Third Presidential debate: Trump won't accept results, Clinton happily will

Sahil Bhalla @IMSahilBhalla | First published: 20 October 2016, 12:04 IST
Third Presidential debate: Trump won't accept results, Clinton happily will
Ethan Miler/Getty Images North America/AFP

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton squared off against Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump in the third and final debate moderated by Chris Wallace of Fox News. For the second time, there was no traditional handshake between the two candidates. The debate took place at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Wallace at one point asked the Republican presidential nominee whether, regardless of the outcome, he would commit to accepting the results of the race. Trump simply responded, "I will look at it at the time."

"What I'm saying is that I will tell you at the time. I'll keep you in suspense."

Trump's response to the question directly contradicts what he told NBC after the first debate. He said that he would 'absolutely' accept the results of the elections in November. His running mate, Mike Pence, promised that the campaign would "absolutely accept the result of the election".

Trump accused the Federal Bureau of Investigation along with the media of conspiring in Clinton's favour. When Wallace reminded him that the transfer of power is "one of the prides of the country," Trump just brushed it off. Clinton though was horrified at these comments. She accused Trump of "talking down our democracy" and pointed to his frustration at being behind in the elections.

This riled up Van Jones, CNN's Political correspondent, during the discussion after the debate. "This is a really sad night. I'm just gonna say it. This is a very sad night for the country. You can't polish this turd," Jones said. "What you just got now was a nominee of a major party for the first time in our history signaling to the American people that he has so little faith in our institutions, he has so little faith in our people, he has so little faith in our courts, he has so little faith in the Republican governors, Republican secretaries of state across this country, that the will not stand in front of his own country and say that he respects the process and outcome. That is an outrage. The appalling lack of patriotism from this man, to stand there and say that. To praise Putin and Assad more than he has ever praised any American president. He doesn't talk about George Washington, he doesn't talk about Ronald Regan, the way he talks about Putin or Assad. This man has demonstrated an appalling lack of patriotism".

A CNN/ORC poll of debate watchers had Clinton defeating Trump 52%-39%. In CNN/ORC polls, she's gone 3-0. A hat-trick. A womanwash. It's all over. We're done with the primary debates. We're done with the Presidential debates. We are free. We are solidly into the last stretch. This was the final chance - more so for Trump than Hillary - to deliver the knockout punch. Neither pulled that off at the University of Nevada. For Hillary, the knockout punch could have been on the accusations of sexual assaults against Trump. For Trump, it could have been on the leaked Wikileaks documents.

Here are some of the highlights of the debate: