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Fact Check: First Presidential Debate

Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton went head-to-head Monday night in the first presidential debate.

NPR's politics team, with help from reporters and editors who cover national security, immigration, business, foreign policy and more, live annotated the debate. Portions of the debate with added analysis are underlined in yellow, followed by context and fact check.

You can follow more highlights of the debate at

Note: The transcript on this page was updated live as the debate proceeded. We are working to correct the transcript as it comes in, but due to the live nature of the event, there may be some discrepancies.

SPEAKER:Good evening from Hofstra University in Hempstead New York.

LESTER HOLT:I'm Lester Holt anchor of NBC nightly news I want to welcome you to the first presidential debate. The participants tonight are Donald Trump — and Hillary Clinton. This debate is sponsored by the commission on presidential debates, a nonpartisan nonprofit organization. The commission drafted tonight format and the rules have been agreed to by the campaigns. The ninety minute debate is divided into six segments each fifteen minutes long. Will explore two three topic areas tonight achieving prosperity in their construction and securing America. And the start of each segment I will ask the same leadoff question to both candidates and do what you type up to two minutes to respond. From that point until the end of the segment we will have an open discussion. Questions our mind and not been shared with the commission or the campaigns. The audience here in the room has agreed to remain silent so that we can focus on what the oocandidates are saying. I will invite you to applaud however at this moment as we welcome the candidates. Democratic nominee for President of the United States Hillary Clinton and Republican nominee for president of the United States Donald J Trump.


HILLARY CLINTON:How are you Donald?


LESTER HOLT:While I don't expect this to cover all the issues of this campaign tonight but I remind everyone there are two more presidential debates scheduled. We are going to focus on many of the issues that voters tell us are most important and we're going to press for specifics. I am honored to have this rolled but this evening belongs to the candidates and just as important to the American people. Candidates we look forward to hearing you articulate your policies and your positions as well as your visions and your values.

So let's begin. We're calling this opening segment achieving prosperity and central to that is jobs. There are two economic realities in America today. There's been a record six straight years of job growth and new census numbers show incomes have increased at a record rate after years of stagnation. However, income inequality remains significant. And nearly half of Americans living paycheck to paycheck. Beginning with you, Secretary Clinton - why are you a better choice than your opponent to create the kinds of jobs that will put more money into the pockets of American workers?

HILLARY CLINTON:Well thank you, Lester, and thanks to Hofstra for hosting us. The central question in this election is really what kind of country we want to be and what kind of future we will build together. Today is my granddaughter's second birthday so I think about this a lot. First we have to build an economy that works for everyone, not just those at the top. That means we need new jobs, good jobs with rising incomes. I want us to invest in you. I want us to invest in your future. That means jobs in infrastructure and advanced manufacturing, innovation and technology, clean renewable energy and small business because most of the new jobs will come from small business. We also have to make the economy fairer. That starts with raising the national minimum wage and also guarantee, finally, equal pay for woman's work.

The federal minimum wage has not been increased by Congress since 2009. — Marilyn Geewax

According to the latest Census income report, full-time, year-round working women earned 80 percent of what men earned in 2015. Lots of factors go into that wage gap, including hours and jobs worked, as well as interruptions in women's careers due to maternity. — Danielle Kurtzleben

I also want to see more companies to profit sharing. If you help create the profits you should be able to share in them, not just the executives at the top. And I want us to do more to support people who are struggling to balance family and work. I've heard from so many of you about the difficult choices you face and the stresses that you're under. So let's have paid family leave, earned sick, days let's be sure we have affordable childcare and debt-free college.

Clinton's primary campaign promise; at the end of the primary season, she announced a plan for tuition-free public college for working families. — Anya Kamenetz

How are we going to do it? We're going to do it by having the wealthy pay their fair share and close the corporate loopholes. Finally, we tonight are on the stage together, Donald Trump and I. Donald, it's good to be with you. We are going to have a debate where we are talking about the important issues facing our country. You have to judge us. Who can shoulder the immense, awesome responsibilities of the presidency? Who can put into action the plans that will make your life better? I hope that I will be able to earn your vote on November eighth.

LESTER HOLT:Secretary Clinton, thank you. Mr. Trump the same question to you. It's about putting money, more money into the pockets of American workers. You have up to two minutes.

DONALD TRUMP:Thank you, Lester. Our jobs are fleeing the country. They're going to Mexico they're going to many other countries. You look at what China is doing for country in terms of making our product, they're devaluing their currency and there's nobody in our government to fight them.

Obama has brokered an agreement with Chinese President Xi to reduce hacking, and IP theft — and cybersecurity experts who monitor intrusions from China say that attacks are in fact down. — Aarti Shahani

And we have a very good fight and we have a winning fight. Because they're using our country as a piggy bank to rebuild China and many other countries are doing the same thing. So we are losing our good jobs, so many of them. When you look at what's happening in Mexico, a friend of mine who builds plants, said it's the eighth wonder of the world. They're building some of the biggest plants anywhere in the world, some of the most sophisticated, some of the best plants. With the United States, as he said, not so much. So Ford is leaving, you see that their small car division, leaving. Thousands of jobs leaving Michigan, leaving Ohio, they're all leaving.

Unemployment in Michigan is 4.5 percent; Ohio rate is 4.7 percent. Both are better than the national average of 4.9 percent. — Marilyn Geewax

Ford CEO Mark Fields says zero jobs will be lost in Michigan because Ford will build two new vehicles at that plant. — Aarti Shahani

And we can't allow to happen anymore. As far as child care is concerned and so many of the things I think Hillary and I agree on that. We probably disagree a little bit as to numbers and amounts and what we're going to do but perhaps will be talking about that later.

Trump and Clinton disagree more than a little bit on child care. Trump's plan would allow parents to deduct their state's average cost of child care, and he would also introduce rebates for lower-income parents. There would also be new savings accounts for parents to set aside money for child care. As for Clinton, she has said that families should not pay more than 10 percent of their income for child care, though it's not clear how that would be implemented. She also has called for more Head Start funding, as well as universal pre-K programs.

In addition, she has proposed 12 weeks of parental leave, to be paid for (as with many of her other programs) by higher taxes on high-income Americans. He has proposed six weeks of maternity leave, which would fall under the unemployment program. — Danielle Kurtzleben

But we have to stop our jobs are being stolen from us. We have to stop our companies from leaving the United States and with it, firing all of their people. All the have to do is take a look at carrier air-conditioning in Indianapolis. They left fourteen hundred people. They are going to Mexico. So many hundreds and hundreds of companies are doing this. We cannot let it happen.

Under my plan I will be reducing taxes tremendously from thirty five percent to fifteen percent for companies, small and big businesses.

Trump wants to cut income tax rates while capping deductions for the wealthy. He would also reduce the business tax rate to 15 percent and eliminate the estate tax. The conservative Tax Foundation estimates that his plan would reduce federal revenue by $4.4 trillion to $5.9 trillion over the next decade, which is a lot, but down from $10 trillion in his original plan.

Some of that could be offset by economic growth, but even using "dynamic scoring," the foundation says the plan cuts tax revenue by $2.6 trillion to $3.9 trillion over 10 years. (The higher figure is if the 15 percent business tax rate is applied to "pass-through" entities.) The biggest beneficiaries of Trump's tax cuts are the wealthy. The top 1 percent of earners see their after-tax income rise by between 10.2 percent and 16 percent. Overall savings would be less than 1 percent. — Scott Horsley

That's going to be a job creator like we haven't seen since Ronald Reagan. It's going to be a beautiful thing to watch. Companies will come, they will build, they will expand, new companies will start and I look very very much forward to doing it. We had to renegotiate our trade deals and we have to stop these countries from stealing our companies and our jobs.

LESTER HOLT:Secretary Clinton, would you like to respond?

HILLARY CLINTON:Well, I think that trade is an important issue, of course. We are five percent of the world's population - we have to trade with the other ninety five percent. And we need to have smart fair trade deals. We also though you have a tax system that rewards work and not just a financial transactions. And the kind of plan that Donald has put forth would be trickle-down economics all over again. In fact it would be the most extreme version the biggest tax cuts for the top percents of the people in this country than we've ever had. I call it trumped up trickle-down because that's exactly what it would be. That is not how we grow the economy. We just have a different view about what's best for growing the economy. How we make investments that will actually produce jobs and rising incomes. I think we come at it from somewhat different perspectives. I understand that. You know, Donald was very fortunate in his life and that's all to his benefit. He started his business with fourteen million dollars borrowed from his father and he really believes that the more you help wealthy people, the better off we will be and that everything will work out from there. I don't buy that. I have a different experience. My father was a small businessman. He worked really hard, he printed drapery fabrics on long tables where he pulled out those fabrics and he went down with the silkscreen and dumped the paint in and took the squeegee and kept going. And so what I believe is the more we can do for the middle class, the more we can invest in you, your education, your skills for future, the better we will be off in the better we will grow. That's the kind of economy I wanted to see again.

LESTER HOLT: Let me follow up message up if I can. You talk about creating five million jobs and he promised to bring back millions of jobs for Americans. How are you going to bring back the industries that have led to this country for cheaper labor overseas? How specifically are you going to tell American manufacturers that you have to come back?

DONALD TRUMP: Well, for one thing and before we start on that my father gave me a very small loan in 1975 and I built into a company that's worth many many billions of dollars with some of the greatest assets in the world and I say that only because that's the kind of thinking that our country needs.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Trump's father came to his rescue repeatedly with multiple loans.

Our country is in deep trouble. We don't know what we're doing when it comes to devaluations and all of these countries all over the world, especially China. They're the best the best ever at it. What they're doing to us is a very very sad thing. So we have to do that. We had to renegotiate our trade deals and Lester, they're taking our jobs. They're giving incentives, they're doing things that frankly we don't do.

Let me give you the example of Mexico. They have a vat tax, we're on a different system. When we sell into Mexico there is a tax when they sell an automatic sixteen percent approximately. When they sell into us there's no tax. It's a defective agreement. It's been defective for a long time, many years, but the politicians haven't done anything about it. Now in all fairness to Secretary Clinton...yes? Is that okay? Good, I want you to be very happy. It's very important to me. But in all fairness to Secretary Clinton, when she started talking about this it was really very recently, she's been doing this for thirty years and why hasn't she made the agreements better? The NAFTA agreement is defective. Just because of the tax and many other reasons but just because of the tax.

LESTER HOLT: Let me interrupt for just a moment.

DONALD TRUMP: Secretary Clinton and others, politicians, should have been doing this for years. Now right now because of the fact that we created a movement. They should've been doing this for years. What's happened to our jobs and our country and our economy generally is look — we owe twenty trillion dollars. We cannot do it any longer, Lester.

LESTER HOLT: Back to the question, though, how do you bring back, specifically bring back jobs, American manufacturers how do you make them bring the jobs back?

DONALD TRUMP: Well, the first thing you do is don't let the jobs leave. The companies are leaving. I could name, I mean there are thousands of them, they're leaving and they're leaving in bigger numbers than ever. And what you do is you say fine, you want to go to Mexico or some other country, good luck, we wish you a lot of luck. But if you think you're going to make your air conditioners or your cars, or your cookies or whatever you make, and bring them into our country without a tax, you're wrong. And once you say you're going to tax them coming in and our politicians never do this because they have special interests and the special interests want those companies to leave because in many cases they own the companies. So what I'm saying is we can stop them from leaving, we have to stop them from leaving, and that's a big big factor.

LESTER HOLT: Let me let Secretary Clinton get in here.

HILLARY CLINTON: Well, let's stop for a second and remember where we were eight years ago, we had the worst financial crisis - the great recession, the worst since the 1930s. That was, in large part, because of tax policies that slash taxes on the wealthy, failed to invest in the middle class, took their eyes off of Wall Street and created a perfect storm. In fact, Donald was one of the people who rooted for the housing crisis. He said, back in 2006, gee, I hope it does collapse because then I can go in and buy some and make some money. Well, it did collapse.

