When the candidates were presented to the audience, they did not shake hands upon arriving on stage. Instead, the pair stood side by side before the debate kicked off.
Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton collided in what evidently seemed like a skirmish meeting, where they collided in an almost unremittingly hostile debate – a 90-minute demonstration of character attacks, accusations and Mr Trump's startling allegations that Mrs Clinton had “tremendous hate in her heart”.
Image: ABC News
Shocking claims include a political maneuver by Trump saying that Mrs Clinton had smeared women who accused her husband, Bill Clinton, of sexually assaulting or harassing them, seeking to salvage his presidential candidacy after explosive reports about his previous lecherous comments about women.
Donald Trump addressed the release of a tape showing him making crude comments about women, saying that it was all “locker room talk” and that he does have great “respect for women”. The billionaire businessman attempted to deflect the question about his apparent condoning of sexual assault by promising to defeat ISIS.
Hillary Clinton proceeded to brush aside Trump’s raising of sexual assault allegations against Bill Clinton, saying she wanted to get to audience’s questions. Trump even criticised Mrs Clinton over her record in the Senate, and her email scandal.
Image: LA Times
Trump threw a curveball just over an hour before the debate after a meeting with women who have accused former US president Bill Clinton of rape and other unsolicited sexual advances. During the debate, Trump even said, "there's never been anybody in the history of politics in this nation that's been so abusive to women" as Mr Clinton.
Trump continued to say that Clinton should be in jail over her use of a private email server while she was US' Secretary of State. Mr Trump’s attacks on the Clintons also included a promise that, as president, he would employ a special prosecutor to investigate Mrs Clinton’s email practices — striking even in a presidential campaign that has often seemed like a race to the bottom because of Mr Trump’s no-holds-barred attacks on his rivals.
The final question in the debate drew a snicker from the two candidates as they were asked to think of something they respected about each other.
Mrs Clinton said: "I respect his children. His children are incredibly able and I think that says a lot about Donald."
Mr Trump said: "I will say this about Hillary – she doesn't quit, she doesn't give up. I tell it like it is. She's a fighter."