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Presidential Debate: Here’s What

You Missed
We analyzed in real time the second presidential debate betweenDonald J. Trump and Hillary Clinton. Plus,
here are our fact checksand email exchanges with William Weld, the Libertarian vice-presidential nominee.

The second presidential debate between Donald J. Trump and Hillary Clinton began with explosive attacks
and ended with a measure of graciousness, as the two candidates complimented each other at the request of
an audience member. Mrs. Clinton said she admired the Trump children, while Mr. Trump called his
opponent “a fighter.”

But the candidates savaged each other on the way to the finish, with Mr. Trump struggling mightily for much
of the evening to address questions about his finances, policy ideas and treatment of women.

In several tense exchanges, Mr. Trump acknowledged that he had avoided paying federal income taxes for
years, called his taped description of sexual assault “locker room-talk” and accused Mrs. Clinton of victimizing
women and carrying “hate in her heart.” He also said that as president he would appoint a special prosecutor
to pursue Mrs. Clinton.

In a comparatively subdued performance, Mrs. Clinton hewed close to the basic arguments of her campaign:
That she is an experienced public servant and Mr. Trump is unfit to be president. Mr. Trump, she said, “owes
our country an apology.”

Here are the rest of the highlights:
• An audience member asked the candidates to name one positive quality in their opponent. Mrs.
Clinton jumped in first. “I respect his children,” she said. “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.” Mr. Trump, expressing gratitude for the compliment, offered his own. “I will say this about
Hillary: She doesn’t quit,” he said. “She doesn’t give up. I respect that.” The debate ended, and the pair
shook hands.

• Pressed on the 2005 recording which he seemed to boast of sexually assaulting women, Mr. Trump said he
was “not proud of” the behavior, saying that he had apologized to his family and the American people. But he
disputed that the recording amounted to bragging about sexual assault, calling his comments “locker room
talk.” “I have great respect for women,” he said. “Nobody has more respect for women than I do,” he
said, adding, “I was embarrassed by it.”

• Mrs. Clinton, responding to Mr. Trump’s remarks about the recording, said that while she disagreed with
past Republican nominees, “I never questioned their fitness to serve.” “Donald Trump is different,” she
said. She suggested that, despite Mr. Trump’s insistence that the recording did not reflect his character, “It’s
clear to anyone who heard it that it represents exactly who he is.”

• Mr. Trump turned the discussion of his lewd remarks on Mr. Clinton, arguing that his “words” did not
compare to Mr. Clinton’s history with women. “If you look at Bill Clinton, far worse,” Mr. Trump said. Mrs.
Clinton did not address the attacks on her husband. “He gets to run his campaign any way he chooses,” she
said. She paraphrased Michelle Obama’s speech at the Democratic convention to describe her
approach:“When they go low, you go high.”

• Addressing Mrs. Clinton, Mr. Trump said that if he wins, “I am going to instruct my attorney general to get
a special prosecutor to look into your situation,” citing her use of a private email server as secretary of state.
Mrs. Clinton pointedly said she could not spend all of her time fact-checking Mr. Trump, advising viewers to
go to her website to see his falsehoods. She said it was a good thing that Mr. Trump was not in charge of the
laws in the country. “Because you’d be in jail,” Mr. Trump shot back. Cheers could be heard from the
crowd.

• Mrs. Clinton said Mr. Trump was plainly trying to divert attention from his own campaign — “the way it’s
exploding and the way Republicans are leaving you.” Mr. Trump asked a moderator, Mr. Cooper,