DONALD TRUMP:That called business, by the way.

HILLARY CLINTON: Nine million people, nine million people lost their jobs. Five million people lost their homes. And thirteen trillion dollars in family wealth was wiped out. Now, we have come back from that abyss. And it has not been easy. So we're now on the precipice of having a potentially much better economy. But the last thing we need to do is to go back to the policies that failed us in the first place. Independent experts have looked at what I've proposed and looked at what Donald has proposed. And basically they have said this — that if his tax plan, which would blow up the debt by over five trillion dollars

This is from the Tax Foundation, which just put out a report saying Trump's plan would balloon the deficit; Hillary's plan, not so much. — Jim Zarroli

and would, in some instances, disadvantage middle-class families compared to the wealthy, were to go into effect, we would lose three and a half million jobs. And maybe have another recession. They've looked at my plans, and they've said okay, if we can do this, and I intend to get it done, we will have ten million more new jobs. Because we will be making investments where we can grow the economy. Take clean energy. Some country is going to be the clean energy superpower of the twenty first century. Donald thinks that climate change is a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese. I think it's real.

DONALD TRUMP:I did not — I do not say that

Actually, Trump has called climate change a "hoax" on several occasions. He said on Meet the Press that he was joking about China's role. As PolitiFact noted: "On Dec. 30, 2015, Trump told the crowd at a rally in Hilton Head, S.C., 'Obama's talking about all of this with the global warming and ... a lot of it's a hoax. It's a hoax. I mean, it's a moneymaking industry, OK? It's a hoax, a lot of it.'" — Domenico Montanaro

NPR: CJ-climate-two The original source for the "hoax" quote was a tweet Trump sent in 2012. He said the concept of global warming was created by the Chinese to make U.S. manufacturing noncompetitive.

HILLARY CLINTON: The science is real. And I think is important that we grip this and deal with it both at home and abroad. And here's what we can do - we can deploy a half a billion more solar panels. We can have enough clean energy to power every home. We can build a new modern electric grid. That's a lot of jobs. That's a lot of new economic activity. So I've tried to be very specific about what we can and should do. And I am determined that we are going to get the economy really moving again. Building on the progress we've made over the last eight years but never going back to what got us in trouble in the first place.


DONALD TRUMP: She talks about solar panels. We invested in a solar company, our country. That was a disaster. They lost plenty of money on that one. Now look, I'm a great believer in all forms of energy. But were putting a lot of people out of work. Our energy policies are disaster. Our country is losing so much in terms of energy, in terms of paying off our debt.

Domestic oil and gas production have increased steadily during President Obama's time in office. The U.S. has been the world's leading producer of natural gas since 2011 and the top producer of oil since 2013.

The Energy Information Administration says gasoline prices averaged $2.17 a gallon last week — about a nickel cheaper than a year ago, and about 30 cents a gallon less than Obama's first year in office, and about a buck and a half less than during George W. Bush's last year in office. — Scott Horsley

You can't do what you're looking to do with twenty trillion in debt. The Obama administration from the time they've come in is over two hundred thirty years worth of debt. And he's topped it. He's doubled it in a course of almost eight years — seven and a half years to be semi- exact. So I will tell you this, we have to do a much better job at keeping our jobs and we have to do a much better job at getting companies incentive to build new companies or to expand. Because they're not doing it. All you have to do is look at Michigan and all you have to do is look at Ohio and look at all of these places where so many of their jobs and their companies are just leaving. They're gone. And Hillary, I'll just ask you this — you've been doing this for thirty years. Why are you just thinking about these solutions right now? For thirty years, you've been doing it. And now you're just starting to think of solutions.

HILLARY CLINTON:Well actually --

DONALD TRUMP: Excuse me. I will bring my job. You can't bring back jobs.

HILLARY CLINTON: Well, actually, I have thought about this quite a bit.

DONALD TRUMP: Yeah for thirty years.

HILLARY CLINTON: Well, not quite that long. I think my husband did a pretty good job in the 1990s. I think a lot about what worked and how we can make it work again.

DONALD TRUMP: Well, he approved NAFTA. He approved NAFTA, which is the single worst trade deal ever approved in this country.

HILLARY CLINTON:...a balanced budget, and incomes went up for everybody. Manufacturing jobs went up also in the 1990s if we're actually going to look at the facts.

For comparison: jobs per year was strongest under Bill Clinton (2.8 million), followed by Carter (2.6 million), Reagan (2 million), Obama (1.3 million as of January), H.W. Bush (659,000), and W. Bush (160,000). — Scott Horsley

When I was in the Senate, I had a number of trade deal that came before me. And I held them all the same test. Will they create jobs in America? Will they raise incomes in America? And are they good for our national security? Some of them I voted for. The biggest one, is a multinational one known as CAFTA, I voted against. And because I hold the same standards as I look at all of these trade deals. But let's not assume that trade is the only challenge we have in the economy. I think it is a part of it. And I've said what I'm going to do. I'm going to have a special prosecutor.

Kind of awkward for Hillary Clinton to raise the term "special prosecutor" even though this would be a very different kind of one. — Carrie Johnson

We're going to enforce the trade deals we have and we're going to hold people accountable. When I was Secretary of State, we actually increased American exports globally thirty percent. We increased them to China fifty percent. So I know how to really work to get new jobs and to get exports that help to create more new jobs.

LESTER HOLT: Very quickly...

DONALD TRUMP: But you haven't done it in thirty years or 26 years.

HILLARY CLINTON: Well, I've been a senator, Donald..

DONALD TRUMP: You haven't done it.

HILLARY CLINTON: And I have been a Secretary of State and I have --

DONALD TRUMP: Your husband signed NAFTA, one of the worst thing that ever happened in the manufacturing industry.

HILLARY CLINTON:That is your opinion -

DONALD TRUMP: You go to New England. You go to Ohio, Pennsylvania. You go anywhere you want, Secretary Clinton, and you will see devastation where manufacturing is down thirty, forty, sometimes fifty percent — NAFTA is the worst trade deal maybe ever signed anywhere but certainly ever signed in this country.

Most studies show NAFTA had a relatively small impact on the economy. "NAFTA did not cause the huge job losses feared by the critics or the large economic gains predicted by supporters. The net overall effect of NAFTA on the U.S. economy appears to have been relatively modest," according to the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service. — Marilyn Geewax

And now you want to approve Trans-Pacific Partnership. You were totally in favor of it, then you heard what I was saying - how bad it is - and you said, I can't win that debate. But you know that if you did win, you would approve that, and that will be almost as bad as NAFTA. Nothing will ever top NAFTA.

HILLARY CLINTON: That is just not accurate. I was against it once it was finally negotiated and the terms were laid out. I wrote about in —

Hillary Clinton did write in her book, Hard Choices, that the TPP was the "gold standard" of trade deals and appeared very much in favor of it as President Obama's secretary of state. She said it "would link markets throughout Asia and the Americas, lowering trade barriers while raising standards on labor, the environment, and intellectual property." She called it "important for American workers, who would benefit from competing on a more level playing field." She also called it "a strategic initiative that would strengthen the position of the United States in Asia." Facing a serious populist primary challenge from Bernie Sanders, however, Clinton shifted her position left. Clinton has had a long time line of positions on trade, especially since her husband, Bill Clinton, signed NAFTA. Here's a history. — Domenico Montanaro

DONALD TRUMP:You called it the gold standard. You call it the gold standard of trade deals.

HILLARY CLINTON:You know what --

DONALD TRUMP: You said it's the finest deal you've ever seen.


DONALD TRUMP: And then you heard what I said about it and all of a sudden you were against it.

HILLARY CLINTON: Well, Donald, I know you live in your own reality, but that is not the facts. The facts are, I did say, I hoped it would be a good deal. But when it was negotiated, which I was not possible for, I concluded it wasn't. I wrote about that — in my....

DONALD TRUMP: So is it President Obama's fault?

HILLARY CLINTON: ...before you even announced.

DONALD TRUMP: Secretary, is it President Obama's fault?


DONALD TRUMP: Because he's pushing it.

HILLARY CLINTON:There are different views about what's good for our country, our economy and our leadership in the world. And I think it is important to look at what we need to do to get our economy going again. That's why I said new jobs, with rising incomes, investments, not in more tax cuts that would add five trillion dollars to the debt.

DONALD TRUMP: But you have no plan.


DONALD TRUMP:Secretary, you have no plan.

HILLARY CLINTON: In fact, I've written a book about it. It's called, "Stronger Together." You can pick it up tomorrow at a bookstore or an airport near you.

LESTER HOLT: Folks, were going to --

HILLARY CLINTON: It's because I see this. We need to have strong growth, fair growth, sustained growth. We also have to look at how we help families balance the responsibilities at home and the responsibilities at business. So we have a very robust set of plans. And people who have looked at both of our plans, have concluded that mine would create ten million jobs and yours would lose us three and a half million jobs and explode the --

DONALD TRUMP:You are going to approve one of the biggest tax cuts in history - you are going to approve one of the biggest tax increases in history. You are going to drive business out.

Clinton would raise taxes on the wealthy — especially those making more than $5 million per year (2/10,000 people), limit the value of certain deductions and increase the estate tax rate, while extending that tax to more families (with thresholds set at $3.5 million/$7 million for couples). The Tax Policy Center estimated that an earlier version of her plan would raise an extra $1.1 trillion over a decade, with three-quarters of that coming from the top 1 percent. Last week, Clinton modified her estate tax proposal, raising the top rate to 65 percent on estates of more than $500 million. — Scott Horsley

Your regulations are disaster, and you're going to increase regulations all over the place. And by the way, my tax cut is the biggest since Ronald Reagan. I'm very proud of it.

Donald Trump's tax plan is indeed a large tax cut, but those cuts would largely benefit the highest earners. According to a recent analysis from the right-leaning Tax Foundation, the top 1 percent could see their after-tax incomes increase by up to 16 percent. Meanwhile, the bottom four quintiles would see their incomes grow by 1.9 percent or less. — Danielle Kurtzleben

It will create tremendous numbers of new jobs. But regulations — you are going to regulate these businesses out of existence. When I go around, Lester, I tell you this — I've been all over. And when I go around, despite the tax cut — the things that businesses and people like the most, is the fact that I'm cutting regulation. You have regulations on top of regulations and new companies cannot form. And old habits are going out of business, and you want to increase the regulation and make them even worse. I'm going to cut regulations. But I'm going to cut taxes big league and you're going to raise taxes big league. End of story.

LESTER HOLT: Let me get you to pause right there, because we're going to move into the...

HILLARY CLINTON:That can't be left to stand. You know,

LESTER HOLT: Please take thirty seconds.

HILLARY CLINTON: I kind of assumed that there would be a lot of these charges and claims.


HILLARY CLINTON: And so we have taken the home page of my website,, and we've turned it into a fact checker. So if you want to see in real time what the facts are, please go and take a look.

DONALD TRUMP: And take a look at mine also and you'll see..

The Clinton campaign did have a live "fact checker" during the debate it called "Literally Trump." We took a look at Trump's site, and there is no live fact checker. — Domenico Montanaro

HILLARY CLINTON: Because what I have proposed would not add a penny to the debt and your plans with add five trillion dollars to the debt. What I have proposed would cut regulations and streamline them for small businesses. What I have proposed would be paid for by raising taxes on the wealthy because they have made all the gains in the economy. And I think it's time that the wealthy and corporations pay their fair share to support this country.

LESTER HOLT: Well, you just opened the next segment.

