Tonight's debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump was tense, with harsh exchanges and accusations. Trump made repeated complaints that he was being treated unfairly by moderators Martha Raddatz of ABC News and Anderson Cooper of CNN. The predictions of a high-stakes showdown were not wrong.
Now the fact checks:
- Trump says he opposed the Iraq war from the start. He did not
- Emails remain a political migraine for Hillary Clinton. Here are the facts
- Here's what you need to know about the four women Donald Trump appeared with at a surprise pre-debate event
- There's no evidence anyone saw bombs in the home of the San Bernardino shooters but Donald Trump keeps saying people did
- Want more? Read all our fact checks
Our scorecard: Times political analysts gave the night to Clinton
Transcript: The most interesting parts
He was talking like he would become some dictator of a Banana Republic and throw her and his political enemies in jail.
The notion that Muslims should police each other for suspicious behavior sparked a viral hashtag on social media, #MuslimsReportStuff, with debate viewers offering humorous takes on Trump’s comments about Muslims.
The hashtag quickly became a vehicle to criticize Trump’s political platform and comment on the broader view of Muslims in American society.
“Hello, I’d like to report a dangerous racist misogynist demagogue on my TV… yes, I’ll hold,” Zainab Chaudary wrote.
“Where is the call to all white people to report white terrorists?” posted Amelia Noor-Oshiro, later adding, “White terrorists kill far more than any other group!”
“My dad is taking a nap, I’ll keep on watching him as Trump ordered,” offered another person posting under the name Persian Rose.
Eight audience members asked questions of the nominees Sunday night. By night's end, some had been declared the "winners" of the chaotic town hall debate and at least one audience member inspired a fake Twitter account and a song.
Here are the questions and everything we know about the questioners:
1. Patrice Brock: The last debate could have been rated as MA, mature audiences, per TV parental guidelines.... Do you feel you're modeling appropriate and positive behavior for today's youth?
2. Ken Karpowicz: Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare, it is not affordable...What will you do to bring the cost down and make coverage better?
A Facebook profile identified by several of Karpowicz's high school classmates says he is a foreman at a sheet metal company and graduated from high school in Illinois.
3. Gorbah Hamed: There are 3.3 million Muslims in the United States, and I'm one of them. ...With Islamophobia on the rise, how will you help people like me deal with the consequences of being labeled as a threat to the country after the election is over?
4. Spencer Maass: What specific tax provisions will you change to ensure the wealthiest Americans pay their fair share in taxes?
According to a LinkedIn profile that appears to belong to Maass, he is a credit analyst at a bank in Missouri. Maass is a recent graduate of the University of Missouri where he studied finance, the LinkedIn page says, was a member of Sigma Nu fraternity and was involved in student government.
5. James Carter: Do you believe you can be a devoted president to all Americans?
6. Beth Miller: What would you prioritize as the most important aspect of selecting a Supreme Court justice?
7. Kenneth Bone: What steps will your energy policy take to meet our energy needs, while at the same time remaining environmentally friendly and minimizing job loss for fossil power plant workers?
Bone was clearly the social media favorite of the town hall participants. His cameo, and his apparent use of a disposable camera after the debate, quickly spawned memes and a parody Twitter handle. More than an hour after the debate ended, Ken Bone continued to be a trending topic on Twitter.
8. Karl Becker: Regardless of the current rhetoric, would each of you name one positive thing that you respect in one another?
Becker is a sales executive at an auto parts distributor in St. Louis, according to a LinkedIn page that appears to belong to him. After Becker was declared the night's "winner" by several users on social media, a woman who said she is his daughter responded to the praise:
Donald Trump repeatedly complained Sunday that he was not being given fair time or treatment during the debate, but it's not at all clear whether he was shortchanged on minutes.
Shortly after the first question, Trump claimed that Hillary Clinton was being given the chance to respond more fully than him.
"She's allowed to do that and I'm not allowed to respond? Sounds fair," Trump said.
Moderator Martha Raddatz brushed aside the concern, and kept probing the question, which was about Trump's sexually aggressive comments from 2005.
A short time later, Trump complained the debate was "three-on-one," and at one moment he pointedly claimed that Clinton "just went about 25 seconds over her time."
"She did not," Raddatz said.
In fact, the video shows Clinton's comments ran almost exactly the two minutes allowed.
Team Trump was unconvinced.
“The moderators tonight were absolutely terrible," said Trump spokesman Jason Miller, adding they interrupted Trump more than Clinton. "It was three-on-one out there.”