Clinton said it was “very important for us to make clear to our children that our country really is great because we’re good.” “It can’t get any worse. (She has spoken often of Mr. Martha Raddatz. Mrs. “We are a country founded on religious freedom and liberty. Trump had not been against the war before it began. Mr. Mrs. she noted that she won re-election by a wide margin. “Honest Abe never lied. of favoring Mrs. “It’s not been debunked. “You’re right about Islamophobia and that’s a shame.” “You know it.” Mrs.” • Asked about the humanitarian crisis in Syria. Clinton’s Senate tenure. Russia’s president. “Maybe there is no hacking. Clinton reiterated that “we have it on tape” that Mr. Trump said again that he opposed the war in Iraq. Clinton’s private email server. Clinton called the situation “catastrophic. “If we were to start all over again.” he said. in which she seemed to stress the importance of keeping both a public and a private position on given issues as a political figure.” But he pivoted immediately to a discussion of what he called “radical Islamic terrorists. Trump’s efforts to avoid paying them given past losses. Mr. “He clarified what he meant.) Mr. Trump was unmoved.” he insisted. Trump. Trump tussled over taxes.” • A black audience member asked if the candidates could serve as president for “all Americans. “Stronger Together. Clinton suggested Mr.” he said. After Mr. Mrs. Trump said. Clinton and Mr.” • Mrs. Trump had used a near-billion-dollar loss in the mid-1990s to avoid paying taxes. Trump. adding. • Asked by an audience member about coarseness in the presidential race. Clinton said.” he said. Of course I do. turning the issue back on Mrs. “I know nothing about Russia. Clinton. touching on Mr. “That is wrong. “Nice.” she said. Raddatz.” Asked directly if Mr.” she said.” • After Mr. Clinton said it was “important for us. (The other moderator. She added.” he said. Trump claimed ignorance. Clinton was asked about recent remarks from her husband. despite past public statements that contradict him. Asked the same question.) Mr. Mr. Fla. He was giving “zero for our vets. Trump said Mrs. we might come up with a different system.. one on three. but our nuclear program has fallen . I still want to be your president. Clinton of not doing enough as a senator to reform the tax code. Trump said. Ms.” Mr.” • Mrs. we all know it. who before the debate appeared with women who have accused Bill Clinton of sexual assault. Putin. before moving quickly to a standard of his stump speech: wondering aloud what some voters “have to lose. among other atrocities. Mrs. had in fact brought it up moments earlier. Mrs. he replied. Trump’s kind words for Vladimir V. Clinton. Trump called the program “a disaster.why he had not spent more time discussing Mrs. Mr.” He accused Mrs.” she said.” pivoting to criticize Russia and accusing the country’s leadership again of favoring Mr.” • Pushed repeatedly to answer whether his proposed ban on Muslim immigration still stood. and the attacks on the World Trade Center. “It plays into the hands of the terrorists to act as though we are. as a policy” not to ban people based on religion. they’re not doing it to get me elected. Trump said that he could. Mrs.” • Mrs. Trump’s statements throughout the campaign had been destructive. in which he appeared to criticize Mr. Trump for president. which she suggested were intended to help Mr. saying his plans amounted to “extreme vetting” and accusing a moderator. “We are not at war with Islam. great Abraham Lincoln. “You voted for it and you shouldn’t have. Clinton “talks tough against Russia.” Mr. suggesting the moderators were teaming up on him.” he said. “Of course I do. Clinton cited the specter of Russian hackers seeking to influence the election with strategic leaks. • In response to a question on the Affordable Care Act. • Asked about how to stop Islamophobia. Trump again criticized Mrs.” citing the mass shooting in Orlando. Clinton.” Mr. leaked from a private speech. “Now she’s blaming the lie on the late.” She reminded the crowd of her campaign slogan. “Believe me. Trump deflected. Obama’s signature legislative achievement. “How do you do that?” she asked. “I began this campaign because I was so tired of seeing such foolish things happen to our country. “But we have an employer-based system. said he broadly agreed with Mrs. She said she was following the example of Abraham Lincoln as he sought to convince lawmakers to ally with him. “If you don’t vote for me.” she said. zero for our military. Clinton was asked about a remark.