DONALD TRUMP: Could I just finish? I think I should - you go to her website, she's going to raise taxes 1.3 trillion dollars and look at her website. It's no different than this. She's telling us how to fight ISIS. Just go to her website. She tells you how to fight ISIS on her website. I don't think General Douglas MacArthur would like that too much.

LESTER HOLT: The next segment, we're continuing the subject....

HILLARY CLINTON: Well, at least I have a plan to fight ISIS.

DONALD TRUMP: No, no. You're telling the enemy everything you want to do.

HILLARY CLINTON:No, we're not.

DONALD TRUMP: No wonder you've been fighting ISIS your entire adult life.

Clinton has not been fighting ISIS her entire adult life as it has existed in its present form only since 2013-2014. — Phil Ewing

Hillary Clinton was born in 1947. The roots of ISIS arguably go back to the late 1990s, but the rise of ISIS in its present form followed the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq in 2011. Either way, the terrorist group was long after Clinton became an adult. — Sarah McCammon


HILLARY CLINTON: Well, that's — go to the please, go to the fact checkers.

LESTER HOLT: You are unpacking a lot here. And we're still on the issue of achieving prosperity. And I want to talk about taxes. The fundamental difference between you two as the concerns the wealthy. Secretary Clinton, you're calling for a tax increase on the wealthiest Americans. I'd like you to further defend that. And Mr. Trump, you're calling for tax cuts for the wealthy and I'd like you to defend that.

DONALD TRUMP:Well, I'm really calling for major jobs because the wealthy are going to create tremendous jobs. They're going to expand their companies. They're going to do a tremendous job. I'm getting rid of the carried interest provision. And if you really look, it's not a great thing for the wealthy. It's a great thing for a middle-class. It's a great thing for companies to expand. And when these people are going to put billions and billions of dollars into companies and when they're going to bring to have two and a half trillion dollars back from overseas, where they can't bring the money back because politicians like Secretary Clinton... because the taxes are so onerous and the bureaucratic red tape. So bad. So what they're doing is they're leaving our country and they're, believe it or not, leaving because taxes are too high and because some of them have lots of money outside of our country.

Much of this is money they make overseas in selling products there, not money they take outside the country. — Jim Zarroli

And instead of bringing it back and putting the money to work because they can't work out a deal to — and everybody agrees it should be brought back. Instead of that, they're leaving our country to get their money because they can't bring their money back into our country because of bureaucratic red tape because they can't get together. Because we have a president that can't sit them around a table and get them to approve something. And here's the thing — Republicans and Democrats agree that this should be done. Two and a half trillion - I happen to think it's double that - it's probably five trillion dollars that we can't bring into our country, Lester.

Macroeconomic research firm Capital Economics estimated this month that American firms hold $2.5 trillion overseas. And that figure is echoed in other reports — earlier this year, Citizens for Tax Justice (talking only about the top Fortune 500 companies) put it at $2.4 trillion. However, it's not immediately apparent where the $5 trillion figure comes from. NPR is asking the Trump campaign and will update with any new information. — Danielle Kurtzleben

With a little leadership, you'd get it in here very quickly. To be put to use on the inner cities and lots of other things, and it would be beautiful. But we have no leadership. And honestly, that starts with Secretary Clinton.

LESTER HOLT: All right, you have two minutes of the same question to defend tax increases on the wealthiest Americans, Secretary Clinton.

HILLARY CLINTON: I have a feeling that by the end of this evening, I'll be blamed for everything that's ever happened.




HILLARY CLINTON:Why not, yeah why not? Just join the debate by saying more crazy things.

DONALD TRUMP:There's nothing crazy about not letting our companies bring their money back into --

LESTER HOLT: This is Secretary Clinton's two minutes please.

HILLARY CLINTON: Let's start the clock again, Lester. We've looked at your tax proposals. I don't see changes in the corporate tax rates or the kinds of proposals you are referring to that would cause the repatriation, bringing back of money that is stranded overseas.

DONALD TRUMP: Then you didn't read it.

HILLARY CLINTON: I happen to support that in a way that will actually work to our benefit. But when I look at what you have proposed, you have what is called now the Trump loophole because it would so advantage you and the business you do. You've proposed

DONALD TRUMP: Who gave it that name?

LESTER HOLT: Sir, this is Secretary Clinton's two minutes.

HILLARY CLINTON: benefit for your bit family. And when you look at what you are proposing it is, as I said, Trumped up, trickle-down. Trickle down it did not work. It got us into the mess we were in 2009. Slashing taxes on the wealthy hasn't worked and a lot of really smart, wealthy people know that. And they are saying, hey we need to do more to make the contributions we should be making to rebuild the middle class. I don't think what top-down works in America. I think building the middle-class, investing in the middle class, making college debt-free so more young people can get their education, helping people refinance their debt from college at a lower rate, those are the kinds of things that will really boost the economy, broad-based, inclusive growth.

Moody's Analytics says that in a Clinton presidency, the economy would add 10.4 million jobs, based on her proposals. That would be 3.2 million more than under current law. — Marilyn Geewax

is what we need in America not more advantages for people at the very top.

LESTER HOLT: Mr. Trump --

DONALD TRUMP: Typical politician. All talk no action. Sounds good. Doesn't work. Never going to happen. Our country is suffering because people like Secretary Clinton have made such bad decisions in terms of our jobs and in terms of what is going on. Now look, we have the worst revival of an economy since the Great Depression.

Private sector employers have added 15.1 million jobs since the trough of the recession in 2010. Unemployment, which peaked at 10 percent in October 2009, has fallen to 4.9 percent. Unemployment among African-Americans, which peaked at 16.8 percent in March 2010, has fallen to 8.1 percent. And unemployment among African-American young people is not 58 percent as Trump claimed, but 26.1 percent.

For comparison: Jobs per year was strongest under Bill Clinton (2.8 million), followed by Carter (2.6 million), Reagan (2 million), Obama (1.3 million as of January), H.W. Bush (659,000), and W. Bush (160,000). — Scott Horsley

And believe me, we are in a bubble right now. And the other leaving that looks good is the stock market. But if you raise interest rates even a little bit that is going to come crashing down.

Trump seems unhappy that rates may go up and also criticizes Fed Chair Janet Yellen for keeping them low, asserting that she is doing it to benefit Obama. — Jim Zarroli

We are in a big fat ugly bubble. And we better be awfully careful. And we had a Fed that is doing political things. This Janet Yellen of the Fed, the Fed is doing political by keeping interest rates at this level.

Trump has accused Yellen of this before — he did on CNBC recently — though he provided no evidence of it, as the AP noted. Responding to these attacks, Yellen said last week that in five years, when transcripts are released, "I will assure you that you will not find any signs of political motivation," per the Wall Street Journal. Additionally, as Bloomberg reported recently, "people who have been in the room at FOMC meetings say that elections are just not a topic during the policy debate." The Fed's governors are appointed to 14-year terms, meaning that they overlap with multiple administrations, and chairs often also serve presidents of both parties. Ben Bernanke served George W. Bush and Obama, and if Trump were elected, Yellen's term would extend into his administration as well.

Additionally, earlier this year, Trump was not so opposed to either Yellen or higher interest rates. Though he said he wants a Republican chair, he also said, "I'm not a person that thinks Janet Yellen is doing a bad job. I happen to be a low-interest-rate person unless inflation rears its ugly head, which can happen at some point," according to Reuters. — Danielle Kurtzleben

And believe me the day Obama goes off and he leaves and he goes out to the golf course for the rest of his life to play golf, when they raise interest rates, you are going to see some very bad things happen because the Fed is not doing their job. The Fed is being more political than Secretary Clinton.

LESTER HOLT: Mr. Trump, we're talking about the burden that Americans have to pay, yet you have not released your tax returns. And the reason nominees have released their returns for decades is that voters will know if their potential president owes money to — who you know owes it to, and any business conflicts. Don't have Americans have a right to know there are any conflicts of interest?

DONALD TRUMP:I don't mind releasing. I'm under a audit. Routine and it will be released. And as soon as the audit's finished, it will be released. But you will learn more about Donald Trump by going down to the federal elections where I filed a one hundred and four page, essentially financial statement of sorts, the forms that they have. It shows income, in fact the income — I just looked today, the income is filed at six hundred ninety four million dollars for this past year. Six hundred ninety four million. If you would have told me I would make that fifteen or twenty years ago I would have been very surprised. But that's the kind of thinking that our country needs. When we have a country that is doing so badly that is being ripped off by every single country in the world, it is the kind of thinking that our country needs because everybody — Lester, we have a trade deficit with all of the countries that we do business with of almost eight hundred billion dollars a year.

In 2015, the U.S. had a trade deficit with the rest of the world of $746 billion. In the first seven months of 2016, the trade deficit was $424 billion. In 2015, the U.S. had a trade deficit with China of $367 billion. In the first seven months of 2016, the trade deficit with China was $191 billion. (So in both cases, it's on pace to shrink slightly this year.) The Trump campaign has argued that a more muscular trade policy would boost federal revenue by $1.7 trillion over the next decade, partially offsetting the revenue loss from Trump's proposed tax cuts. Outside economists are not convinced. The pro-trade Peterson Institute for International Economics warns that Trump's threat of steep tariffs on imports from China and Mexico could unleash a trade war, costing 4 million jobs and driving the economy into recession. Clinton is not calling for new import tariffs, but like Trump she opposes the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Peterson says each year's delay in TPP reduces GDP by tens of billions of dollars. — Scott Horsley

You know that is? That means who is negotiating these trade deals? We have people that are political hacks negotiating our trade deals.

LESTER HOLT: The IRS has an audit


LESTER HOLT: of your taxes. You're perfectly free to release your taxes during an audit. And so the question does the public's right to know outweigh your personal...

NPR: ak-irs As described by Slate, "The IRS commissioner himself has said that an audit doesn't prevent anyone from releasing his or her taxes. In fact, President Richard Nixon once released his returns while being audited."

DONALD TRUMP: Well, I told you I will release them as soon as the audit. Look, I have been under audit almost for fifteen years. I know a lot of wealthy people that have never been audited. I said do you get audited? I get audited almost every year. And in a way I should be complaining. I'm not even complaining. I don't mind them. It's almost become a way of life. I get audited by the IRS. But other people don't. I will say this we have a situation in this country that has to be taken care of. I will release my tax returns against my lawyer's wishes when she releases her thirty three thousand e-mails that have been deleted. As soon as she releases them, I will release I will release my tax returns. And that is against, my lawyers, they say don't do it. I will tell you this — in fact watching shows, reading the papers. Almost every lawyer says you don't release your return until the audit is complete. When the audit is complete I will do it.

But I would go against them if she releases her emails.

LESTER HOLT:So it's negotiable?

DONALD TRUMP: It's not negotiable. No, let her release her emails. Why did she delete 33,000 emails?

LESTER HOLT: I will let her answer that. But let me just admonish the audience one more time. There was an agreement. We did ask you to be silent so it would be helpful for us. Secretary Clinton?

HILLARY CLINTON: Well, I think you have just seen another example of bait and switch here. For 40 years everyone running for president has released their tax returns.

That's true. Richard Nixon released his taxes in 1973. He was audited by the IRS "when questions bubbled up about a fishy charitable donation and speculation that Nixon had tried to game the tax system," PolitiFact has noted. Here's more on the history of candidates releasing tax returns, including three reasons why we care about what's in those returns. — Domenico Montanaro

You can go and see nearly I think thirty nine forty years of our tax returns. But everyone has done it. We know the IRS has made clear there is no prohibition on releasing it when you are under audit. So you gotta ask yourself — why won't he release his tax returns? And I think there may be a couple of reasons. First maybe he is not as rich as he says he has. Second maybe he's not as charitable as he claims to be. Third we don't know all of his business dealings but we have been told through investigative reporting that he owes about six hundred and fifty million dollars to Wall Street and foreign banks. Or maybe he does not want the American people, all of you watching tonight, to know that he has paid nothing in federal taxes because the only years that anybody has ever seen for a couple of years where he had to turn them over to state authorities when he was trying to get a casino license. And they showed he did not pay any federal income tax.

