The third and final presidential debate is more about Donald Trump than Hillary Clinton, as polls show the Democrat has widened her lead over the provocative billionaire, who will aim to dump his losing political hand.
With just 20 days before Americans cast ballots November 8, 2016, the two candidates are facing off at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas in what is sure to be a 90-minute slugfest watched by millions.
The Republican nominee, 70, is looking to bounce back from allegations made by several women of unwanted sexual advances, which came on the heels of the release of a 2005 video in which he made crass remarks about women.
In recent weeks, polls have shown Ms. Clinton, 68, pulling ahead of Trump both on the national level and in key battleground states. She leads by more than six points in an average of national polls compiled by RealClearPolitics.
Women especially have thrown their support to Ms. Clinton — the difference now stands at 52 to 38 per cent, according to a survey by Quinnipiac University.
Updates (all times in IST)
Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton began the last debate without a handshake and they ended it without one too.
After both candidates’ final answers, Hillary Clinton stepped forward and shook hands with moderator Chris Wallace of Fox News. Trump stayed behind his podium and watched, as Clinton then stood on stage and waved to people in the audience.
Trump didn’t leave the podium until Clinton was too far away for a handshake, stepping off the stage and into the crowd.
The Democratic presidential nominee made the declaration as part of her closing statement.
She says she has made children and families her “life’s work” and adds, “That’s what my mission will be in the presidency.”
She is promising to “stand up for families against corporations.”
Donald Trump is painting a dire picture of America as he makes his closing pitch to voters.
Trump says the military is “depleted,” veterans aren’t taken care of and inner cities are a “disaster.”
Trump asserts he is much better poised to fix the problems than Hillary Clinton.
Donald Trump says Hillary Clinton is “such a nasty woman.”
Trump made the remark while Clinton was talking in the last presidential debate Wednesday about preserving Social Security and Medicare. She says her plan to save both programs would raise Social Security taxes on the wealthy, including her and Trump, “assuming he can’t figure out how to get out of it.”
As she continued talking Trump interjected, “Such a nasty woman.”
Clinton did not react to the comment and instead completed her statement on her plans for Social Security and Medicare.
Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton agree- There’ll be no “grand bargain” on entitlements.
Both presidential candidates reject the idea of a bipartisan deal to raise taxes and cut benefits to avoid running out of money to fund Social Security and Medicaid in coming decades.
Trump says he will make the economy grow and repeal President Obama’s health care law.
Clinton says she’ll raise taxes on the wealthy to help fund Social Security. But she says she wants to expand benefits rather than cut them.
8.20 a m
Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are sparring over who has the better plan to shrink the national debt and spur the U.S. economy.
Trump is pushing back against a report from the nonpartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget that said his proposed economic policies would grow the national debt. Trump says he would hire experts, and not “political hacks,” to negotiate more favorable trade deals.
Trump says under his administration Americans would have more jobs that pay better.
Clinton says Trump’s economic plans are geared toward helping the rich while she is focused on helping the middle class, a difference she attributes to Trump’s privileged upbringing. Clinton says she takes shrinking the national debt seriously, and none of her new proposals would add to it.
She acknowledges in the third and final debate with Donald Trump that enforcing a no—fly zone “would take a lot of negotiation.”
Ms. Clinton says she thinks “we could strike a deal” and make it clear to Russian and Syrian leaders that “this was the best for people on the ground.”
Donald Trump is responding that Ms. Clinton would allow potential terrorists into the United States as refugees from Syria.
Ms. Clinton counters that she wouldn’t allow refugees to immigrate without being properly vetted, but says she also wouldn’t close U.S. borders to women and children fleeing war.
Donald Trump is again asserting that U.S. involvement in the war—torn city of Aleppo, Syria, is not a worthwhile cause.
Aleppo is the center of the years—long Syrian civil war between President Bashar Assad and rebel forces. Russia is backing Assad.
Mr. Trump says Aleppo is a “humanitarian nightmare” but suggests that keeping Assad in power may be better than replacing him, because Assad and Russia both oppose the Islamic State group.
Mr. Trump says the United States would be in better shape if it had “done nothing” in Syria.
The United States has protested Russia’s bombardment of Aleppo. It says civilians are being slaughtered to prop up Assad’s regime.
Donald Trump is once again denying that he supported the invasion of Iraq.
Trump said “Wrong” in Wednesday’s final presidential debate when Hillary Clinton said he supported the invasion in 2002.
Trump actually offered lukewarm support for invading Iraq before the war began. He’s repeatedly and erroneously claimed to have come out against the war before it started, telling Howard Stern in September 2002- “Yeah I guess so,” when asked if he would back an invasion.