Hillary Clinton boarded her campaign plane to fly home to New York after Sunday's second presidential debate saying she "feels great."
As for her opponent, Donald Trump, she said, "I saw what I expected to see."
Asked about Trump's decision to invite women who have accused her husband of sexual misconduct to the debate, Clinton said, "Nothing surprises me" — except, she later added, "the absolute avalanche of falsehoods" from Trump.
Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman John Podesta said Donald Trump tried and failed to divert attention from the controversies roiling his campaign by injecting women who have made sexual accusations about former President Bill Clinton into the debate in an attempt to rattle the Democratic nominee.
“She was able to talk about the positive things she wanted to do; he was on the attack the whole evening,” Podesta said, before pointing to Trump’s appearance with women who have accused the former president of unwanted sexual advances and rape. “He wanted to throw her off her game with the stunt he pulled in the beginning. He clearly didn’t do that.”
Podesta, speaking to reporters after the debate, said Trump was trying to distract from the drama that has consumed his campaign since Friday, when video emerged of him making vulgar comments about women.
But former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani declared that the debate would change the course of the race, which has seen Trump lose ground in national and swing state polls.
“The momentum is going to change like that,” he told reporters. “This was one of biggest victories in presidential debates ever.”
Dr. Ben Carson, also a Trump booster, decried the state of political debates in this country.
“I think we should have debates where we talk about the future of our country,” said Carson, who unsuccessfully ran for the GOP nomination.
He called Trump’s comments about women “deplorable” but said that Trump has acknowledged that. He added that the media and debate planners were overly focused on such controversies rather than on policy issues like the national debt, the fiscal gap and American students’ competitiveness in the global economy.
“I disagree with the way debates are conducted in this country because they don’t disseminate enough information for people to make decisions,” Carson said.
Trump responded to an audience question about being a president for all Americans by expounding on people living in "inner cities."
"I would be a president for all of the people, African Americans, the inner cities," he said. "Devastating what's happening to our inner cities. "
"You go into the inner cities and — you see it's 45% poverty. African Americans now 45% poverty in the inner cities. The education is a disaster. Jobs are essentially nonexistent," he continued.
I would be a president for all of the people, African Americans, the inner cities.
Earlier in the debate, he had also responded to Clinton calling him unfit for president by bringing up inner cities.
"I've heard them where Hillary is constantly talking about the inner cities of our country, which are a disaster education-wise, job-wise, safety-wise, in every way possible," Trump said. "I'm going to help the African Americans. I'm going to help the Latinos, Hispanics. I am going to help the inner cities."
Some were quick to point out that "African American" and "inner city" are not synonymous.
Technically speaking, many "inner city" areas are among the wealthiest in the United States — including the ones Trump and the current president call home.
Perhaps no single presidential decision is as consequential as choosing Supreme Court justices, and Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump outlined divergent views on how they would approach the issue.
Clinton said she wants people "who understand the way the world really works, who have real-life experience." She emphasized the need for justices to protect voting rights.
"I want a Supreme Court that will stick with Roe v. Wade and a woman's right to choose," she said, "and I want a Supreme Court that will stick with marriage equality."
Clinton also criticized Senate Republicans for refusing to allow President Obama to fill the Supreme Court vacancy left after the death of Antonin Scalia this year.
Trump held up Scalia, a conservative who opposed same-sex marriage and abortion, as a model justice.
He said he already had a list of 20 candidates "so that people would see, highly respected, highly thought of, and actually very beautifully reviewed by just about everybody."
He also talked about protecting the right to own guns, which he described as being under siege by "people like Hillary."
"They'll respect the 2nd Amendment and what it stands for, what it represents," he said. "So important to me."
Nothing was off-limits during the second presidential debate, including the legacy of Abraham Lincoln.
The 16th president grabbed the spotlight when moderator Martha Raddatz asked Hillary Clinton a question from the audience.
“Is it OK for politicians to be two-faced? Is it OK for them to have a private stance?” Raddatz asked. The question was in reference to a speech that Clinton made at a Goldman Sachs conference in 2013, where she reportedly said that politicians "need both a public and a private position." The comments were leaked on Friday as part of Wikileaks email dump.
Without mentioning the emails, Clinton said she was referring to Stephen Spielberg’s film, "Lincoln." Clinton said the film was like “watching a master class to get the Congress to approve the 13th Amendment” by using different arguments to persuade different people.
“I was making the point that sometimes it is hard to get Congress to do what they should do.”
Trump seemed protective of Lincoln.
“She lied. Now she’s blaming the lie on the late, great Abraham Lincoln. Honest Abe never lied.”