DONALD TRUMP: That makes me smart.

HILLARY CLINTON: If you have paid zero, that means zero for troops, here for vets, zero for vets, zero for schools or health. And I think probably he is not all that enthusiastic about having the rest of our country see what the real reasons are because it must be something really important even terrible that he is trying to hide. In the financial disclosure statements they don't give you tax rate. They don't give you all the details the tax returns would. And it just seems to me that this is something that the American people deserve to see. And I have no reason to believe that he has ever going to release his tax returns because there is something he is hiding. And we will guess — we'll keep guessing at what it might be that he is hiding. But I think the question is were he ever to get near the White House, what would be those conflicts? Who does he owe money to? Well, he owes you the answers to that. And he should provide them.

LESTER HOLT: He also raised the issue of your e-mails. Do you want to respond to that?

HILLARY CLINTON: I do. You know, I made my mistake using a private e-mail.

DONALD TRUMP: That's for sure.

HILLARY CLINTON: And if I had to do it over again I would obviously do it differently. But I'm not going to make any excuses. It was a mistake and I take responsibility for that.


DONALD TRUMP: That was more than a mistake. That was done purposely. That was not a mistake. That was done purposely. When you have your staff taking the Fifth Amendment, taking the fifth so they are not prosecuted, when you have the man that set up the illegal server taking the fifth, I think it is disgraceful. And believe me, this country thinks it is this — really thinks it is disgraceful also.

The FBI director testified to Congress that Clinton told investigators she used the private server as a matter of convenience. An IT aide did invoke his Fifth Amendment rights and won immunity from the Justice Department. Two other people who worked on the server for Platte River Networks, a private company, also took the Fifth. And a pair of Clinton aides got a limited form of immunity for turning over their computers to the FBI. No one was charged with any wrongdoing. — Carrie Johnson

As far as my tax returns, you do not earn that much from tax returns. That I can tell you. You learn a lot from financial disclosure. And you should go down and take a look at that. The other thing - I am incredibly the under leveraged. The report that six hundred feet fifty — which by the way, a lot of friends of mine that know my business say boy that's really not a lot of money. That's not a lot of money relative to what I had. The big buildings that were in question they said in the same report, which actually wasn't even a bad story to be honest with you — but the buildings are worth 3.9 billion dollars. And the six hundred fifty is not even on that. But it is not six hundred fifty. It is much less than that. But I could give you a list of banks. If that would help you I would give you list the banks. These are very fine institutions, very fine banks. I could do that very quickly. I am very under leveraged. I have a great company. I have it tremendous income. And the reason I say it is not a braggadocio's way. It's because it is about time that this country had somebody running it that has an idea about money.

Because Donald Trump has refused to release his tax returns — in defiance of tradition dating back four decades — we don't know as much as we'd like about his business empire or his personal wealth. Much of his business is conducted through the privately held Trump Organization. But investors in his first public company — Trump Hotels and Casino Resorts — lost a lot of money, even as Trump himself was handsomely rewarded. The public company lost money every year Trump ran it, loaded up his Atlantic City casinos with costly debt, and ultimately filed for bankruptcy.

Trump has blamed the downfall on broader forces affecting Atlantic City. But he also drained cash out of the business to pay personal debts and support his lavish lifestyle. Contractors, including small businesses, lost money along with Trump's investors. Trump also forced an investment firm to fire an analyst, Marvin Roffman, who had warned that the business was unsustainable. Trump has been sued by the New York attorney general for allegedly defrauding students at Trump University, by investors who bought into failed condominium projects bearing the Trump name, and by contractors who say he refused to pay them. Trump boasts that he never settles lawsuits, but in fact he has settled at least 100 lawsuits, as USA Today reports. — Scott Horsley

When we had twenty twelve trillion dollars in debt in our country is a mess — you know is one thing to have twenty trillion debt and our roads are good and are bridges are good everything is in great shape. Our airports are like from a Third World country. You land at LaGuardia, you land at Kennedy, you land at LAX, you land at Newark and you come in from Dubai and Qatar and you see these incredible — you come in from China — you see these incredible airports and you land... we become a Third World country. So the worst of all things has happened. We owe twenty trillion dollars and we are a mess. We haven't even started. And we have spent $6 trillion dollars in the Middle East according to a report that I just saw. Whether it is six or five but it looks like it is six — six trillion dollars in the Middle East.

The total cost of the U.S. involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan is notoriously difficult to calculate because of the intricacies involved with what to include and what to exclude, the role played by debt service and other factors. According to one report by Linda Bilmes of Harvard, Iraq alone could wind up costing U.S. taxpayers some $3 trillion. — Phil Ewing

We could've rebuilt our country twice. And it's really a shame. And it's politicians like Secretary Clinton that have caused this problem. Our country has tremendous problems. We are a debtor nation. We're a serious debtor nation. And we have a country that needs new roads and tunnels, new bridges, new airports, new schools, new hospitals and we don't have the money because it has been squandered on so many of your ideas.

HILLARY CLINTON: And maybe because you have not paid any federal income tax for a lot of years. And the other thing I think is important --

DONALD TRUMP: It would be squandered too, believe me.

HILLARY CLINTON: If your main claim to be president of the United States is your business, then I think we should talk about that. You know your campaign manager said that you built a lot of businesses on the backs of little guys.

Here's USA Today on Trump's unpaid bills. — Scott Horsley

And indeed I have met a lot of the people who were stiffed by you and your businesses Donald. I've met dishwashers, painters, architects, glass installers, marble installers, drapery installers like my dad was, who you refused to pay when they finished the work that you asked them to do. We have an architect in the audience who designed one of your clubhouses at one of your golf courses. It's a beautiful facility. It immediately was put to use. And you would not pay what the man needed to be paid when he was charging you.

DONALD TRUMP: Maybe you can do a good job and I was unsatisfied with his work. Which our country should do too.

HILLARY CLINTON: Do the thousands of people that you have stiffed over the course of the business not deserve some kind of apology from someone who has taken their labor, taken the goods that they produced, and then refused to pay them? I can only say that I am certainly relieved that my late father never did business with you. He provided a good middle-class life for us but the people he worked for, he expected the bargain to be kept on both sides. And when we talk about your business, you have taken business bankruptcy six times. There a lot of great business people that have never taken bankruptcy once. You call yourself your king of debt. You talk about leverage. You even went and suggested that you would try to negotiate down the national debt of the United States.


Clinton is correct; Trump did suggest this on CNBC in May. — Sarah McCammon

HILLARY CLINTON: Well, sometimes there is not a direct transfer of skills from business to government. But sometimes what happened in business would be really bad for government. And we need to be very clear about that.

DONALD TRUMP: Look it's all words. It's all soundbites. I built an unbelievable company, some of the greatest assets anywhere in the world real estate assets anywhere in the world beyond the United States. In Europe, lots of different places. It's an unbelievable company.

But on occasion, four times, we used certain laws that are there. And when Secretary Clinton talks about people that did not get paid, first of all they did get paid a lot but taken advantage of the laws of the nation. Now, if you want to change the laws, you've been a long time, change the laws. That take advantage of the laws of the nation because I am running the company. My obligation right now is to do well for myself, my family, my employees, for my companies.

And that is what I do. What she does not say is that tens of thousands of people that are unbelievably happy and that love me — I'll give you an example. We're just opening up on Pennsylvania Avenue right next to the White House, so if I don't get there one way, I'm going to get Pennsylvania Avenue another. But we are opening the old post office. Under budget, ahead of schedule, save tremendous money, I'm a year ahead of schedule.

And that is what this country should be doing. We build roads and they cost two and three and four times what they're supposed to cost. We buy products for our military and they come at a cost that are so far above what they are supposed to be because we don't have people that know what they are doing. When we look at the budget, the budget is back to large extent because we have people that have no idea as to what to do and how to buy. The Trump International is way under budget and way ahead of schedule. And we should be able to do that for our country.

LESTER HOLT: Well, we're well behind schedule so I want to move to our next segment. We move our next segment talking about America's direction. Let's start by talking about race. The share of Americans who say race relations are bad in this country is the highest it's been in decades. Much of it amplified it by shootings of African-Americans by police, as we have seen recently in Charlotte and Tulsa. Race has been a big issue in this campaign and one of you is going to have to bridge a very wide and bitter gap. So how do you heal the divide? Secretary Clinton - you get two minutes on this.

HILLARY CLINTON: Well, you're right. Race remains a significant challenge in our country. Unfortunately, race still determines too much, often determines where people live, determines what kind of education in their public schools they can get...

From this year's Office of Civil Rights Data Collection:

Black students are 2.3 times more likely than white students to be referred to law enforcement or arrested as a result of a school incident.

Black preschoolers are 3.6 times more likely to be suspended than white preschoolers.

In schools with high black and Latino enrollment, 10 percent of teachers were in their first year, compared with 5 percent in largely white schools. — Anya Kamenetz

And yes it determines, how they are treated in the criminal justice system. We've just seen those two tragic examples in both Tulsa and Charlotte. And we've got to do several things at the same time. We have to restore trust between communities and the police. We have to work to make sure that our police are using the best training, the best techniques, that they're well prepared to use force only when necessary.

Everyone should be respected by the law and everyone should respect the law. Right now that's not the case in a lot of our neighborhoods. So I have, ever since the first day of my campaign, called for criminal justice reform. I've laid out a platform that I think would begin to remedy some of the problems we have in the criminal justice system. But we also have to recognize in addition to the challenges that we face with policing there are so many good brave police officers who equally want reform. So we have to bring communities together in order to begin working on that as a mutual goal. And we've got to get guns out of the hands of people who shouldn't have them.

The gun epidemic is a leading cause of death of young African-American men, more than the next nine causes put together. So we have to do two things as I said — we have to restore trust, we have to work with the police, we have to make sure they respect the communities and the communities respect them and we have to tackle the plague of gun violence which is a big contributor to a lot of the problems that we are seeing today.

LESTER HOLT: Ok Mr. Trump, you have two minutes, how to heal the divide?

DONALD TRUMP: Well, first of all Secretary Clinton doesn't want to use a couple of words and that's law and order. And we need law and order. If we don't have it, we're not going to have a country. And when I look at what's going on in Charlotte, the city I love, the city where I have investments, when I look at what's going on throughout various parts of our country, whether it's. I can keep naming them all day long — we need law and order in our country.

And I just got today the as you know the endorsement of the fraternal order of police which just came in.

Trump did win the endorsement of the FOP but that happened earlier in the month, not Monday. — Carrie Johnson

We have endorsements from I think almost every police group, I mean a large percentage of them in United States. We have a situation where we have our inner cities, African-American, Hispanics living in hell because it's so dangerous. You walk down the street, you get shot. In Chicago, they've had thousands of shootings thousands since January first. Thousands of shootings. And I'm saying where is this? Is this war-torn country? What are we doing? And we had to stop the violence. We have to bring back law in order.

FBI crime data published Monday said violent crime rose slightly in 2015 but remains near record lows. Chicago remains plagued by violent crime, but it's targeted to a small number of neighborhoods. — Carrie Johnson

In a place like Chicago, where thousands of people have been killed, thousands over the last number of years, in fact almost four thousand having killed since Barack Obama became president. Over four, almost four thousand people in Chicago have been killed. We have to bring back law and order. Now, whether or not in a place like Chicago, you do stop and frisk which worked very well Mayor Giuliani is here worked very well in New York.

