Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump clash over taxes, terror and race in first US Presidential debate

By: | Updated: September 27, 2016 9:52 AM

US Presidential Debate: Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump face off for the first time on Monday in a high stakes presidential debate that could shift the course of the neck-and-neck 2016 campaign for the White House.

Republican U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks as Democratic U.S. presidential nominee Hillary Clinton listens during their first presidential debate at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York, U.S., September 26, 2016. REUTERS/Rick WilkingRepublican U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks as Democratic U.S. presidential nominee Hillary Clinton listens during their first presidential debate at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York, U.S., September 26, 2016. (Reuters)

Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump today had a face off for the first time in a high stakes presidential debate that could shift the course of the neck-and-neck 2016 campaign for the White House. The highly anticipated clash between the Democratic former secretary of state and Republican real estate tycoon has generated wide interest nationally and internationally six weeks before the November 8 election.

The 90-minute long debate was divided into six segments of 15 minutes each. The first two segments focussed on “America’s Direction.” The next two segments on “Achieving Prosperity” (the economy). The final two segments focussed on “Securing America” (national security and foreign policy).

The second presidential debate will be held on October 9 at Washington University. It will take the form of a town meeting, in which half of the questions will be posed directly by citizen participants and the other half will be posed by the moderator based on topics of broad public interest as reflected in social media and other sources. The candidates will have two minutes to respond and there will be an additional minute for the moderator to facilitate further discussion. The town meeting participants will be uncommitted voters selected by the Gallup Organization.

Third and the final one is scheduled for October 19. There will be one Vice presidential debate. It will be on October 4.

LIVE UPDATES (all timings in IST):

08.11 am: The first US Presidential debate comes to an end.

08.08 am: I will certainly support the decision of the voters. This election is more about you as to what kind of future you want for yourself, says Clinton.

We are in serious trouble. I want to make America great again! exclaims Trump. And adds that Hillary Clinton will not be able to do so.

08.05 am: Asian shares recouped early losses on Tuesday and the dollar edged away from a one-month trough against the yen, suggesting investors judged Democrat Hillary Clinton was winning her debate against Republican Donald Trump.

08.04 am: Clinton says Trump is a man who has called women ‘pigs, slobs and dogs’

08.03 am:  She doesn’t have the stamina to be the President of United States. She has experience, but bad experience, says Trump.

Trump has questioned whether Clinton has the physical fitness to be president and he repeated the criticism to her directly during the debate. Clinton’s response:  Trump shouldn’t talk about stamina until he’s tried out the busy schedule she kept up as secretary of state.

07.57 am:  Clinton says Donald Trump has “consistently insulted Muslims abroad, Muslims at home.” She says Muslim people can provide information that law enforcement may not be able to obtain anyplace else.  She added that her plan includes an intelligence surge to obtain “every scrap of information” and to “do everything we can to vacuum up intelligence from Europe, from the Middle East.”

Both candidates were asked to explain how they would combat terrorism in the US.

07.52 am: “I have a much better judgement than she has. And a better temperament too. I know how to win, that’s my biggest asset, says Trump.

To which Clinton responds says, “Whew, Okay!”

07.51 am: Trump supported the invasion of Iraq, says Clinton.

Trump: “Wrong!”

07.50 am:  Hillary Clinton is warning against the spread of cyber-attacks in the United States, particularly from Russia. The Democratic nominee says the United States “is not going to sit idly by” and let hostile nations attempt to hack public or private information.

07.43 am: Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton have created a vacuum and because of which group like ISIS emerged, argues Trump.

07.34 am: “When  you try to act ‘holier than thou’ it doesn’t work. You have insulted Barack Obama at a number of occasions,” remarks Trump.

07.32 am: “I have developed a great relationship with the African-American community,” says Trump

To which Clinton says, ” He started his campaign by saying that our black president is not American. I would say just listen to what he is saying. He has been sued twice for engaging in racial behaviour.”

07.27 am: “Under the leadership of our current Mayor, our crime rate has dropped. Significantly dropped,” says Clinton.

“You are wrong,” asserts Trump.

07.21 am: A quick fact check |  Trump during the debate, when Clinton accuses him of calling climate change a hoax invented by the Chinese, says,  “I did not say that.” Whereas, in 2012, he tweeted, “The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.” He later claimed he was kidding, but he’s also repeated the claim that climate change is a hoax, and one that benefits China.

He later claimed he was kidding, but he’s also repeated the claim that climate change is a hoax, and one that benefits China.

07.18 am: “We need law and order in our country,” Trump says.