Trump denied that he had mentioned a sex tape. Trump said he hoped to find judges “very much in the mold of Justice Scalia. Trump during Sunday’s presidential debate. • Mrs.” Mr. a moderator. . He also defended his favored social media practice: “Tweeting happens to be a modern-day form of communication.” citing a list he has compiled of possible selections.” • Mr. Mike Pence. on Syria. Trump attacked Mrs. Mr. Trump took the stage without shaking hands. Clinton and Mr. Mr. Fact Checks of the Second Presidential Debate Reporters for The New York Times fact-checked the statements made by Hillary Clinton and Donald J. Mrs. “He and I haven’t spoken and I disagree.way behind.” he said. “I’m not un-proud of it.” When Ms. Cooper asked Mr. Raddatz.” • Asked about the Supreme Court.” Mr.” “Believe me. Mr. Trump said. to “check out” a sex tape featuring a former pageant winner whose weight he had insulted in the 1990s. Wade and a women’s right to choose. Trump said. brought up the remarks of Mr. without evidence. Clinton for saying that half of Trump supporters could be placed in a “basket of deplorables. citing a recent “Twitter missive” in which he advised followers. she has tremendous hate in her heart. Trump’s running mate. Clinton said she wanted “a Supreme Court that will stick with Roe v. Trump if he had the discipline to lead.

Psychologists have discovered that people who move and speak slowly are generally seen as bigger. He hardly produced any smiles at all – just the occasional wry half-smile of self-congratulation when he thought he’d notched up another point in his favour. endeavouring to show that she was approachable and willing to engage with people – a trick. and the last thing that Trump wanted to do is appease anyone in public. for the moment at least. His entry into the debating hall was ponderously slow – noticeably slower than Hillary Clinton’s.” she told reporters afterwards). more substantial and more powerful – characteristics that the Republican was clearly doing his utmost to project throughout the entire debate. but also to deflect attention away from himself – which. When Clinton was asked a question by a member of the public she would often walk over towards the person. But when Trump was talking. • Dr Peter Collett is a body language expert and author of The Book of Tells. Donald Trump was playing a power game. designed to convey an impression of someone who’s naturally dominant and comfortable about exercising power. Trump also displayed his other hallmark facial features – the narrowed eyes. especially in her facial expressions. When Clinton is surrounded by her supporters she’s normally extremely animated. not only to take the argument to Clinton but also to intrude upon her personal space. she was trying to come across as serious and presidential. the lips clamped tightly together and the occasional jut of the chin. made a point of moving around – not only when he was purportedly answering questions. Here was nonverbal evidence that. Trump. That’s because smiling is basically an appeasement signal. for all his bluster. This was designed not only to point the finger at Clinton. that was used to great effect by Bill Clinton when he debated George Bush Sr. on the other hand. There were several times when she smiled – typically when Trump was launching a verbal attack or accusing her of something which she considered to be ridiculous. During this debate. was probably his most urgent strategy. and where he reacted by licking or pursing his lips. . She seemed to be aware of his close proximity (“He was very … present. least of all Clinton. he was feeling very uncomfortable and. During the debate there were several moments when Trump jabbed his index finger accusingly at Clinton. but even while Clinton was holding the floor. however. largely because. Was this because he finds it so difficult to keep still or – what seems more likely – because his prowling was surreptitiously designed to unsettle Clinton and throw her off balance? The fact that Trump also made a habit of standing unusually close behind Clinton when she was speaking certainly adds weight to this interpretation of his behavior. had decided that he should say as little as possible. presumably. These are all macho signals. and the millions of viewers watching the debate would certainly have noticed his readiness. his Democratic opponent remained respectfully stationary. given the tasteless disclosures of the last few days. There were also occasions when Trump came in for criticism. her facial behaviour was much more muted. incidentally.What body language tells us about the second presidential debate Donald Trump played the power game by intruding on his opponent’s personal space. Trump’s facial demeanour was almost the exact opposite of Clinton’s. while Clinton aspired to show she can engage with the people Right from the very start of the second US presidential debate on Sunday night.