Not so much — Anya Kamenetz

It brought the crime rate way down but you take the gun away from criminals that should be having it. We have gangs roaming the street and in many cases they're illegally here, illegal immigrants. And they have guns and they shoot people. And we have to be very strong and we have to be very vigilant. We have to be we had to know what we're doing. Right now our police, in many cases, are afraid to do anything.

We have to protect our inner cities because African-American communities are being decimated by crime.

Homicides rose in 2015 by about 11 percent, the FBI said, but largely because of increases in a small number of cities such as Chicago. — Carrie Johnson

LESTER HOLT: Your two minutes have expired but I do want to follow up. Stop and Frisk was ruled unconstitutional in New York because it largely singled out black and Hispanic young men.

DONALD TRUMP: No, you're wrong. It went before a judge who was a very against police judge.

Lester Holt is correct. Stop-and-frisk was ruled unconstitutional by a federal district judge. The city appealed, and after a change of mayor the case was settled before the appeal. — Scott Horsley

It was taken away from her and our mayor, our new mayor, refused to go forward with the case. They would have won an appeal. If you look at it throughout the country, there are many places where...

Stop-and-frisk remains a controversial practice in law enforcement. Just last week, the attorney general said it was practiced indiscriminately in New York and worsened police-community relations. — Carrie Johnson

LESTER HOLT: The argument is that it's a form of racial profiling.

DONALD TRUMP: No, the argument is that we had to take the guns away from these people that have them and that are bad people that shouldn't have them. These are felons and these are people that are bad people that shouldn't be...when you have three thousand shootings in Chicago from January 1st, when you have four thousand people killed in Chicago by guns from the beginning of the presidency of Barack Obama his hometown, you have to have stop and frisk.

You need more police. You need a better community, you know relation, you don't have a good community relations in Chicago. It's terrible. I have property there. It's terrible what's going on in Chicago. But when you look — and Chicago's not the only one. You go to Ferguson, you go to so many different places. You need better relationships, I agree with Secretary Clinton on this, you need better relationships between communities in the police because in some cases it's not good but you look at Dallas where the relationships were really studied the relationships were really a beautiful thing. And then five police officers were killed. One night very violently. So there's some bad things going on, some really bad things.

LESTER HOLT: Secretary Clinton.

DONALD TRUMP: But Lester we need law and order and we need law and order in the inner cities because the people that are most affected by what's happening are African-American and Hispanic people and it's very unfair to them what our politicians are allowing to happen.

LESTER HOLT:Secretary Clinton.

HILLARY CLINTON: Well, I've heard, I've heard Donald Titus at his rallies and it's really unfortunate that he paints such a dire negative picture of black communities in our country...


HILLARY CLINTON: you know, the vibrancy of the black church, the black businesses that employ so many people, the opportunities that so many families are working to provide for their kids, there is a lot that we should be proud of and we should be supporting and lifting up. But we do always have to make sure we keep people safe. There the right ways of doing it and then there are ways that are ineffective. Stop and risk was found to be unconstitutional. And in part because it was ineffective. It did not do what it needed to do. Now I believe in community policing and in fact violent crime is one half of what it was in 1991; property crime is down 40 percent. We just don't want to see it creep back up.

Newly released FBI data report that violent crime increased by nearly 4 percent between 2014 and 2015, with murders rising by nearly 11 percent, but crime researchers said homicides and other violence still remain at low rates compared with a crime wave from 20 years ago. About seven cities are largely responsible for the increase in murders last year, but that pattern has not held steady into 2016, when homicides in some places, including Baltimore and Washington, have dropped. The Fair Punishment Project, a center based at the Harvard Law School, pointed out that the country is "safer under President Obama than under any other president in over a half-century." "No year during George W. Bush's, Bill Clinton's, George H.W. Bush's or Ronald Reagan's presidency was as safe as 2015," according to a summary prepared by the project leaders. "Violent crime in the U.S. is near historic lows and the country is dramatically safer than it was 45 years ago, 25 years ago, and 10 years ago." — Scott Horsley

We've had twenty five years of very good cooperation but there were some problems some unintended consequences. Too many young African-American and Latino men ended up in jail for nonviolent offenses and it's just a fact that if you are young African-American man and you do the same thing as a young white man, you are more likely to be arrested, charged, convicted and incarcerated. So we've got to address the systemic racism in our criminal justice system.

We cannot just say law and order. We have to say, we have to come forward with a plan that is going to divert people from the criminal justice system, deal with mandatory minimum sentences which have put too many people away for too long for doing too little. We need to have more second chance programs. I'm glad that we're ending private prisons in the federal system. I want to see them ended in the state system.

Private prisons are not being phased out throughout the federal government. The Justice Department's Bureau of Prisons is phasing out its reliance on private prisons, but the Department of Homeland Security — which has more than 70 percent of its noncitizen detainees in private prisons — is studying the issue but has made no commitment to sever its ties to the for-profit prison industry. — John Burnett

You shouldn't have a profit motivation to fill prison cells with young Americans. So there are some positive ways we can work on this. And I believe, strongly, that common sense gun safety measures would assist us.

Right now, and this is something Donald has supported, along with the gun lobby. Right now, we've got too many military-style weapons on the streets in a lot of places, our police are outgunned. We need comprehensive background checks and we need to keep guns out of the hands of those who will do harm and we finally need to pass a prohibition on anyone who is on the terrorist watch list from being able to buy a gun in our country. If you are too dangerous to fly, you are too dangerous to buy a gun. So there are things we can do and we ought to do it in a bipartisan way.

LESTER HOLT: Secretary Clinton last week you said we've got to do everything possible to improve policing to go right at implicit bias. Do you believe that police are implicitly biased against black people?

HILLARY CLINTON: Lester, I think implicit bias is a problem for everyone, not just police. I think unfortunately too many of us in our great country jump to conclusions about each other. And therefore I think we need all of us to be asking hard questions about, you know, why am I feeling this way?

But when it comes to policing, since it can have literally fatal consequences, I have said in my first budget we would put money into that budget to help us deal with implicit bias by re- training a lot of our police officers. I've met with a group of very distinguished, experienced police chiefs a few weeks ago. They admit it's an issue. They've got a lot of concerns. Mental health is one of the biggest concerns because now police are having to handle a lot of really difficult mental health problems on the street. They want support, they want more training, they want more assistance. And I think the federal government could be in a position where we would offer and provide that.

Clinton has said she will devote $1 billion in her first budget to training and safety for law enforcement. — Carrie Johnson

DONALD TRUMP: I'd like to respond.


DONALD TRUMP: First of all, I agree and a lot of people even within my own party want to give certain rights to people on watch lists and no-fly lists. I agree with you when a person is on a watch list or a no-fly list, and I have the endorsement of the NRA which I'm very proud of, these are very, very good people and they're protecting the Second Amendment, but I think we have to look very strongly at no-fly lists and watchlists and when people are on there, even if they shouldn't be on there, we'll help them, we'll help them legally, we will help them get off. But I tend to agree with that. Quite strongly.

I do want to bring up the fact that you were the one that brought up the word super predator about young black youth. And that's a term that I think was that's been horribly met as you know. I think you've apologized for it. But I think it was a terrible thing to say. And when it comes to stop and frisk, you know, you're talking about taking the guns away. Well, I'm talking about taking guns away from gangs and people that use them.

Clinton has told the International Association of Chiefs of Police and several audiences that she supports Second Amendment rights and simply wants to take guns out of the hands of criminals and others who should not have them. — Carrie Johnson

And I don't think, I really don't think you disagree with me on this, if you want to know the truth. I think maybe there's a political reason why you can't say it, but I really don't believe. In New York City, stop and risk, we had 2,200 murders and stop and frisk brought it down to 500 murders. Five hundred murders is a lot of murders. Hard to believe 500 is like supposed to be good? But we went from 2,200 to 500 and it was continued on by Mayor Bloomberg. And it was terminated by our current mayor. But stop and frisk had a tremendous impact on the safety of New York City, tremendous beyond belief, so when you say it has no impact, it really did. It had a very big impact.

Studies by scholars at Columbia University and elsewhere say the widespread use of stop-and-frisk resulted in relatively few arrests or illegal gun recoveries. New York's homicide numbers remain very low, at 352 in 2015 and a projected 359 this year, according to the Brennan Center for Justice. New York Police Department spokesman Peter Donald said stop-and-frisk has declined nearly 97 percent since 2011 and crime, murders and shootings have "decreased significantly during the same period." — Carrie Johnson

HILLARY CLINTON: Well, it's also fair to say, if we're going to talk about mayors that under the current mayor crime has continued to drop, including murders. So there is-

DONALD TRUMP:You're wrong.


DONALD TRUMP: Murders murders are up.

Homicides in New York remain low relative to the 1980s and 1990s, according to FBI data and the Brennan Center for Justice. — Carrie Johnson

HILLARY CLINTON: New York has done an excellent job. And I give credit, I give credit across the board going back to mayors to police chiefs because it has worked. And other communities need to come together to do what will work as well. Look one murder is too many.


HILLARY CLINTON: But it is important that we learn about what has been effective and not go to things that sound good that really did not have the kind of impact that we would want. Who disagrees with keeping neighborhoods safe? But let's also add no one should disagree about respecting the rights of young men who live in those neighborhoods. And so we need to do a better job of working again with the communities, faith communities, business communities, as well as the police to try to deal with this problem.

LESTER HOLT: This conversation is about race and so Mr. Trump, I have to ask you....

DONALD TRUMP: But I'd like to just respond if I might?

LESTER HOLT: Please, please respond.

DONALD TRUMP: The African American community has been let down by our politicians. They talk good around election time, like right now, and after the election they said see you later, I'll see you in four years. The African-American- look the community within the inner cities has been so badly treated, they been abused and used in order to get votes by Democrat politicians because that's what it is. They've controlled these communities for up to a hundred years.


DONALD TRUMP: And I will tell you, you look at the inner cities, and I just left Detroit and I just left Philadelphia and I just you know you've see me I been all over the place, you decided to stay home, and that's OK. But I will tell you I've been all over, and I've met some of the greatest people I'll ever meet within these communities. And they are very, very upset with what their politicians have told them and what their politicians have done.


HILLARY CLINTON:I think Donald just criticized me for preparing for this debate. And yes I did. And you know what else I prepared for? I prepared to be president, and I think that's a good thing.



LESTER HOLT: Mr. Trump for five years you perpetuated a false claim of the nation's first black president was not a natural-born citizen. You questioned his legitimacy. In last couple weeks you acknowledge what most Americans have accepted for years, the president was born in the United States. Can you tell us what took you so long?

DONALD TRUMP: I'll tell you- it's very simple to say. Sidney Blumenthal works for the campaign and a very close friend of Secretary Clinton. And her campaign manager Patti Doyle went to, during her campaign against President Obama, fought very hard, and you can go look it up, and you can check it out, and if you look at CNN this past week Patti Solis Doyle was on Wolf Blitzer saying that this happened. Blumenthal sent McClatchy, a highly-respected reporter at McClatchy to Kenya to find out about it.

There is no truth to the charge that the Clinton campaign or Hillary Clinton started the birther movement, as we've written. Donald Trump, however, for several years was the chief spokesman for it and the principal person pushing the falsehood. And Trump still has not apologized to the president of the United States for an effort that many African-Americans saw as an effort to delegitimize the first black president. Undoubtedly, Clinton and Obama fought a bitter 2008 primary campaign. Fringe supporters and advisers did go after Obama's "otherness." One of Clinton's informal advisers, Sidney Blumenthal, told a McClatchy bureau chief based in Africa to look into Obama's birthplace, according to that McClatchy bureau chief. But Clinton certainly did not take the show on the road. The false equivalence Trump is trying to draw isn't even remotely close to the same thing as what Trump did. For the record, once again, Barack Obama was born in Hawaii, something proved over and over again. Here's his birth certificate, the legitimacy of which Trump called into question explicitly as late as 2014. — Domenico Montanaro

They were pressing it very hard, she failed to get the birth certificate. When I got involved, I didn't fail. I got him to give the birth certificate. So I'm satisfied with it, and I'll tell you why I'm satisfied with it.

