Hi there,

If you think Democracy Now!’s reporting is a critical line of defense against war, climate catastrophe and authoritarianism, please make your donation of $10 or more right now. Today, a generous donor will DOUBLE your donation, which means it’ll go 2x as far to support our independent journalism. Democracy Now! is funded by you, and that’s why we’re counting on your donation to keep us going strong. Please give today. Every dollar makes a difference—in fact, gets doubled! Thank you so much.
-Amy Goodman

Non-commercial news needs your support.

We rely on contributions from you, our viewers and listeners to do our work. If you visit us daily or weekly or even just once a month, now is a great time to make your monthly contribution.

Please do your part today.


Democracy Now! Special: Final Presidential Debate (10/19)

Special BroadcastOctober 19, 2016
Media Options

Democracy Now! broadcast a debate night special on Wednesday, October 19, 2016, from 8 to 11:30 p.m. ET. We aired the full Donald Trump-Hillary Clinton debate and hosted pre- and post-debate roundtable discussions.

On Thursday, October 20, we broadcast a two-hour “Expanding the Debate” special, where Democracy Now! broke the sound barrier by expanding the debate—including the issues and voices that you won’t hear anywhere else. 

This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: From Pacifica, this is Democracy Now!

HILLARY CLINTON: You know, it is—it’s just awfully good that someone with the temperament of Donald Trump is not in charge of the law in our country.

DONALD TRUMP: Yeah, because you’d be in jail.

MARTHA RADDATZ: Secretary Clinton—

AMY GOODMAN: Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton face off in Las Vegas tonight in the final debate before the presidential election. We’ll air the entire debate live at 9:00 p.m. Eastern and host a roundtable discussion before and after the showdown, looking at the state of the race, from the mounting sexual assault claims against Donald Trump to the WikiLeaks disclosures about Hillary Clinton to Trump’s claim that the election has already been rigged.

DONALD TRUMP: They even want to try to rig the election at the polling booths. And believe me, there’s a lot going on. Do you ever hear these people? They say, “There’s nothing going on.” People that have died 10 years ago are still voting. Illegal immigrants are voting.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: I’d invite Mr. Trump to stop whining and go try to make his case to get votes.

AMY GOODMAN: All that and more, coming up. Welcome to Democracy Now!, democracynow.org, and our special, “War, Peace and the Presidency.” I’m Amy Goodman, with Nermeen Shaikh.

NERMEEN SHAIKH: Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are preparing to face off tonight in Las Vegas in their final debate before next month’s presidential election. We’ll be broadcasting the debate live in an hour.

The final debate comes as Trump’s campaign is reeling from a series of accusations of sexual assault from nine different women. Trump has denied these allegations. On Tuesday, People magazine published an article quoting six different people who all corroborated People magazine journalist Natasha Stoynoff’s account of being sexually assaulted by Donald Trump in 2005 at his Mar-a-Lago resort. Stoynoff says Trump pushed her against the wall and kissed her against her will.

Clinton, meanwhile, is facing questions about newly released and leaked emails, which reveal everything from Clinton’s State Department prioritizing friends of Bill Clinton while assigning aid contracts after the 2010 earthquake in Haiti to Clinton bashing environmentalists and anti-fracking advocates during a meeting with the building trades union in 2014, where she said the activists should, quote, “get a life.”

AMY GOODMAN: We’ll talk about all this and more in this Democracy Now! three-and-a-half-hour special. We’re broadcasting live for the next two-and-a-half hours—actually, three-and-a-half hours.

In this first hour, we’re joined by seven guests. Eric Foner, Pulitzer Prize-winning historian, professor at Columbia University, his most recent book, Gateway to Freedom: The Hidden History of the Underground Railroad.

Eddie Glaude is chair of the Department of African American Studies at Princeton University. His new book is Democracy in Black: How Race Still Enslaves the American Soul.

Phyllis Bennis will be joining us from Washington, D.C., a fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies. She has written a number of books, including, most recently, Understanding ISIS and the New Global War on Terror.

Chris Hedges will be joining us from the University of California, Berkeley, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist. His most recent book, Wages of Rebellion: The Moral Imperative of Revolt.

And Kristen Clarke will be with us, president and executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.

Megan Ming—Megan Ming Francis is joining us here in New York, assistant professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Washington. Her most recent book is Civil Rights and the Making of the Modern American State.

Later in the broadcast, after we air the showdown at 9:00 Eastern between Trump and Clinton, we’ll also be speaking with May Boeve, who is executive director of 350 Action. We’ll be talking about whether or not the candidates or the moderator, Chris Wallace of Fox News, will raise the issue of climate change.

So, we welcome you all to Democracy Now! And we’re going to start with Megan Ming Francis. Megan, what are you looking for the candidates to talk about? And what do you think of the state of this race?

MEGAN MING FRANCIS: Oh, man. So, what I’m looking for them to talk about today is, I want them—this is their time to make a closing argument, right? This is their closing statement. And I think so much about campaigns is about how strong do you close. I think one of the biggest issues that has been brought up in each of the debates are questions around the economy, right? So I expect them to discuss the economy. There’s questions and issues I would like them to delve into much more around the economy, issues around predatory capitalism and getting back to kind of the Bernie Sanders arguments around the economy being rigged, not in terms of kind of the Trump arguments around the economy being rigged, but very much getting back to some of these Sanders arguments about the economy being rigged.