Lincoln has yet to comment from beyond the grave.
Nothing goes unnoticed during the debates. Some unfortunate camera angles and Trump's resting face while his opponent was speaking led a lot of people to point out that he looked a little ... strange.
The candidates had seats they could take while the other person was responding to questions, but apparently Trump preferred to stand.
Or maybe he's just getting an early start on Halloween?
The coal industry is down, as both candidates have acknowledged, but that change can also be traced to market forces and the increase in natural gas production — the “tremendous wealth right under our feet” that Trump mentioned Sunday night at the debate.
Clinton noted that the increase in natural gas production serves as a transitional "bridge to more renewable fuels” but that coal country is in need of revitalization. Energy generated from natural gas has gained while power generated from coal has declined over the last decade; those two sources were almost equal in 2015.
Donald Trump said his proposal to ban Muslims from entering the country has "morphed" into a plan for "extreme vetting" of refugees.
It's a phrase he's used before without formally renouncing his original proposal.
Trump said he was worried that refugees from country like Syria, which has been mired in civil war for years, could be a "Trojan horse."
Hillary Clinton sharply criticized Trump and defended her plan to increase the number of refugees allowed into the United States.
“We are a country founded on religious freedom and liberty. How do we do what [Trump] has advocated without causing great distress within our country?" she said. "Are we going to have religious tests when people fly into our country?”
Donald Trump’s murky finances and his refusal to make public his personal tax returns — breaking decades of tradition by presidential candidates — have dogged his campaign for months.
And the bombshell revelation that Trump reported a $916-million loss in 1995 that may have enabled him to pay no income taxes for 20 years has only intensified the pressure on the GOP nominee to shed light on his business ventures and explain the true nature of his finances and tax liabilities.
Trump did not dispute this Sunday, but he blamed it on Hillary Clinton.
“She complains that Donald Trump took advantage of the tax code — well why didn’t you change it when you were senator?” Trump said.
“The reason you don’t is that all your friends take the advantage that I do,” he said. “All of these people give you the money so you can take negative ads on Donald Trump.”
Trump’s tax plan promises to lower individual income tax rates to two brackets, 35% and 15%, and also bring down corporate rates.
But outside groups have said lowering rates would increase the federal deficit if they are not offset with spending cuts. They dispute Trump’s promise of massive economic growth that will cover costs.
Trump said Clinton would be “raising your taxes, really high.”
But Clinton’s proposed new taxes are largely on the wealthiest Americans — those who earn more than $250,000 a year, which are the top sliver of earners.
Clinton reminded that she voted in the Senate to close many of the loopholes Trump and other wealthy individuals use to lower their taxes.
And she said Trump’s tax plan would be a greater windfall for the wealthy and corporations than ordinary Americans. The new taxes she proposes include a surcharge on incomes above $5 million.
Here's what they had to say:
"I respect his children. His children are incredibly able and devoted and I think that says a lot about Donald. I don't agree with nearly anything else he says or does, but I do respect that and I think that's something that as a mother and a grandmother that's very important to me.
So I believe that this election has become in part so conflict-oriented, so intense, because there's a lot at stake. This is not an ordinary time and this is not an ordinary election.
We are going to be choosing a president who will set policy for -- not just for eight years but because of some the important decisions we have to make here at home and around the world, from the Supreme Court to energy and so much else, and so there is a lot at stake. It's one of the most consequential elections that we have and that's why I've tried to put forth specific policies and plans. Trying to get it off the personal and put it on what I want to do as president.
And that's why I hope people will check on that for themselves so they can see that yes, I've spent 30 years -- actually maybe a little more -- working to help kids and families, and I want to take all of that experience to the White House and do that every single day."
"I consider that statement about my children to be a very nice compliment. I don't know if it was meant to be a compliment but it is a great -- I'm very proud of my children. And they've done a wonderful job and they've been wonderful, wonderful kids. So I consider that a compliment
I will say this about Hillary: She doesn't quit. She doesn't give up. I respect that. I tell it like it is. She's a fighter. I disagree with much of what she's fighting for, I do disagree with her judgment in many cases, but she does fight hard and she doesn't quit and she doesn't give up and I consider that to be a very good trait."
One problem Donald Trump can't seem to shake: The sniffles, or at least what sounds like them.
During the first presidential debate, the Republican candidate appeared to be sniffing a lot, and complained afterward that something was wrong with his microphone. In the second presidential debate, Trump was again plagued by consistent sniffing that was picked up by his microphone. Both #sniffles and #sniff were trending on Twitter during the debate.