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Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump face off in first general election debate

Breaking down the first debate
Trump, Clinton clash in first presidential debate 15:16

10:39 The first debate is over.


10:37 The candidates are asked if they will accept the outcome of the will of the voters on Election Day.

Clinton said, “I support our democracy...sometimes you win, sometimes you lose.”

“I certainly will support the outcome of this election,” Clinton.

After a long-winded answer, Trump said, “If she wins, I will absolutely support her.”

Interview: Trump explains "your president" debate remark 01:33

10:33 Trump is asked what he meant when he said earlier this month that Clinton “doesn’t have a presidential look.”

“She doesn’t have the look. She doesn’t have the stamina. And I don’t believe she does have the stamina,” Trump said. 

10:30 Clinton said “words matter” and wants to reassure allies that the U.S. abides by nuclear treaties and pledges. 

10:29 Trump is asked if he supports the current policy of first use with regard with nuclear weapons. He then accused Clinton of acting “cavalier” with the Russians. He then said that Russia has been expanding their nuclear capabilities. 

“I can’t take anything off the table,” Trump said. 

10:26 Trump said that the single greatest problem facing the U.S. is “nuclear armament” and “nuclear weapons.” He added, “Not global warming.”

10:20 Trump reiterated his claim that he was against the war in Iraq. 

“I was against the war in Iraq,” Trump said.

Lestor Holt responded, “The record shows otherwise.” 

Trump said it was “mainstream media nonsense put out by [Clinton]” and then he listed a number of interviews he did at the time. 

He then repeatedly said that he has a strong temperament. 

“I have a winning temperament,” he said.

10:17 Trump repeated his position that NATO members need to pay their fair share, and the lack of their contributions, he said, “bothers me.” 

He then appeared to take credit for NATO focusing on terror.

“I’m all for NATO,” he said. 

10:14 Trump said that President Obama and Clinton “created a vacuum the way they got out of Iraq.” As a result, he said ISIS was formed. 

“They wouldn’t have even been formed if they left some troops behind,” Trump said. 

Clinton then pointed out that Trump supported the Iraq war invasion, and Trump denied ever supporting the war. He did, however, support the war initially. 

Presidential Debate Part 3: Race relations in the U.S. 15:28

10:11 Trump agreed that the U.S. needs to strengthen its cybersecurity systems, but he said he’s not sure that Russia was behind the cyberattack on the Democratic National Committee (DNC). He said it could have been Russia, China or “somebody sitting on their bed weighing 400 pounds.” 

10:07 Clinton is asked who is behind the latest cyberattacks in the U.S. and how the government should fight them. 

She said that cyber warfare will be “one of the biggest challenges facing the next president,” adding that the U.S. faces two different kinds of adversaries -- hacking groups, but also nation states. 

“There’s no doubt now that Russia has used cyberattacks about all kinds of organizations in our country,” Clinton said. 

Clinton pointed out that Trump has praised Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Republican U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump shakes hands with Democratic U.S. presidential nominee Hillary Clinton at the conclusion of their first presidential debate at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York, U.S., September 26, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Segar - RTSPKRA

10:04 Clinton says that Trump shouldn’t be able to get away with his birther rumor. She said he has a “long record of engaging in racist behavior.” 

She repeated first lady Michelle Obama’s line from her speech at the Democratic National Convention in July, “When they go low, we go high.” 

10:00 Trump is asked what took him so long to acknowledge that President Obama was born in the U.S. First he started to attack Clinton’s former campaign manager, as well as her longtime adviser Sidney Blumenthal and suggested they started the rumor. 

Trump then said he’s “satisfied” with the president’s birth certificate because he said he wants to get on with defeating ISIS, creating jobs and creating a strong border. 

Lester Holt points out that the birth certificate was released in 2011 and yet he continued to question Mr. Obama’s birthplace. 

Presidential Debate Part 2: Candidates' tax plans 17:37

9:54 Clinton is asked if police have implicit bias. She said, “I think implicit bias is a problem for everyone, not just police.”

She said “too many of us jump to conclusions about each other.” 

Trump said he strongly agrees with Clinton’s position that people who are on the government’s no-fly lists shouldn’t be able to purchase a gun.

He then blasted Clinton for her “superpredator” remark, which she has apologized for.

9:49 Trump responded, “We have to bring back law and order.” He claimed that almost 4,000 people have been killed in Chicago since President Obama took office. 

He suggested that he would be interested in implementing a stop and frisk policy, which he claimed brought the crime rate in New York way down. 

Moderator Lester Holt pointed out that the stop and frisk policy in New York was ruled unconstitutional. 

