Presidential debate liveblog: Clinton, Trump go to war over sexist remarks, taxes and more
Dogged by disturbing video that showed Donald Trump bragging about grabbing women "by the pussy" because he was famous and could "do anything," the Republican nominee comes into Sunday night's second presidential debate with what could be mortal wounds.
With Republicans of all stripes abandoning his candidacy in droves — and many calling on him to drop out of the race — the question isn't whether he can recover from this, but rather who Trump wants to take down with him in the process.
Trump has already signaled he's going to go nuclear on Hillary Clinton, holding a press conference before the debate with women who have accused former President Bill Clinton of sexual assault — though there were never any charges or evidence to corroborate their accusations.
Clinton's campaign says she's ready for Trump's "latest act of desperation."
Mic will keep you informed of every critical moment at the debate. All times are Eastern. – Emily Cahn
10:35 p.m.: Here's what the candidates admire about each other
Asked by an undecided voter to identify a positive attribute about the other candidate, Clinton pointed to Trump's children and Trump applauded Clinton's tenacity.
"I respect his children. His children are incredibly able, and devoted, and I think that says a lot about Donald," Clinton said.
"Well, I consider her statement about my children a very nice compliment. I don't know if it was meant to be a compliment," he responded.
"She doesn't quit. She doesn't give up. I respect that," Trump said of his rival. — Luke Brinker
10:20 p.m.: Clinton explains her "basket of deplorables" remark
Pressed by Anderson Cooper on whether she could be an effective president for the entire country after once consigning half of Trump supporters to a "basket of deplorables," Clinton sought to explain herself.
"Within hours, I said I was sorry about the way I talked about that.... My argument is not with his supporters. It's with him," she said, citing his incitement to violence at campaign rallies and incendiary rhetoric targeting women, minorities and the disabled.
Trump was unimpressed.
"She has tremendous hate in her heart," Trump said. — Luke Brinker
10:17 p.m.: Trump asks African-Americans: "What do you have to lose?"
Appealing to African American voters, Trump once again depicted their communities as dystopian hellscapes.
"The education is a disaster. Jobs are virtually nonexistent," Trump said, repeating his frequent — and much-derided "What do you have to lose?" query, a staple of many of his campaign speeches. — Luke Brinker
10:12 p.m.: Trump says Clinton's entire foreign policy has been a disaster
"Almost everything she's done in foreign policy has been a mistake and a disaster," the GOPer said, delivering a stemwinder on Clinton's record on Iran, Libya.
The broadside against Clinton came in response to a question on how Trump would handle the humanitarian crisis in Aleppo, Syria.
"I think Aleppo is a disaster. ... I think that basically it has fallen," he said, when pressed to answer the question.
While Trump now claims Clinton's entire foreign policy record amounts to one big failure, he said in 2012 that the "terrific" Clinton was doing a "good job" as secretary of state. — Luke Brinker
10:00 p.m.: Clinton slams Trump for not paying taxes — and Trump admits he didn't
Addressing the recent bombshell revelation that Trump may have avoided paying federal income taxes for up to 18 years, Clinton slammed the real estate magnate for taking advantage of the tax code, saying he avoided doing his part to fund vital public projects and support veterans.
For his part, Trump said he took advantage of every deduction available to him.
"For [Clinton], it's all talk and no action," he added, saying only he could fix the country's tax code. — Luke Brinker
9:55 p.m.: Trump claims taxes in the U.S. are "just about the highest in the world."
Not true. — Luke Brinker
9:45 p.m. Trump again lies about his Iraq War support
During a segment about Islamophobia in America, Trump said that Capt. Humayun Khan — a fallen Muslim soldier whose family Trump attacked after the Democratic National Convention — would still be alive if he had been president at the time.
He claimed this because Trump said he didn't support the Iraq War — where Khan died.
But Trump did support the war. He told radio host Howard Stern as much during a 2002 interview.
It wasn't until 2004, when the war was in full swing, that Trump said he didn't support it — much like many Americans.
— Emily Cahn
9:35 p.m. Donald Trump threatens Clinton with a "special prosecutor" and says she should be in "jail"
Trump is throwing the kitchen sink at Clinton throughout the debate, blaming her for Birtherism (false), and then threatened to have a special prosecutor look into her email server if he's elected president.
"If I win, I'm going to instruct my attorney general to get a special prosecutor to look into your situation," Trump said. "Because there has never been so many lies, so much deception, there has never been anything like it, and we're going to have a special prosecutor."
Trump has also looked menacing at the debate, standing behind Clinton as she answers questions.
— Emily Cahn
9:15 p.m. Trump says grabbing women "by the pussy" was "locker room talk"
Trump was not contrite or remorseful when asked about his comment about grabbing a woman's "pussy," saying it was merely "locker room talk."
"This was locker room talk," Trump said. "I'm not proud of it. But this is locker room talk."
Clinton came back with a biting response.
"Like everyone else I've spent a lot of time thinking over the last 48 hours of what we heard and saw," Clinton said. "With prior Republican nominees for president, I disagreed with them on politics, policy, principles, but I never questioned their fitness to serve. Donald Trump is different."
"I said starting back in June that he was not fit to be president and commander-in-chief, and many Republicans and Independents have said the same thing," Clinton said.
— Emily Cahn
9:00 p.m. President Bill Clinton and the Trump family shake hands
Despite the stunt Trump pulled before the debate kicked off, President Bill Clinton shook hands with Trump's wife, Melania Trump, and Trump's three oldest children, who also walked out to sit in the audience.
It was an uncomfortable moment to kick off what's likely to be an uncomfortable 90-minute debate.
— Emily Cahn