Clinton says in the debate that anyone questioning what Trump’s position was could simply google it and find “dozens of sources” showing he was for it.
Clinton says,” He has not told the truth on that position.”
It's obvious who won the >#debate : pettiness— Narayan Lakshman (@narlak) >October 20, 2016
Donald Trump says it’s only an issue because the Obama administration and Clinton while at the State Department pulled troops from Iraq in the first place.
Ms. Clinton outlined her military plan to take out the Islamic State group. She said coalition forces should push the fight into the group’s Syrian headquarters after Mosul is retaken. She also called for an “intelligence surge” online and on the ground focused on the Islamic State.
Mr. Trump is not detailing his plan. He says, “What ever happened to the element of surprise?”
Donald Trump tried to lighten a serious moment in the debate as Hillary Clinton listed other times he claimed something was “rigged” just because he wasn’t winning.
She noted there was even a time he chided the Emmy Awards for not recognizing his reality series “Celebrity Apprentice” three years in a row.
As Ms. Clinton was making that point, Trump began smiling and shrugging. He interjected, “Should have gotten it.”
The audience laughed a bit, as Clinton continued. “This is a mindset,” she said.
Clinton added that his comments about not necessarily accepting the election results are a dangerous departure from the nation’s democratic traditions.
Mr. Trump said "We cannot have 4 more years of President Obama and thats what you get when you get her." He also added "I will do more for African Americans and Latinos more than she can ever do in 10 lifetimes."
Ms. Clinton said Mr. Trump has a history of calling things rigged, including the Republican primary, the court system handling a case against Mr., Trump University and the Emmys.
Mr. Clinton says the U.S. has a tradition of accepting election outcomes, and any general election candidate must be expected to do that.
Donald Trump is again refusing to promise that he’d accept defeat on Nov. 8 if Americans choose Hillary Clinton as the 45th president.
The Republican nominee says he’ll “look at it at the time.” He was responding to moderator Chris Wallace’s specific questions about whether he would honor the American tradition of the presidential loser conceding to the president-elect.
When Wallace pressed him again, Mr. Trump responded again that he’d “keep you in suspense.”
Mr. Trump has argued that the national media is trying to rig the election. He is again stating without any evidence that “millions” of registered voters “shouldn’t be registered.”
And he suggests Clinton would be an illegitimate president because of her use of a private email server when secretary of state. He says she “never should have been allowed to run.”
Donald Trump is saying his foundation is a benefit to society.
Mr. Trump was responding to attacks from Hillary Clinton over his foundation spending money on a portrait of himself. He said it is a small, personal foundation that he donates to.
The Washington Post has reported that Trump hasn’t donated to his foundation for years. It also cited records showing Mr. Trump used foundation money to settle a legal dispute against his club, Mar-a-Lago.
Mr. Trump denied his foundation has done this.
Ms Clinton accuses Mr. Trump of being 'most dangerous' White House candidate in modern history
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump doubled down on his claims that the US election is rigged during a presidential debate Wednesday, refusing to say he will respect the result no matter the outcome.
"I'll look at it at the time," Trump said. "What I've seen is so bad."
An angry Ms. Clinton responded with incredulity to the highly controversial charge, saying, "I, for one, am appalled that somebody who is the nominee of one of our two major parties would take that kind of position."
Ms. Clinton is making the case against Trump’s treatment of women, saying, “I don’t think there’s a woman anywhere who doesn’t know what that feels like.”
Ms. Clinton’s comments come in response to allegations from several women that Trump groped or kissed them without consent. He’s denying the charges. But Ms. Clinton is noting that he brushed off the remarks by belittling several of the women’s appearances.
Mr. Trump is denying he suggested some of the women weren’t attractive enough to win his attention. But he said of one recently, “believe me, she would not be my first choice.”
Donald Trump says claims by women who say he groped them have been largely debunked, even though they have not.
Mr. Trump is also claiming in Wednesday’s debate that he thinks Hillary Clinton’s campaign is behind the women coming forward, even though there is no evidence of that, either. Trump says, “I believe she got these people to step forward.” He calls the women’s stories “lies and fiction.” He says, “I don’t know those people.”
Mr. Clinton says, “Donald thinks belittling women makes him bigger.” She says Trump attacks women’s dignity and self—worth and says- “That’s who Donald is. I think it’s up to us to demonstrate who we are.”
Nobody has more respect for women than I do: Donald Trump. Audience laughs, moderator asks for silence.
Donald Trump is back to his usual bluster on the debate stage.
