Good evening, and welcome to NPI’s live coverage of the first presidential debate of 2016. NPI staff will be watching and sharing impressions of the debate between Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and Republican nominee Donald Trump as it progresses. The debate, sponsored by the Commission on Presidential Debates, is being broadcast on all major networks as well as Facebook and Twitter.
We recommend C‑SPAN if you’re livestreaming the debate as opposed to watching it on a cable or broadcast television network.
Hofstra University in New York is hosting the debate, which will be moderated by NBC’s Lester Holt. The format is as follows:
The debate will be divided into six time segments of approximately 15 minutes each on major topics to be selected by the moderator and announced at least one week before the debate. The moderator will open each segment with a question, after which each candidate will have two minutes to respond. Candidates will then have an opportunity to respond to each other. The moderator will use the balance of the time in the segment for a deeper discussion of the topic.
Our live coverage begins below.
UPDATE, 6:02 PM (Andrew): The debate is about to begin. Lester Holt will be welcoming the candidates onstage shortly.
UPDATE, 6:15 PM (Rennie): Trump responds by talking about trade and jobs leaving the country. He also blames the tax system for the lack of jobs.
UPDATE, 6:17 PM (Rennie): Trump speaks about charging an import tariff on products made outside the US
UPDATE, 6:21 PM (Andrew): Clinton doesn’t seem too unnerved by Trump’s interruptions thus far.
UPDATE, 6:22 PM (Rennie): Trump brings up the old Republican talking point about a failed solar panel company, in response to Hillary’s claim that Trump is a climate change denier.
UPDATE, 6:22 PM (Andrew): Trump keeps harping on NAFTA and then goes on the attack over the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Clinton gets in a zinger, finally: “Donald, I know you live in your own reality.”
UPDATE, 6:25 PM (Rennie): Trump is claiming tax breaks will create jobs, a tired Republican claim.
UPDATE, 6:25 PM (Andrew): So far Clinton is getting the better of Trump in this debate, keeping her cool while Trump sounds increasingly unhinged and angry. He’s been raising his voice a lot.
UPDATE, 6:26 PM (Andrew): Clinton points debate viewers to her website, hillaryclinton.com.
UPDATE, 6:26 PM (Andrew): “Please, fact checkers, get to work.” — Hillary Clinton
UPDATE, 6:27 PM (Rennie): Hillary claims her plan will decrease the national debt, while Trump’ plan will increase the debt.
UPDATE, 6:29 PM (Andrew): “Let’s start the clock again, Lester,” Clinton says.
UPDATE, 6:29 PM (Rennie): Trump doesn’t seem to be handling the debate well. He seems like he is on the edge of loosing control.
UPDATE, 6:30 PM (Andrew): Trump just can’t keep his mouth shut. He HAS to talk.
UPDATE, 6:30 PM (Rennie): Clinton seems much more confident in the debate.
UPDATE, 6:30 PM (Andrew): “I don’t think top down works in America,” Clinton adds.
UPDATE, 6:30 PM (Andrew): “Broad based, inclusive growth is what we need in America.”
UPDATE, 6:31 PM (Andrew): “Believe me,” Trump intones. Drink!
UPDATE, 6:32 PM (Rennie): Trump reverts to calling Hillary an ineffectual politician.
UPDATE, 6:32 PM (Andrew): Trump gets in a shot at The Fed. Lester Holt asks Trump why he hasn’t asked his tax returns.
UPDATE, 6:32 PM (Andrew): Trump again claims he isn’t releasing his tax returns because he’s being audited. That’s a phony explanation.
UPDATE, 6:33 PM (Rennie): Trump claims he hasn’t released his tax returns because he is under a “routine audit” .
UPDATE, 6:33 PM (Andrew): Holt fact checks Trump and debunks his phony explanation.
UPDATE, 6:34 PM (Andrew): “I’m not even complaining,” Trump says, as he vocally complains.
UPDATE, 6:35 PM (Rennie): Trump says that he has been audited for 15 years by the IRS and tries to change the subject to Hillary’s emails.
UPDATE, 6:35 PM (Andrew): Clinton highlights investigative reporting into Trump’s finances as she takes over the floor.
UPDATE, 6:36 PM (Andrew): Trump sighs.
UPDATE, 6:36 PM (Andrew): The Donald doesn’t look happy or comfortable at all. Perhaps that’s because Clinton is taking him apart.
UPDATE, 6:36 PM (Andrew): “There’s something he’s hiding,” Clinton says,
UPDATE, 6:37 PM (Rennie): Hillary claims Trump probably doesn’t pay Federal taxes. Trump said “that means I am smart” .
UPDATE, 6:38 PM (Andrew): “I’m extremely underleveraged,” Trump claims.