LESTER HOLT: That was in 2011.

DONALD TRUMP: Because I want to get on to defeating ISIS. Because I want to get on to creating jobs. Because I want to get on to having a strong border. Because I want to get on the things that are very important to me and that are very important to the country.

LESTER HOLT: I will let you respond, that's important. But I just want to get the answer here. The birth certificate was produced in 2011, you continued to tell the story and question the president's legitimacy in 2012, 13, 14, 15, as recently as January. So the question is, what changed your mind?

DONALD TRUMP: Well, nobody was pressing it. Nobody was caring much about it. I figured you'd ask the question tonight, of course. But nobody was caring much about it. But I was the one that got him to produce the birth certificate. And I think I did a good job. Secretary Clinton also fought it. I mean, you know, now everybody in the mainstream's gonna say, that's not true. Look, it's true.

Sidney Blumenthal sent a reporter. You just have to take a look at CNN last week, the interview with your former campaign manager. And she was involved. But just like she can't bring back jobs, she can't produce.

LESTER HOLT: I'm sorry. I'm just going to follow up. I will let you respond because there is a lot there. We're talking about racial healing in the segment. What do you say to Americans --

DONALD TRUMP: I say nothing because I was able to get him to produce it. He should have produced a long time before. I say nothing, but let me just tell you. When you talk about healing, I think that I developed very, very good relationships over the last little while with the African-American community. I think you can see that. And I feel that they really wanted me to come to that conclusion. And I think I did a great job and a great service, not only for the country but even for the president in getting him to produce his birth certificate.

LESTER HOLT: Secretary Clinton.

HILLARY CLINTON:Well, just listen to what you heard.


HILLARY CLINTON: And, clearly, as Donald just admitted, he knew he was gonna stand on this debate stage and Lester Holt was going to be asking us questions. So he tried to put the whole racist birther lie to bed.

But it can't be dismissed that easily. He has really started his political activity based on this racist lie that our first black president was not an American citizen. There was absolutely no evidence for it, but he persisted. He persisted year after year because some of his supporters, people that he was trying to bring into his fold apparently believed it or wanted to believe it. But remember, Donald started his career back in 1973 being sued by the Justice Department for racial discrimination. Because he would not rent apartments in one of his developments to African-Americans. And he made sure that the people who worked for him understood that was the policy. He actually was sued twice by the Justice Department. So he has a long record of engaging in racist behavior. And the birther lie was a very hurtful one. You know, Barack Obama is a man of great dignity, and I could tell how much it bothered him and annoyed him that this was being touted and used against him. But I like to remember what Michelle Obama said in her amazing speech at our Democratic National Convention. When they go low, we go high. And Barack Obama went high despite Donald Trump's best efforts to bring him down.

LESTER HOLT: Mr. Trump, you can respond then we're going to move on in a second.

DONALD TRUMP:I would love to respond. First of all, I got to watch, in preparing for this, some of your debates against Barack Obama. You treated him with terrible disrespect. And I watch the way you talk now about how lovely everything is and how wonderful you are. Doesn't work that way. You are after him. You were trying to — you even sent out, or your campaign sent out, pictures of him in a certain garb, very famous pictures. I don't think you can deny that. But just last week, your campaign manager said it was true. So when you try to act holier than thou, it really doesn't work. It really doesn't. Now as far as the lawsuit, yes, when I was very young, I went to my father's company. Had a real estate company in Brooklyn and Queens. And we, along with many, many other companies throughout the country, a federal lawsuit, were sued. We settled the suit with zero — with no admission of guilt. It was very easy to do. But they sued many people. I notice you bring that up a lot, and, you know, I also noticed the very nasty commercials that you do on me in so many different ways, which I don't do on you. Maybe I'm trying to save the money. But frankly, I look at that, and I say — isn't that amazing? Because I settled that lawsuit with no admission of guilt. But that was a lawsuit brought against many real estate firms. And it's just one of those things. I'll go on one step further. In Palm Beach, Florida — tough community — a brilliant community, a wealthy community, probably the wealthiest community there is in the world, I opened a club. And really got great credit for it. No discrimination against African-Americans, against Muslims, against anybody. And it's a tremendously successful club. And I'm so glad I did it. And I have been given great credit for what I did. And I'm very, very proud of it. And that's the way I feel. That is the true way I feel.

LESTER HOLT:Our next segment is called securing America. And we want to start with a twenty first century war happening every day in this country. Our institutions are under cyber attack, and our secrets are being stolen. So my question is, who's behind it? And how do we fight it? Secretary Clinton, this answer goes to you.

HILLARY CLINTON:Well, I think cyber security, cyber warfare, will be one of the biggest challenges facing the next president because clearly, we're facing, at this point, two different kinds of adversaries. There are the independent hacking groups that do it mostly for commercial reasons to try to steal information that they then can use to make money. But increasingly, we are seeing cyber attacks coming from states, organs of states. The most recent and troubling of these has been Russia. There is no doubt now that Russia has used cyber attacks against all kinds of organizations in our country. And I am deeply concerned about this. I know Donald's very praise-worthy of Vladimir Putin, but Putin is playing a really tough, long game here. And one of the things he's done is to let loose cyber attackers to hack into government files, to hack into personal files, hack into the Democratic National Committee. And we recently have learned that, you know, that this is one of their preferred methods of trying to wreak havoc and collect information. We need to make it very clear, whether it's Russia, China, Iran or anybody else, the United States has much greater capacity.

Espionage is broadly tolerated under international law. Cyber-espionage is having a clear impact on private and public organizations. The U.S. has filed indictments and issued sanctions to deter cyber-espionage activities. But the federal government has not filled key positions to protect data. While the government announced a federal chief security officer position, it's vacant. Some say the position lacks seniority and resources. Also, White House cybersecurity czar Michael Daniel boasted about his lack of technical expertise. After the DNC hack, the advisers who were appointed lacked information security backgrounds. — Aarti Shahani

And we are not going to sit idly by and permit state actors to go after our information. Our private-sector information or our public-sector information. And were going to have to make it clear that we don't want to use the kinds of tools that we have. We don't want to engage in a different kind of warfare, but we will defend the citizens of this country And the Russians need to understand that. I think they've been treating it as almost a probing. How far would we go? How much would we do? And that's why I was so — I was so shocked Donald publicly invited Putin to hack into Americans. That is just unacceptable. It's one of the reasons why 50 national security officials who served in Republican information — administrations --

LESTER HOLT: Your two minutes have expired.

HILLARY CLINTON:. have said that Donald had is unfit to be the commander in chief. It's comments like that that really worry people who understand the threats that we face.

LESTER HOLT: Mr. Trump you have two minutes of the same question — who's behind it and how do we fight it?

DONALD TRUMP: I do want to say that I was just endorsed and more are coming next week, it'll be over two hundred admirals, many of them are here, admirals and generals endorsed me to leave this country. That just happened and many more are coming. And I'm very proud of it. In addition, I was is endorsed by ICE. They've never endorsed anybody before — on immigration. I was just endorsed by ICE.

Trump was endorsed by a group of former customs enforcement officers, not by the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency. — Phil Ewing

NPR: sh-border-patrol The Border Patrol has doubled in size since Sept. 11 to more than 21,000. Trump has proposed adding about 5,000 more. The bipartisan Senate bill in 2013 would have gone further, to 38,000.

CONT: Meanwhile, apprehensions at the Southwest border — a proxy for attempted crossings — have dropped by 79 percent from the peak in 2000. The Pew Research Center reports more Mexicans left the U.S. than entered between 2009 and 2014.

NPR: jb-border-patrol-council Both the National Border Patrol Council and the National Immigration and Customs Enforcement Council have endorsed Donald Trump — the first time these federal law enforcement unions have made presidential endorsements. "I know he's kind of polarizing, but what I do appreciate is now we have people talking about immigration like never before, and border security like never before," John Anfinsen, Border Patrol union local official in Del Rio, Texas, told NPR.

I was just recently endorsed...16,500 border patrol agencies. So when Secretary Clinton talked about this, I mean, I'll take the admirals and I'll take the generals any day over the political hacks that I see who have led our country so brilliantly over the last ten years with their knowledge because look at the mess that were in. Look at the mess that were in.

As far as the cyber, I agree to parts of what Secretary Clinton said. We should be better than anybody else and perhaps we're not. I don't think anybody knows that it was Russia that broke into the DNC. She saying Russia, Russia, Russia. I don't — maybe it was. I mean, it could be Russia, but it could also be China, it could also be lots of other people. It also could be somebody sitting on their bed who weighs 400 pounds, ok?

You don't know how broke into DNC? But what did we learn with DNC? We learn that Bernie Sanders was taken advantage of by your people, by Debbie Wasserman Schultz. Look what happened to her. But Bernie Sanders was taken advantage of. That's what it was. Now, whether that was Russia, whether that was China, whether it was another country, we don't know because the truth is under President Obama, we've lost control of things that we used to have control of. We came in with the Internet. We came up with the Internet. And I think Secretary Clinton and myself would agree very much when you look at what ISIS is doing with the Internet, they're beating us at our own game. ISIS. So we had to get very very tough on cyber and cyber warfare. It is a huge problem. I have a son — he's ten years old. He has computers. He is so good with these computers. It's unbelievable.

Clinton has echoed Obama's call to teach computer science to all American students; Trump has not. — Anya Kamenetz

The security aspect of cyber is very, very tough. And maybe, it's hardly doable. But I will say, we are not doing the job we should be doing. But that's true throughout our whole governmental society. We have so many things that we have to do better, Lester. And certainly cyber is one of them.

Neither candidate has articulated a policy position on cyberwar versus cyberpeace. It's not clear whether either would sanction "hacking back" after an attack — a key power the president has. — Aarti Shahani

LESTER HOLT: Secretary Clinton?

HILLARY CLINTON: Well, I think there are number of issues that we should be addressing. I have put forth a plan to defeat ISIS. It does involve going after them online. I think we need to do much more with our tech companies to prevent ISIS and their operatives from being able to use the Internet to radicalize, even direct, people in our country, in Europe, and elsewhere. But we also have to intensify our airstrikes against ISIS and eventually support our Arab and Kurdish partners to be able to actually take able to actually take out ISIS in Rocca and in their claim of being a caliphate. We're making progress. Our military is assisting in Iraq, and we're hoping that within the year, will be able to push ISIS out of Iraq, and then, you know, really squeeze them in Syria. But we have to be cognizant of the fact that they've had foreign fighters coming to volunteer for them, foreign money, foreign weapons. So we have to make this a top priority, and I would also do everything possible to take out their leadership. I was involved in a number of efforts to take out Al Qaeda leadership when I was secretary of state, including of course, taking out bin Laden. And I think we need to go after Baghdadi as well, make that one of our organizing principles because we've got to defeat ISIS. And we have got to do everything we can to disrupt their propaganda efforts online.

LESTER HOLT: You mention ISIS and we think of ISIS as over there. But there are American citizens who have been inspired to commit acts of terror on American soil. The latest incident, of course, the bombings we just saw in New York and New Jersey, the knife attack at a mall in Minnesota in the last year, deadly attacks in San Bernardino and Orlando. I'll ask this to both of you. Tell us specifically how you prevent homegrown attacks by American citizens. Mr. Trump.

