question of abortion regulations back to the states.

Clinton says states are already passing legislation designed to limit abortion rights, and courts and lawmakers should beat back those efforts. She says abortions are painful decisions that should be left to individuals, not the government.

Trump criticizes Clinton for backing late-term, ninth-month abortions. Clinton accuses him of "scare rhetoric" and repeats that the abortion decision belongs to women, not the government.

— David Jackson

Clinton’s white pantsuit makes waves on social media

Her wardrobe had fingers tapping away on Twitter, at least.

— Donovan Slack

Gun rights

The conversation turns to gun ownership rights — Clinton says she supports them but also believes firearms should be subject to reasonable regulations to keep them away from people who shouldn't have them. "I see no conflict," she says.

Trump does, claiming Clinton's real aim is to deny gun ownership rights. Clinton says Trump is only carrying water for the National Rifle Association, which wants no regulations whatsoever.

Clinton: "There's no doubt I respect the Second Amendment."

Trump: "I'm very proud to have the endorsement of the NRA."

— David Jackson

The Supreme Court

Chris Wallace's first question is on the Supreme Court.

Clinton said the court reflects the central question of the election: What kind of country are we going to be? She says the court should back "the people" rather than corporations or the wealthy, and she says it should rule in favor of campaign finance laws and maintain gay marriage and abortion rights.

Trump says the Supreme Court is what the election is all about. He hits Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg for criticizing him, and he says the court should uphold gun rights, something he says Clinton opposes. Trump also pledges to nominate conservative judges.

Few fireworks with that question.

— David Jackson

Ready to roll

The candidates are at their podiums. As in their last debate, Clinton and Trump avoided the traditional pre-match handshake.

Looking for substance?

The folks over at Merriam-Webster are keeping track of which words are searched most often as the debate unfolds, and their first dispatch was, well, substantive.

— Donovan Slack

Malik tweets

Or at least someone with President Obama's half brother's name is tweeting as if live, from the debate hall …

Answering questions …

And looking for followers, apparently.

— Donovan Slack

Taco trucks on every corner of the Strip!

While one of six topics slated for discussion tonight is immigration (Will they finally debate that wall?), protesters outside Trump’s hotel in Las Vegas constructed something of a “wall of taco trucks” where people are apparently chowing down.

This, of course, is a reference to Latinos for Trump founder Marco Gutierrez’s warning on MSNBC last month that his culture is “very dominant” and “it's causing problems. If you don't do something about it, you're going to have taco trucks on every corner.”

Trump himself became an instant meme when he tweeted out a picture of himself eating a taco bowl, saying “I love Hispanics!”

— Donovan Slack

Elvis!

Meanwhile, inside the debate hall

We expect another unusual set of guests at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

During the last debate, the Trump camp invited Bill Clinton accusers to sit in the front row (after an unprecedented pre-debate news conference). This time, the Trump campaign invited Pat Smith, the mother of a State Department IT consultant who was killed in the 2012 Benghazi terrorist attacks while Clinton was secretary of State, as well as former Alaska governor Sarah Palin, according to a Trump aide. Oh, and President Obama’s half brother, Malik Obama. Um, OK.

Clinton is inviting an undocumented immigrant who benefited from Obama’s deferred deportation order, a citizen who fears her undocumented parents will be deported, and a housekeeper at one of Trump’s hotels who crossed the border illegally but is now applying for permanent residency.

Perhaps the buzziest guest, though? Ken Bone, of course! The red-sweatered phenom is actually covering it for Jimmy Kimmel Live!

“I’m going to be taking notes and pretending that I’m a real journalist like you and doing my very best,” Bone told USA TODAY on the phone Wednesday. “I’m sure there will be a comedic element.”

More on that interview with USA TODAY's Eliza Collins here.

— Donovan Slack

Ivanka fields questions about that tape

Trump’s daughter earlier today did her first major interview since the release of the Access Hollywood tape featuring Trump talking about pushing himself on women.

“I did find it to be offensive; he acknowledged it as well,” she toldTime magazine editor Nancy Gibbs at Fortune's Most Powerful Women Summit.

Ivanka also noted that the tape was more than a decade old. “I’m sure he didn’t remember this conversation but was very embarrassed by it and he expressed that not only to me but to the American people.”

On Monday, she had said in a statement that her father’s comments were “inappropriate and offensive.”

There will certainly be more to come on this, possibly during the debate …

— Donovan Slack

DWTS debate prep!

Ad wars

In case you haven’t been subject to enough ads during this campaign season, both sides are debuting new ones today.

Trump’s features Laura Wilkerson, whose son was murdered by someone in the country illegally, and will air in Florida, Iowa, Maine, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

“A vote for Clinton is a vote to have thousands more American moms suffer the same fate as Laura,” Stephen Miller, Trump national policy director, said in a statement.

Clinton’s campaign notes hers is an “uplifting” ad. It’s set to run in Florida, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio and Pennsylvania.

“We are going to lift each other up. I want us to heal our country and bring it together,” Clinton says in the ad, titled “a place for everyone.”

Outside groups are also getting in on the fun. The National Rifle Association, hoping to capitalize on possible discussion of the Second Amendment during a debate segment about the Supreme Court, is spending at least $5 million starting tonight on an ad whacking Clinton for shifting stories on her use of private email.

Titled “Classified,” the ad also features footage of her saying the Supreme Court was wrong when it upheld the right to bear arms.

Folks in Ohio, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Virginia can look forward to that one on television. Oh, and everyone else can see it on cable or online.


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