9:45 Clinton is asked how she would bridge the divide in race relations in the U.S. She said race determines too much and it “remains a significant challenge in our country.” 

She said that it determines how blacks are treated in the criminal justice system, citing the recent police shootings of black men in Tulsa and Charlotte. 

Clinton said that she would bridge the gap and heal the nation by restoring trust between communities and the police, working to ensure police have proper training and techniques and to pass tougher gun laws. 

“Everyone should be respected by the law and everyone should respect the law,” she said. 

9:37 Clinton addressed the 33,000 deleted emails accusation. She said, “I made a mistake using a private email” as secretary of state. 

“I take responsibility for that,” she said.

9:35 Clinton hypothesized that he’s hiding his tax returns because she said Trump might not be as rich as he says he is, that he might not be as charitable as he says he is, that he owes millions to Wall Street and foreign banks or that he might not have paid anything in federal taxes.

“There’s something he’s hiding,” Clinton said. 

Democratic U.S. presidential nominee Hillary Clinton speaks during her first presidential debate against Republican U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump (not shown) at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York, U.S., September 26, 2016. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson - RTSPKNO

9:31 Trump is asked if voters have a right to see whether there are conflicts of interest in his tax returns.

He first said, “I don’t mind releasing,” but added, “I’m under a routine audit” and claimed that he would release them “as soon as the audit is over.” 

He said voters can learn more about him by reading through his financial disclosures through the Federal Election Commission. However, they wouldn’t show his tax rate.

Trump then claimed he would release his tax returns if Clinton releases her 33,000 emails that were deleted from the time she served as secretary of state.

9:26 Clinton hits Trump that he doesn’t have a plan to defeat the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). 

Trump responded, “No, no you’re telling the enemy everything you want to do...No wonder you’ve been fighting ISIS your entire adult life.”

9:24 Trump says his tax cut will be the biggest cut “since Ronald Reagan” and he said, “I’m very proud of it.”

“You’re going to regulate these businesses out of existence,” Trump said to Clinton.

9:17 Clinton said the “last thing we need to do is go back to the policies that failed us in the first place.” She slammed Trump’s tax plan, which she said would blow up the national debt by over $5 trillion and would disadvantage middle class families. She claimed his plan would cost 3.5 million jobs and might cause another recession. 

She also claimed that Trump called climate change a Chinese hoax, and Trump denied ever saying it. The GOP presidential nominee has called climate change a hoax and tweeted in 2012 that it was created by and for the Chinese.

9:13 Trump is asked how exactly he’s going to bring back companies for cheaper labor overseas. He dodged the question and repeated the the U.S. needs to renegotiate its trade deals. 

“Secretary Clinton...Is that okay?” Trump said. “I want you to be very happy. It’s very important to me.” 

Asked again how he would stop them from leaving, he said the U.S. can’t let them leave in the first place. 

9:11 Trump says U.S. jobs are leaving the country and he touted his plan to reduce taxes, which he said would be a job creator. 

“It’s going to be a beautiful thing to watch,” Trump said, adding that the U.S. needs to renegotiate its trade deals.

9:06 Lester Holt asked Clinton why she would be best to strengthen the economy and create jobs. The Democratic presidential nominee sats she often thinks about the future of the country said she hopes to build an economy “that works for everyone, not just those at the top.” Clinton said she’d like to support people who are struggling to balance family and work. Clinton touted her proposals for paid family leave, earned sick days, affordable childcare, and debt-free college tuition. She said she would pay for it by making the “wealthy pay their fair share and close the corporate loopholes.”

9:05 Both nominees have entered the stage and shook hands. The debate begins now.

8:30 p.m. The first general election presidential debate of 2016 kicks off in about 10 minutes. Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump face off for the first time this cycle at Hofstra University on New York’s Long Island. 

NBC’s Lester Holt will moderate the debate, and last week he announced that the debate’s three main topics cover “America’s Direction, Achieving Prosperity and Securing America.”

Clinton won a coin flip on Monday, which means she will get the first question.

With less than 43 days remaining until Election Day, polls have shown the race has been tightening in recent weeks, especially in several battleground states. A series of new polls released Monday morning found the two nominees are virtually tied nationally and are deadlocked in several states like Colorado and Pennsylvania. A CBS News battleground tracker poll released Sunday found the race in Colorado is a toss-up while Clinton still maintains a lead in Virginia.

Clinton campaign aides are downplaying the possibility that there will be any fireworks at this first contest. Aides are expecting a boring debate, CBS’s Hannah Fraser-Chanpong reports, in which Americans will see subdued, polite Donald Trump. 

Trump tweeted ahead of the debate about how his team of “deplorables” will take over his account during the event.

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