07.16 am:  On the issue of Race, Clinton says, “We have to restore trust, work with the police and we have to tackle the play of gun violence that has triggered a lot of action today.”

Hillary Clinton says fixing race relations comes down to two things: restoring trust between police and communities of color and reforming gun laws. Clinton says gun violence is the leading cause of death among young African-American men. She says tackling the “plague of gun violence” is critical.

07.14 am: Second segment on “America’s Direction” begins.

07.13 am: “You don’t learn a lot from tax returns, that I can tell you,” says Trump.

Clinton dismisses the claim by saying, “Maybe because you haven’t paid any federal income tax for a lot of years.”

07.08 am: It’s time our country is ruled by somebody who has the knowledge of money. Worst all of things are happening to our country. Our airports look like those that are in third-world countries. Our country has serious problems and these have arisen due to people like Hillary Clinton, says Trump.

07.07 am:  When Donald Trump said he would release his tax returns if his opponent released what he called her “33,000 deleted” emails, Clinton said, “I made a mistake using a private email” server.

Trump interjected, “That’s for sure” and Clinton shot back, “I take responsibility for that.”

07.06 am: I will release my tax returns – against my lawyer’s wishes – when she releases her 33,000 emails that have been deleted, argues Trump.

Moderator Lester Holt noted that, by law, Trump can release his tax returns even while under audit. Clinton suggested the celebrity businessman is refusing to release them because he is hiding “something terrible” like a low tax rate or a small amount of charitable contributions.

07.04 am: Clinton: “I have a feeling that by the end of this evening I’m going to be blamed for everything”

Trump: “Why not?”

06.58 am: On being asked as to how do you defend your position on tax cuts for the wealthy, Clinton said, “You have what we  would call as the Trump-loophole.Trickle-down did not work in 2008 and 2009. slashing taxes on the wealthy people won’t make any difference. I believe investing in the middle class is what will boboosthe economy.”

06.55 am: You have been fighting the ISIS all your life, says Trump to Clinton.

06.53 am: Your regulations are a disaster and you are planning to increase them. While, I ma going to cut regulations. I ma going to cut tyaxes while you will raise taxes, says Trump.

06.52 am: Trump panned policies that he said have led to American jobs being moved overseas, in part because of international trade agreements that Clinton has supported. He accused her of backing away from her support for trade deals for political gain.

“Secretary Clinton and others, politicians, should have been doing this for years,” Trump said, contending she and Obama have done little or nothing to stop jobs from flowing overseas. Disputing his version of events, she said, “I know you live in your reality.”

06.51 am: Hillary Clinton the on economy:”The last thing we need to do is to go back to the policies that failed us in the first place.”

06.47 am: We have to do a much better job to keep our job, asserts Trump. While,  Clinton takes a swipe at Trump for starting business with millions from father; Trump says it was a  ‘very small loan.’

06.44: The first question was about putting money back into Americans’ pockets and creating jobs, to which Clinton said, “the more we can do for the middle class, the more we can invest in you … the better we will be off.” While Trump said, “We have to stop our jobs from being stolen from us, we have to stop companies from leaving the United States.”

06.42 am: As the debate opened, they put forward competing visions for the U.S. economy. Clinton, a former secretary of state and the first woman to win the presidential nomination of a major U.S. political party, said Trump’s tax policies were akin to “Trumped-up trickle-down” economics.

“The kind of plan that Donald has put forth would be trickle-down economics all over again. And in fact it would be the most extreme version, the biggest tax cuts for the top percents of the people in this country that we’ve ever had. I call it Trumped-up trickle-down, because that’s exactly what it would be. That’s not how we grow the economy,” she said.

Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton

06.41 am: Who can shoulder the immense, awesome responsibility of the presidency, asks Hillary Clinton in her opening remarks.

Both Trump and Clinton, shown in opinion polls to be the least liked White House candidates in modern history, hope to use the debate to erase lingering voter doubts and address campaign-trail weaknesses. The volatile Trump, a former reality television star, will have an opportunity to show a depth and steadiness worthy of a commander in chief, while the cautious Clinton, a former U.S. senator and first lady, will have a chance to connect directly with voters who view her as too secretive, strategists said ahead of the debate.

Trump, a political newcomer who has at times shown more affinity for put-downs than policy, could benefit from lower voter expectations. Two other presidential candidates – Libertarian Gary Johnson and Green Party candidate Jill Stein – were not invited to take part in the debate because neither had obtained at least 15 percent support in national polls, the threshold established to qualify.

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