The GOP nominee had largely held his tongue during the first half-hour of Wednesday’s final debate, speaking only when called on and not interrupting.
But Trump appears to be sliding back to his usual bluster as he and Hillary Clinton discuss Russia and nuclear weapons.
“Wrong!” he declared at one point, interrupting Clinton.
Later, Clinton said she would “translate” Trump’s plan to reform the tax code.
Mr. Trump interjected, “You can’t.”
Donald Trump is making a misleading charge that Hillary Clinton will double “your taxes.”
Clinton’s tax plan would only raise taxes on the wealthiest 1 percent. Even then it would only add 4 percent to the top rate, not double it. She would require people making more than $1 million annually to pay at least 30 percent in federal taxes. She’d also limit some tax deductions.
So the only people whose taxes could be doubled are those making a large amount of money and paying very little in taxes.
Trump has proposed a large across—the—board tax cut. Analysts say he’d actually raise taxes on some single parents because of the structure of the plan.
She insists her tax—and—spending priorities would “not add a penny to the debt,” because she would raise taxes on top—income earners while investing in programs she says will benefit middle—class Americans and grow the economy.
She says her philosophy is to “invest from the middle out and the ground up, not the top down.” She says Republican Donald Trump proposes tax plans tilted toward the wealthiest Americans.
Clinton is also defending President Barack Obama’s economic record.
Donald Trump says his plan to boost the economy is to make the United States’ rich allies pay more for military support and to renegotiate trade deals. Trump also says he would cut taxes “massively.”
Mr. Trump is naming several allies he says could afford to pay the U.S. for its spending on defense.
The Republican presidential nominee is also criticizing current trade deals, saying he would renegotiate them to get better terms for the U.S. or leave them.
Mr. Trump says NAFTA, signed by former President Bill Clinton, was one of the “worst deals ever” and was causing U.S. jobs to flee to Mexico and other countries.
Clinton says she voted for border security and believes the U.S. is a country of laws, but also a nation of immigrants.
She said she’s against ripping families apart, noting that there are an estimated 11 million unauthorized immigrants in the country who have 4 million American—citizen children.
She is portraying Trump’s deportation plan as a logistical nightmare, saying it would force a “massive law enforcement presence” and require shipping people from the country in trains and buses.
She says she would push for an immigration reform plan within her first 100 days of office.
The Democratic presidential nominee charges that her Republican opponent “exploit(ed) undocumented workers.”
Trump is not refuting the charge. He is repeating his promise to deport millions of immigrants in the country illegally if elected. He notes that President Barack Obama has also deported millions of immigrants.
Trump hired a contracting firm that employed immigrants in the country to help build Trump Tower in New York. He settled a related court case out of court.
7.15 am IST
The Democratic presidential nominee charges that her Republican opponent “exploit(ed) undocumented workers.”
Mr. Trump is not refuting the charge. He is repeating his promise to deport millions of immigrants in the country illegally if elected. He notes that President Barack Obama has also deported millions of immigrants.
Mr. Trump hired a contracting firm that employed immigrants in the country to help build Trump Tower in New York. He settled a related court case out of court.
7.13 am IST
Donald Trump is highlighting his hard-line immigration strategy as a way to get “bad hombres” out of the United States.
The Republican presidential hopeful reaffirms he would build a wall on the Mexican border and deport “some bad, bad people in this country,” then figure out who could be readmitted. He blames some “bad hombres here” for drug epidemics around the country, and he promises “we’re going to get ‘em out.”
Mr. Trump’s proposal for a wall at the U.S.-Mexico border helped fuel his rise to the Republican Party nomination.
Mr. Clinton supports a more lenient policy than Trump. But she still supports a comprehensive immigration overhaul that would include requiring people here illegally to pay back taxes and other penalties.
7.11 am IST
A much more disciplined and restrained Donald Trump is on stage at the third and final presidential debate in Las Vegas.
Mr. Trump spent much of the first two debates constantly interrupting rival Hillary Clinton and drawing attention to himself as she spoke with his pacing and animated facial expressions.
This time, Mr. Trump is largely waiting to speak until he’s asked questions and declining to interrupt even when Clinton accused him of calling for women to be punished if abortions are outlawed.
While Mr. Trump did say that during a town hall event, he later issued a statement clarifying that was not his stance.
7.10 am IST
Ms. Clinton is pushing back forcefully in responding to Donald Trump’s criticism of Clinton’s support for women to be able to have late—term abortions.
“This is one of the worst possible choices that any woman and her family has to make, and I do not believe the government should be making it,” Clinton said.