UPDATE, 6:38 PM (Rennie): We need Bernie up there saying “I don’t care about Hillary’s damn emails”
UPDATE, 6:39 PM (Andrew): “We’ve become a Third World country,” Trump baselessly declares.
UPDATE, 6:40 PM (Andrew): “I’ve met a lot of the people who were stiffed by you and your businesses,” says Clinton.
UPDATE, 6:42 PM (Andrew): Clinton is on a roll here, absolutely eviscerating Trump.
UPDATE, 6:42 PM (Andrew): “It’s all words, it’s all sound bites,” Trump snaps. Pot, meet kettle.
UPDATE, 6:43 PM (Andrew): “I take advantage of the laws of the nation,’” Trump boasts, defending his unethical behavior.
UPDATE, 6:43 PM (Rennie): Hillary brings up that Trump’s business stiff many workers by not paying for work completed.
UPDATE, 6:44 PM (Andrew): “If I don’t get there one way, I’ll get there another,” Trump brags, talking about his newest hotel, on Pennsylvania Avenue in D.C.
UPDATE, 6:45 PM (Andrew): Switching to a new topic… America’s Direction. First question is about race relations.
UPDATE, 6:45 PM (Andrew): Clinton’s in her element. “Everyone should be respected by the law, and everyone should respect the law.”
UPDATE, 6:47 PM (Rennie): Topic changes to racism issues in our country. Hillary speaks of restoring trust in the police and providing better training for police. Finalizes by saying that guns need to be kept from people who should not have them.
UPDATE, 6:47 PM (Andrew): Trump’s opening comments on this topic are sound bites. “Secretary Clinton doesn’t want to use a couple of words: Law and order,” he snaps.
UPDATE, 6:49 PM (Andrew): Trump brings up stop and frisk and begins emphatically touting it. It’s like he’s trying to lose as many black voters as possible.
UPDATE, 6:49 PM (Rennie): Trump responds saying that we are lacking law and order and needs to be brought back. He continues by blaming illegal immigrants for crime.
UPDATE, 6:49 PM (Andrew): Holt follows up on stop and frisk, noting it was ruled unconstitutional. Trump’s response: “You’re wrong.”
UPDATE, 6:50 PM (Rennie): Trump argues for stop and frisk.
UPDATE, 6:51 PM (Rennie): Trump indirectly blames Obama for the crime in Chicago.
UPDATE, 6:51 PM (Andrew): Clinton assails Trump for painting such a bleak picture of black communities. “There’s a lot we should be proud of,” Clinton says.
UPDATE, 6:53 PM (Andrew): Clinton calls out the systemic racism in our criminal justice system. “We can’t just say law and order.”
UPDATE, 6:53 PM (Andrew): “I’m glad we’re ending private prisons in the federal system,” Clinton says, adding she wants them gone at the state level too.
UPDATE, 6:54 PM (Andrew): Clinton expertly fields a question about implicit bias in policing.
UPDATE, 6:54 PM (Rennie): Hillary points out racial inequality in our justice system. She applauds the end of private prisons in the Federal system and encourages the same for state level justice system.
UPDATE, 6:56 PM (Andrew): Trump is sounding more muted now, perhaps realizing Clinton was getting the better of him.
UPDATE, 6:57 PM (Andrew): Donald Trump, of all people, is in no position to scold Hillary Clinton for her choice of words.
UPDATE, 6:57 PM (Rennie): Trump mentions the 2nd ammendment and his support from the NRA in talking about his plan to reduce crime.
UPDATE, 6:59 PM (Andrew): “Democrat politicians” … nice slur, Donald…
UPDATE, 6:59 PM (Andrew): Lester Holt asks Trump about birtherism. Good.
UPDATE, 7:00 PM (Rennie): Trump claims that African community is used and abused by the Democratic party.
UPDATE, 7:02 PM (Andrew): Clinton’s burn of Trump was rather something.
UPDATE, 7:02 PM (Andrew): “I say nothing, I say nothing.” Wrong, Donald. All you do is say stuff. You don’t do anything else besides that and collect money from people for the use of your name.
UPDATE, 7:02 PM (Rennie): Trump claims that he “did a good job” at getting Obama to produce his birth certificate.
UPDATE, 7:04 PM (Andrew): Once again, Clinton takes Trump apart, showing that she knows her history.
UPDATE, 7:04 PM (Andrew): “The birther lie was a very hurtful one,” Clinton says.
UPDATE, 7:05 PM (Andrew): Wow. That was an incredible answer by Clinton.
UPDATE, 7:06 PM (Andrew): Trump is trying to turn the tables… and utterly failing.
UPDATE, 7:06 PM (Andrew): Trump is all too happy to take credit.