DONALD TRUMP: Well, first I have to say one thing — very important. Secretary Clinton is talking about taking out ISIS. We will take out ISIS. Well, President Obama and Secretary Clinton created a vacuum the way they got out of Iraq because they got out — they shouldn't have been in but once they got in, the way they got out was a disaster. And ISIS was formed.

So she talks about taking them out. She's been doing it a long time. She's been trying to take them out for a long time. But they wouldn't have even been formed if they left some troops behind, like ten thousand or maybe something more than that. And then you wouldn't have had them. Or, as I've been saying for a long time, and I think you'll agree because I said it to you once-- had we taken the oil — and we should have taken the oil, ISIS would not have been able to form either because the oil was their primary source of income. And now to have the oil all over the place including the oil, a lot of the oil in Libya, which was another one of her disasters.

Trump's support for "taking the oil" appears to indicate support for deploying U.S. troops to seize the energy production infrastructure of Iraq, Syria and other places. U.S. forces might need to fight a home country's military for control of wells and refineries, then capture and hold pipelines and generally become a long-term occupying force to preserve American control of such resources. — Phil Ewing

LESTER HOLT:Secretary Clinton.

HILLARY CLINTON: Well, I hope the fact checkers are turning up the volume and really working hard. Donald supported the invasion of Iraq.


HILLARY CLINTON:That is absolutely proved over and over again.


HILLARY CLINTON: He actually advocated for their actions we took in Libya and urged that Gaddafi be taken out after actually doing some business with him one time. But the larger point, he says this constantly, is George W. Bush made the agreement about when American troops would leave Iraq, not Barack Obama. And the only way that American troops could have stayed in Iraq is to get an agreement from the then Iraqi government that would have protected our troops

That is true, but Republicans have argued that the Obama administration could have done a better job negotiating a memorandum of understanding to keep a residual force in Iraq. — Michele Kelemen

And the Iraqi government would not give that. But let's talk about the question you asked, Lester. The question you asked is what do we do here in the United States? That's the most important part of this. How do we prevent attacks? How do we protect our people?

And I think we have got to have an intelligence surge where we are looking for every scrap of information. I was so proud of law enforcement in New York, in Minnesota, in New Jersey. They responded so quickly, so professionally to the attacks that occurred by Rahami. And they brought him down. And we may find out more information because he is still alive which may prove to be an intelligence benefit. So we have got to do everything we can to vacuum up intelligence from Europe, from the Middle East. That means we've got to work more closely with our allies. And that is something that Donald has been very dismissive of. Working with NATO the longest military alliance in the history of the world to really turn our attention to terrorism. We're working with our friends in the Middle East, many of which, as you know, are Muslim majority nations. Donald has consistently insulted Muslims abroad, Muslims at home, when we need to be cooperating with Muslim nations and with the American Muslim community. They're on the frontlines. They can provide information to us that we might not get anywhere else. They need to have close working cooperation with law enforcement in these communities, not be alienated and pushed away at some of Donald's rhetoric unfortunately has led to.


DONALD TRUMP: Well, I have to respond.

LESTER HOLT: Please respond.

DONALD TRUMP: The secretary said very strongly about working with — we've working with them for many years and we have the greatest mess anyone has ever seen. Look at the Middle East. It's a total mess. Under your direction to a large extent.

But you look at the Middle East. You started the Iran deal, that's another beauty, where you have a country that was ready to fall, they were doing so badly, they were choking on the sanctions. And now they're going to be actually probably be a major power at some point pretty soon the way they are going.

But when you look at NATO, I was asked on a major show, what do you think of NATO? Now you have to understand, I'm a businessperson. I did really well. But I have common sense. And I said, well, I'll tell you. I haven't given lots of thought to NATO. But two things — but number one the 28 countries of NATO many of them aren't paying their fair share. Number two...and that bothers me, because we should be asked where defending them -- should be at least be paying us what they are supposed to be paying by treaty and contract.

Only a handful of NATO's 28 members spend the 2 percent of their gross domestic product on defense as required by their membership. American secretaries of defense since Donald Rumsfeld have criticized the alliance and its members for not meeting their commitments. As of 2016, the nations committing the 2 percent were the U.S., Greece, the United Kingdom, Estonia and Poland. — Phil Ewing

Number two, I said the very strongly, NATO can be obsolete because, and I was very strong about this and was actually covered very accurately New York Times which is unusual for the New York Times to be honest — but I said they do not focus on terror. And I was very strong. And I said it numerous times.

And about four months ago I read on the front page of the Wall Street Journal that NATO is opening of major terror division. I think that's great. And I think we should get, because we pay approximately seventy three percent of the cost of NATO-- a lot of money — to protect other people — but I'm am all for NATO. But I said they have to focus on terror also. And they are going to do that. And I was — really I'm not going to get credit for it because largely because of it I was saying in my criticism of NATO.

I think we have to get NATO to go into the Middle East with us in addition to surrounding nations we have to knock the hell out of ISIS. And we have to do it fast. When ISIS formed in this vacuum created by Barack Obama and Secretary Clinton and believe me you were the ones that took out the troops, not only that, you named the day.

They couldn't believe it. They sat back probably said...When they formed this is something that never should have happened. It shouldn't have never happened. Now you're talking about taking out ISIS. But you were there and you were Secretary of State when it was a little infant. Now it is in over thirty countries and you are going to stop them? I don't think so.

LESTER HOLT: Mr. Trump a lot of these are judgment questions. You had supported thew ar in iraq before the invasion.

DONALD TRUMP: I did not support the war in Iraq.

He did express support, in an interview with Howard Stern. The transcript of the Stern interview shows Stern asking Trump if he favored invading Iraq. Trump replied, "Yeah, I guess so. You know, I wish the first time it was done correctly." — Mary Louise Kelly

That is a mainstream media nonsense put out by her because she frankly — I think the best person in her campaign is mainstream media.

LESTER HOLT: My question is, since you supported it, why is your judgment....

DONALD TRUMP: I was against the war — wait a minute, I was against the war in Iraq.

LESTER HOLT:The record shows otherwise.

DONALD TRUMP: The record shows that I am right. When I did an interview with Howard Stern very likely first time anyone has asked me that I said very lightly I don't know maybe who knows.

Essentially. I then did an interview with Neil Cavuto. We talked about the economy as more important. I then spoke to Sean Hannity which everyone refuses to call Sean Hannity. I had numerous conversation with Sean Hannity at Fox. And Sean Hannity said, and he called me the other day. And I spoke to him about it. He said you were totally against the war because he was for the war.

LESTER HOLT: Why is your judgment better than...

DONALD TRUMP: Excuse me — that was before the war started. Sean Hannity said very strongly to me and other people — he's willing to say it but nobody wants to call him. I was against the war. He said you used to have fights with me cause Sean was in favor of the war. And I understand that side also-- not very much because we should never have been there — but nobody called Sean Hannity. And then they did an article in a major magazine shortly after the war started. I think in '04. But they did an article which had me totally against the war in Iraq. And one of your compatriots said you know whether it was before or right after Trump was definitely — because if you read this article there is no doubt. But if somebody and I'll ask the press, if somebody would call up Sean Hannity this was before the war started. He and I used to have arguments about the war. I said it's a terrible and a stupid thing. It's going to destabilize the Middle East. And that is exactly what it has done.

LESTER HOLT: My reference was to what you said in 2002. My question was why is your judgment any different than Mrs.Clinton's?

DONALD TRUMP: Well, I have much better question judgment than she does. There's no question about that. I also have a much better temperament that she has, you know? You know, I have a much better — she spent — let me tell you. She spent hundreds of millions of dollars on an advertising, you know they get Madison Avenue into a room, oh temperament, let's go after that.... I think my strongest asset maybe by far is my temperament. I have a winning temperament.

Per this recent Fox News poll, 59 percent of likely voters say Clinton has the temperament to be president, compared with 38 percent who say the same for Trump. — Danielle Kurtzleben

I know how to win. She does not know how to win. The AFL-CIO - the other day behind the blue screen I don't know who you're talking to Secretary Clinton but you were totally out of control. I said, there is a person with a temperament that's got a problem.

LESTER HOLT: Secretary Clinton?



HILLARY CLINTON: Let's talk about to important issues that were briefly mentioned by Donald. First NATO. You know, NATO as a military alliance has something called article five and basically says this — an attack on one is an attack on all. And do you know, the only time it's ever been invoked - after 9/11 when the twenty eight nations of NATO said that they would go to Afghanistan with us to fight terrorism.

Something that they still are doing by our side. With respect to Iran, when I became Secretary of State, Iran was weeks away from having enough nuclear material to form a bomb. They had mastered the nuclear fuel cycle under the Bush administration. They had built covert facilities. They had stocked them with centrifuges that were whirling away And we had sanctioned them. I voted for every sanction against Iran when I was in the Senate. But it wasn't enough. So I spent a year and a half putting together a coalition that included Russia and China to impose the toughest sanctions on Iran. And we did drive them to negotiation table. And my successor John Kerry and President Obama got a deal that put a lid on Iran's nuclear program. Without firing a single shot. That's diplomacy. That's coalition-building.

Trump often says Clinton started the Iran negotiations. While she did pave the way for a back channel, the negotiations took place after she left office and John Kerry became secretary of state. — Michele Kelemen

That's working with other nations. The other day I saw Donald saying that there were some Iranian sailors on his ship in the waters off of Iran and they were taunting American sailors who were on a nearby ship. He said, you know if they taunted our sailors I would blow them out of the water and start another war.

The actual quote from Trump, from a campaign event in Florida earlier in September, was, "When they circle our beautiful destroyers with their little boats and they make gestures at our people that they shouldn't be allowed to make, they will be shot out of the water, OK?" — Mary Louise Kelly

DONALD TRUMP: That would not start a war.

HILLARY CLINTON: That is not the right temperament to be commander-in-chief to be taunted and the worst part

DONALD TRUMP: They were taunting us.

HILLARY CLINTON: ...has been about nuclear weapons. He has said repeatedly that he didn't care if other nations got nuclear weapons - Japan, South Korea, even Saudi Arabia. It has been the policy of the United States, Democrats and Republicans, to do everything we could to reduce the proliferation of nuclear weapons. He even said, you know if there were nuclear war in East Asia well, you know, that's fine, have a good time folks.


HILLARY CLINTON: That in fact his cavalier attitude about nuclear weapons is so deeply troubling, that is the number one threat we face in the world and it becomes particularly threatening if terrorists ever get their hands on any nuclear material. So a man who could be provoked by a tweet shouldn't have his fingers anywhere near the nuclear codes as far as I think anyone with any sense about this should be concerned.

DONALD TRUMP: That line's getting a little bit old, I must say.

HILLARY CLINTON: It's a good one though. It well describes the problems.

DONALD TRUMP: It's not inaccurate one at all. So I just want to get a lot of things and just to respond. I agree with her on one thing. The single greatest problem the world has is nuclear armament, nuclear weapons. Not global warming like you think and your president thinks. Nuclear is the single greatest threat. Just to go down the list we defend Japan. We defend Germany. We defend South Korea. We defend Saudi Arabia. We defend countries. They do not pay us what they should be paying us because we are providing tremendous service and were losing a fortune.

South Korean government figures show it paid around $866.6 million in 2014 for the U.S. military presence in the country. That's about 40 percent of the cost. Japan's budget shows that it covers about $4 billion in base-related expenses. — Elise Hu

That's why we're losing, we're losing, we lose on everything. I say you makes these? All I said that it's very possible that if they don't pay a fair share because this isn't forty years ago where we could do what we're doing. We can't defend Japan.

The U.S. and Japan are signatories to a mutual defense treaty. — Phil Ewing

LESTER HOLT:We need to move on.

DONALD TRUMP: But wait, it's very important. All I said was that they may have to defend themselves or they may have to help us out. For a country that owes twenty trillion dollars, they have to help us out.

LESTER HOLT: Our last.

DONALD TRUMP: As far as the nuclear is concerned, I agreed it is the single greatest threat that this country has.

LESTER HOLT: Which leads my next question as we enter our last segment here, still on the subject of securing America on nuclear weapons President Obama reportedly considered changing the nation's long-standing policy on first use. Do you support the current policy Mr. Trump you have two minutes on that.

DONALD TRUMP: Well, I have to say for what Secretary Clinton was saying about nuclear with Russia she's very cavalier in the way she talks about various countries. But Russia's been expanding. They have a much newer capability than we do. We have not been updating from the new standpoint I look the other night I was seeing B-52s there old enough that your father, your grandfather could be find them.

The Air Force's fleet of B-52s was delivered in the administrations of Presidents Eisenhower and Kennedy. The newest bomber in the fleet is more than 50 years old. — Phil Ewing

We are not we are not keeping up with other countries I would like everybody to end it, just get rid of it but I would certainly not due for a strike. I think that once the nuclear alternative happens, it's over. At the same time we have to be prepared. I can't take anything off the table because you look at some of these countries you look at North Korea we're doing nothing there. China should solve the problem for us. China should go into North Korea. China is totally powerful as it relates to North Korea.

China, while not pleased about the nuclear advancement of North Korea, also has a historical "lips and teeth" relationship with North Korea and is Pyongyang's largest trading partner. An estimated 90 percent of North Korea's trade goes to or through China. But China is not interested in "going into" North Korea, as a collapse of the Kim Jong Un regime could lead to a refugee crisis at the Chinese-North Korean border or worse, a chaotic situation in which remaining North Korean military take control of its nuclear weapons. — Elise Hu

And by the way, another one powerful is the worst deal I think I've ever seen negotiated that you started is the Iran deal. Iran is one of their biggest trading partners. Iran has power over North Korea. And when they made that horrible deal with Iran they should have included the fact that they do something with respect to North Korea.

And they should've done something with respect to Yemen and all these other places and when I asked to Secretary Kerry, why didn't you do that, why didn't you add other things into the deal? One of the great giveaways of all time, of all time, including four hundred million dollars in cash nobody's ever seen it before that turned out to be wrong. It was actually 1.7 billion dollars in cash obviously I guess for the hostages it certainly looks that way. So you say to yourself why didn't they make the right deal? This is one of the worst deals ever made by any country in history. The deal with Iran will lead to nuclear problems. All they have to do is sit back ten years and they don't have to do much. And they're going to end up getting nuclear. I met with Bibi Netanyahu the other day, believe me he is not a happy camper.

In January, when the U.S. and Iran announced a prisoner swap, the U.S. also cleared $400 million in claims that date to the 1979 Iranian Revolution. The Obama administration also agreed to pay interest, in total $1.7 billion. It was paid in cash. — Michele Kelemen

LESTER HOLT: Mrs. Clinton, Secretary Clinton, you have two minutes.

HILLARY CLINTON: Let me start by saying words matter, words matter when you run for president and they really matter when you are president. And I want to reassure our allies in Japan and South Korea and elsewhere that we have mutual defense treaties and we will honor them. It is essential that America's word be good.

While this Clinton statement is underlining the basics of America's traditional foreign policy, it illustrates a key difference between the candidates. Trump doesn't want to be "policeman of the world," but a longstanding key of America's Asia policy for keeping peace in the Pacific is maintaining decades-old alliances with Japan and South Korea. Many view the U.S.-Japan-R.O.K alliance as a bulwark against a rising China, so it's interesting that Trump both demonizes China when speaking of trade and believes China to be key in solving the North Korea problem but does not support alliances that can be a counterweight to it. — Elise Hu

And so I know that this campaign has caused some questioning and some worries on the part of many leaders across the globe. I've talked with a number of them. But I want to, on behalf of myself and I think on behalf of the majority of the American people, say that you know, our word is good.

It's also important that we look at the entire global situation. There is no doubt that we have other problems with Iran but personally I'd rather deal with the other problems having put that lid on their nuclear program than still to be facing that.

And Donald never tells you what he would do. What he have started a war? Would he have bombed Iran? If he's going to criticize a deal that has been very successful in giving us access to Iranian facilities that we never had before, then he should tell us what his alternative would be.

But it's like his plan to defeat ISIS — he says it's a secret plan but the only secret is that he has no plan. So we need to be more precise in how we talk about these issues. People around the world follow our presidential campaigns so closely trying to get hints about what we will do. Can they rely on us? Are we going to lead the world with strength and in accordance with our values? That's what I intend to do. I intend to be a leader of our country that people can count on both here at home and around the world. To make decisions that will further peace and prosperity. But also stand up to bullies whether they are abroad or at home. We cannot let those who would try to destabilize the world to interfere with American interests and security.

LESTER HOLT: Your two minutes is...

HILLARY CLINTON: Be given any opportunities at all.

LESTER HOLT: Is expired.

DONALD TRUMP: Lester, one thing I'd like to say.

LESTER HOLT:One very quickly.

DONALD TRUMP:I will go very quickly but I will tell you that Hillary will tell you to go to her website and read all about how to defeat ISIS which she could've defeated by never having it get going in the first place. Right now it's getting tougher and tougher to defeat them because they are in more places more and more states more and more nations


DONALD TRUMP: And it's a big problem, and is as far Japan is concerned, I want to help all of our allies but we are losing billions and billions of dollars. We cannot be the policeman of the world. We cannot protect countries all over the world.

LESTER HOLT:You have just a...

DONALD TRUMP: Where they're not paying us what we need.

LESTER HOLT:Just a few final questions.

DONALD TRUMP:She can't say that because she's got no business ability. We need heart, we need a lot of things but you need some basic ability. And sadly she doesn't have that. basic ability All of the things that she's talking about could have been taken care of during the last ten years, let's see, while she had great power. But they weren't taken care of and if she ever wins this race, they won't be taken care of.

LESTER HOLT: Mr. Trump, Secretary Clinton became in the first woman nominated for president by a major party earlier this month. You said quote she doesn't have a presidential look. She's standing here right now what you mean by that?

DONALD TRUMP: She doesn't have the look. She don't have the stamina. I said she doesn't have the stamina. And I don't believe she does have the stamina. To be president of this country you need tremendous stamina.

LESTER HOLT: The quote was, "I just don't think she has a presidential look..."

DONALD TRUMP: Wait a minute, Lester, you asked me a question. Did you ask me a question? You have to be able to negotiate our trade deals. You have to be able to negotiate, that's right, with Japan with Saudi Arabia I mean can you imagine where defending Saudi Arabia and with all of the money they have we're defending them and they're not paying...all you have to do is to speak to them. What you have so many different things you have to be able to do and I don't believe that Hillary has the stamina.

Saudi Arabia has purchased more than $90 billion worth of weapons from the U.S. during the Obama administration according to the Congressional Research Service. — Phil Ewing

LESTER HOLT: Let's let her respond.

HILLARY CLINTON: Well as soon as he travels to one hundred and twelve countries and negotiates a peace deal, a cease-fire, a release of dissidents, and opening of new opportunities and nations around the world or even spends 11 hours testifying in front of a congressional committee, he can talk to me about stamina.

Clinton testified before a House panel investigating the attacks in Benghazi, Libya, in which a U.S. ambassador died, for about 11 hours in 2015. — Carrie Johnson

DONALD TRUMP: The world.


DONALD TRUMP: Let me tell you, let me tell you. Hillary has experience but it's bad experience. We have made so many bad deals during the last so she's got experience that I agree but it's bad, bad experience. Whether it's the Iran deal that you're so in love with where we gave them 150 billion dollars back...whether it's the Iran deal whether it's anything you almost can't name a good deal. I agree, she's got experience but it's bad experience. And this country can't afford to have another four years of that kind of experience.

LESTER HOLT: We are at the — rear of the final question.

HILLARY CLINTON: Well, one thing Lester, is you know, he tried to switch from looks to stamina but this is a man who is called women pigs, slobs, and dogs, and someone who has said pregnancy is an inconvenience to employers

DONALD TRUMP: I never said that.

Here is a clip of Trump saying that pregnancy is an inconvenience for businesses. — Danielle Kurtzleben

HILLARY CLINTON: who has said women don't deserve equal pay unless they do as good a job as men and one of the worst things he said was about a woman in a beauty contest, he loves beauty contests, supporting them and hanging around them. And he called this woman Miss Piggy. Then he called her Miss Housekeeping because she was Latina. Donald she has a name.

DONALD TRUMP:Where did you find it?

HILLARY CLINTON:Her name is Alicia Machado and she has become a US citizen and you can bet she's going to vote this November.

DONALD TRUMP:Okay, good let me just tell you --

LESTER HOLT: Mr. Trump are going to take ten seconds and then we're going to have a final question.

DONALD TRUMP: You know Hillary is hitting me with tremendous commercials, some of it's entertainment, some of it is said somebody's been very vicious to me, Rosie O'Donnell, I said tough things to her and I think everybody would agree that she deserves it and nobody feels sorry for her but you want to know the truth I was going to say something extremely rough to Hillary, to her family, and I said to myself I can't do it, I just can't do it. It's inappropriate, it's not nice but she spent hundreds of millions of dollars on negative ads on me many which are absolutely untrue. They're untrue and they're misrepresentations. And I will tell you this, Lester, it's not nice and I don't I don't deserve that. But it's certainly not a nice thing that she's done. It's hundreds of millions of ads and the only gratifying thing is I saw the polls come in today and with all of that money, over two hundred millions of spent and I'm either winning or spent.

LESTER HOLT:One of you will not win this election. So my final question to you tonight are you willing to accept the outcome as the will of the voters Secretary Clinton.

HILLARY CLINTON: Well, I support our democracy. And sometimes you and sometimes you lose, but I certainly will support the outcome of this election. And I know Donald trying very hard to plant doubts about it but I hope the people out there understand this election's really up to you. It's not about us so much is it about you and your families and the kinds of country and future you want. So I sure hope you will get out and vote as though your future depended on it because I think it does.

LESTER HOLT: Mr. Trump very quickly . will you accept the outcome as the will of the voters?

DONALD TRUMP:I want to make America great again. We are a nation that is seriously troubled.

We're losing our jobs people are pouring into our country the other day we were deporting eight hundred people and perhaps they passed the wrong button they pressed the wrong button or perhaps worse than that it was corruption. We will for good reason and up and becoming citizens ended up becoming 800 now it's 1500 and they don't even know,

The Bureau of Labor Statistics' data show net job growth during President Obama's two terms is about 10.5 million new private sector jobs. — Marilyn Geewax

Trump is correct that the inspector general of Homeland Security released a report on Sept. 8 faulting immigration officials for granting citizenship to 858 deportable immigrants because of missing fingerprint records. The records had never been digitized and entered into federal databases. Further, Immigration and Customs Enforcement identified an additional 148,000 older fingerprint records of deportable immigrants, some of whom are criminals or fugitives. There is no proof, as Trump asserted in the debate, that this mistake was due to corruption. — John Burnett

LESTER HOLT:Will you accept the outcome of the election?

DONALD TRUMP: I want to make America great again. I'm going to be able to do it. I don't believe Hillary will. The answer is if she wins I will absolutely support her.

LESTER HOLT:All right with that is going to do for us that concludes our debate for this evening - a spirited one. We covered a lot of ground, not everything as I suspected we would. The next presidential debates are scheduled for October ninth and Washington University in St. Louis and October nineteen at the University of Nevada Las Vegas. The conversation will continue. A reminder, the vice presidential debate is scheduled for October fourth at Longwood University in Farmville Virginia. My thanks to Hillary Clinton and to Donald Trump and to Hofstra University for hosting us tonight. Good night everyone.

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