Ms. Clinton notes that she has traveled to countries where governments have forced women to have abortions or to have children.
7.09 am IST
Ms. Clinton says current federal law protects “partial—birth” abortion and she would keep it that way as president. She says she has met women undergoing the “heartbreaking” procedure for health reasons.
Donald Trump says, “I think it’s terrible.” He is likening partial—birth abortions to allowing women to “rip the baby out of the womb” in the ninth month or even on the last day of pregnancy.
7.06 am IST
Ms. Clinton slams Mr. Trump as Mr. Putin's 'puppet'
7.00 am IST
Hillary Clinton said Donald Trump's plan for forcible deportations of millions of illegal migrants would rip families and the country apart, in the final 2016 presidential debate.
"I don't want to see the deportation force that Donald has talked about," Ms. Clinton said. "I think it is an idea that would rip our country apart."
Mr. Trump defended his plans, saying there are some "bad hombres" in the country who should be sent to their home countries.
6.50 am IST
Donald Trump says he thinks Roe v. Wade will “automatically” be overturned if he is elected because he will appoint justices who oppose abortion rights.
Mr. Trump says he is against abortion rights but did not give a straight answer on whether he personally thinks the landmark abortion case should be overturned. He is saying he will appoint justices who would likely do so.
Mr. Trump says it would then be up to states to decide whether abortion should remain legal and what restrictions should be placed on it.
6.30 a.m IST
Ms. Clinton disagrees with the 2008 Heller decision that found the Second Amendment protects an individual’s right to bear arms for self—defense.
Ms. Clinton says she supports the Second Amendment but thinks the court prevented a reasonable attempt to make guns safer. It struck down the District of Columbia’s requirements for a trigger lock on all guns.
Republican Donald Trump says this is one of the reasons supporters of the Second Amendment don’t trust Clinton.
6 a.m. IST
Mr. Trump predicts an electoral surprise, or “new Brexit” when Americans vote next month.
The White House is increasingly concerned that Trump and his supporters will not recognize the election's outcome, plunging the country into a political crisis.
In a scorching rebuke, Mr. Obama told Mr. Trump on Tuesday to “stop whining” and go make his case to voters.
“I have never seen in my lifetime or in modern political history any presidential candidate trying to discredit the elections and the election process before votes have even taken place. It's unprecedented,” the President said.
5.30 a.m. IST
Mr. Trump undoubtedly will draw on the lessons of the past two head-to-head battles, and sharpen his attacks on Ms. Clinton over Syria and Libya.
The 2012 jihadist attack on the U.S. mission in the Libyan city of Benghazi remains a burning issue among Republicans, who hold her partially responsible for the deaths of four Americans, including the ambassador.
Trump has invited Patricia Smith, the mother of an American killed in the attack, to attend the debate, campaign manager Kellyanne Conway said.
But Mr. Conway advised Mr. Trump to "focus" on the issues, and come out strong against Ms. Clinton herself.
She is “a known liar,” Mr. Conway told MSNBC. “She’s lied to Congress. She’s lied to the FBI. She lied to the Benghazi families. She lies and it's always for political gain.”
Mr. Trump also is likely to hammer Ms. Clinton over recent revelations from emails hacked from her campaign staff and released by WikiLeaks that exposed her closed-door speeches to Wall Street and showed her flip-flops on trade deals.
5 a.m. IST
Moderated by Fox News journalist Chris Wallace, the event is expected to draw a television audience of more than 50 million, as well as many viewers online.
The candidates will be asked about the economy, immigration, the Supreme Court, foreign flashpoints and their fitness to be president.
But if the past two debates were any guide, the duel could quickly descend into highly personal attacks, pushing substantive policy issues to the side.
Ms. Clinton, a former Secretary of State and Senator, has kept a low profile in recent days, shutting herself in with aides to prepare for the onslaught.
She “should do what she did in the two first debates which was largely remain calm, deflect criticism and attacks and let Donald Trump continue to self-destruct,” said John Hudak, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution.
“If your opponent’s ship is sinking, you don't throw them a life preserver,” he said.
4.30 a.m. IST: Team Trump set the tone ahead of the political battle, with campaign CEO Steve Bannon promising that their debate invitation to President Barack Obama's Trump-supporting half-brother Malik was “just an appetiser”.
The Manhattan real estate mogul has invited other guests who “expose Bill and Hillary's sordid past”, Mr. Bannon told CNN, referring to Ms. Clinton and her husband, the former President.
The pro-Trump Breitbart website also published allegations by a former television reporter that Bill Clinton sexually assaulted her three times while serving as governor of Arkansas.