UPDATE, 7:09 PM (Andrew): Clinton says we need to stand strong against Russian cyberattacks, and expresses her incredulity that Trump would invite the Russians to hack U.S. networks.
UPDATE, 7:10 PM (Rennie): Topic is cyber security. Hillary says that Russia is to blame for increased cyber attacks. Hillary accuses Trump of inviting Putin to hack Americans.
UPDATE, 7:11 PM (Andrew): Trump falsely asserts that under President Obama “we’ve lost control over what we used to control.”
UPDATE, 7:13 PM (Andrew): Clinton apparently doesn’t see the need to refute Trump’s last answer, preferring instead to talk seriously about what’s needed to defeat the Islamic State group.
UPDATE, 7:15 PM (Andrew): “We should have taken the oil,” Trump declares. What a con man.
UPDATE, 7:16 PM (Andrew): Clinton schools Trump on how the withdrawal from Iraq actually went down, also pointing out that Trump supported going into Iraq at the time of the invasion.
UPDATE, 7:17 PM (Andrew): “I have to respond,” Trump tells Lester Holt.
UPDATE, 7:19 PM (Andrew): This debate has reminded us that Donald Trump is totally, utterly unprepared and unqualified to be President of the United States.
UPDATE, 7:19 PM (Andrew): “I think we have to get NATO to go into the Middle East with us,” Trump says.
UPDATE, 7:20 PM (Andrew): Trump is now debating Lester Holt.
UPDATE, 7:21 PM (Andrew): Trump is now appealing to journalists to talk to Sean Hannity to back up Trump’s version of events concerning his position on Iraq.
UPDATE, 7:22 PM (Andrew): Donald Trump is blatantly, flagrantly lying to hundreds of millions of people.
UPDATE, 7:22 PM (Rennie): Trump is arguing emphatically that he was not for the Iraq war.
UPDATE, 7:22 PM (Andrew): Clinton can’t believe what she’s hearing either. This is surreal.
UPDATE, 7:23 PM (Andrew): “I think my strongest asset is my temperament,” Trump declares.
UPDATE, 7:23 PM (Andrew): Clinton happily takes over and begins schooling Trump again. NATO history lesson!
UPDATE, 7:24 PM (Andrew): Clinton begins laying the context to explain the JCPOA with Iran.
UPDATE, 7:26 PM (Andrew): Clinton makes the point that we can’t trust Donald Trump with nuclear weapons, or nuclear policy. We need nuclear nonproliferation.
UPDATE, 7:26 PM (Andrew): Trump just showed us how much that line of Hillary’s bothers him (“A man who can be baited with a tweet…”)
UPDATE, 7:27 PM (Andrew): Only Sith deal in absolutes, Donald. You keep saying that we never win anymore/we keep losing. It’s false.
UPDATE, 7:29 PM (Andrew): Right wing language man Frank Luntz is analyzing Trump in real time… and excoriating him.
UPDATE, 7:29 PM (Andrew): Trump babbling again.
UPDATE, 7:29 PM (Rennie): Sounds like Trump wants another nuclear weapons race with Russia, yet claims we need to reduce nuclear weapons in the world.
UPDATE, 7:29 PM (Andrew): Trump is acting like he’s at one of his rallies, not a debate with Hillary Clinton.
UPDATE, 7:30 PM (Andrew): “Believe me…” Drink!
UPDATE, 7:30 PM (Andrew): Clinton reassures U.S. allies, including in East Asia, that as President, she’ll honor the nation’s commitments.
UPDATE, 7:32 PM (Andrew): People follow our presidential campaigns around the world, looking for clues as to how the next President will govern, Clinton points out.
UPDATE, 7:34 PM (Rennie): On foreign relations, Hillary seems to have a much better grasp of reality.
UPDATE, 7:34 PM (Andrew): Unbelievable. Just unbelievable. Donald Trump isn’t a man, he’s a sad excuse for a human being.
UPDATE, 7:35 PM (Andrew): Trump just got owned.
UPDATE, 7:35 PM (Andrew): Clinton’s smiling response on the stamina attack was incredibly good.
UPDATE, 7:36 PM (Andrew): Clinton demolishes Trump again. That may have been her best takedown yet.
UPDATE, 7:37 PM (Andrew): Trump complaining about “not nice”. Says the guy who speaks from the gutter.
UPDATE, 7:38 PM (Andrew): “I want to make America great again.” Drink!
UPDATE, 7:40 PM (Rennie): Debates are over. Hillary clearly won this debate.
UPDATE, 8:13 PM (Rennie): Bryant stresses mental health is the cause of gun violence and blames Inslee for not doing enough for helping the mentally ill.