I also am really curious, at least in this debate, about how they both take questions around the Supreme Court, about who they think and what is their criteria for deciding who should be on the highest court, and also for their vision of actually appointing federal judges.

In terms of this last question, the state of this race, oh, my goodness. It’s like I—you know, I teach elections, and I’ve taught it for now a decade, and this is the craziest. This is just the craziest election and campaign. And it has changed the way that I teach in my class, in terms of how you might get voters to the polls and capture voters and also the median voters, as well. So, I’m looking forward to the debate. I think it’s a little crazy. This debate—I mean, this whole election cycle has been something for the history books.

NERMEEN SHAIKH: Well, one of the reasons, just to bring in Professor Eric Foner, that this election season has been so extraordinary, as many people have pointed out, has to do with the rise of a candidate like Donald Trump. So, as an American historian, Professor Foner, could you explain what you think accounts for this extraordinary rise?

ERIC FONER: Well, you know, looking at history, I think Trump is almost a combination of a number of figures, both in our history and abroad. There’s no individual predecessor to Trump, really, but there are precedents, and he didn’t just come out of the blue. You might say he’s a combination of George Wallace, who really was the first to show how white resentment against the gains of the civil rights movement, overt racism, could be really mobilized in a modern campaign and be pretty successful, not only in the South, but he did very well in primaries in Michigan and other states like that—but Wallace was not really talking about the economic issues that Trump is.

You might throw into the hopper Ross Perot in 1992, who is the model of the sort of businessman who had no political experience, and came in with that as his selling point, you know? “Nobody can bribe me; I’m a billionaire. And, you know, I can fix things. I know how to get things done.” But Perot was also the guy who introduced trade into the political dialogue. Perot was the first one to say, “We are losing jobs because of these trade agreements.” Trump, of course, has picked that up.

But on the more personal element and the really, you know, wilder element of Trump, you have to go to a guy like Berlusconi maybe in Italy, who also had this kind of sexual element to his appeal, with his going to sex clubs and parties with young prostitutes and, you know, kind of reveled in this. And I think many of his supporters thought that was pretty cool, as—the male supporters, let us say—as many of Trump’s male supporters don’t seem to be pretty bothered by all the revelations that have come out.

So, there are precedents, but you put them all together, and, as was said, it’s a kind of oddball election, no question about it.

AMY GOODMAN: But, of course, sex clubs are different from women saying that he sexually assaulted them.

ERIC FONER: No, that is true. But underage prostitutes get pretty close to that, you know. But it’s more the sexual component. George Wallace, Ross Perot were pretty—pretty dull types, you know? Nobody ever accused them of any of this stuff. So, but, you know, it’s almost the maverick quality that appeals to at least some of these voters.

NERMEEN SHAIKH: And, Chris Hedges, you recently, just to continue with Professor Foner’s line, you wrote a piece recently, titled “Donald Trump: The Dress Rehearsal for Fascism.” Could you lay out the argument there?

CHRIS HEDGES: Well, that’s what we’re watching. Trump, for all his shallowness and narcissism and imbecility and self-destructiveness, nevertheless has been able to run a fairly close race with Hillary Clinton. We saw from the leaked Podesta emails that the Clinton machine promoted, consciously promoted, especially through the press, what they call these “Pied Piper” candidates, listing Trump, Cruz and—I forget the third—Trump and Carson. And the idea was that they wanted to give them legitimacy. They wanted to push the more mainstream candidates, like Jeb Bush, closer to the lunatic fringe. And that’s because, fundamentally, there is no difference between Hillary Clinton and a figure like Mitt Romney. You know, what they’re battling about is what Freud called the narcissism of minor difference.

And the danger with this election is that the longer the policies of neoliberalism, austerity, the security and surveillance state—in essence, the paralysis on the part of our corporate state to deal with the suffering, grievances and mounting rage of now over half the country who live in poverty—the more these lunatic fringe candidates like Trump, these figures of ridicule—reminds me very much of what happened in Yugoslavia. The economic meltdown of Yugoslavia vomited up figures like Radovan Karadzic, Slobodan Milosevic, Franjo Tudman, who were buffoonish figures before they achieved political power, much like much of the Nazi Party in Weimar. And I think that’s what we’re watching. And if we don’t reverse the structural mechanisms by which we are disenfranchising and refusing to deal with the most fundamental rights and issues affecting now a majority of the American population, then we will get a fascist or a kind of quasi-protofascist, Christianized fascism, embodied in a figure with a little more intelligence and political savvy than Trump. And that’s why I find this election so frightening and so dangerous.

I think it’s the fact that the power elites, embodied by figures like the Clintons and Barack Obama, have been utterly, utterly tone deaf to what’s happening, and are playing a very, very dangerous game by, on the one hand, promoting a figure like Trump, because, of course, his outrageousness gives her a kind of credibility, without understanding that another four years of what’s been happening—and it won’t be an effective political strategy anymore, and it won’t be funny.

NERMEEN SHAIKH: Professor Eddie Glaude, let’s get your perspective on this. Earlier in the summer, you wrote a piece called “My Democratic Problem with Voting for Hillary Clinton.” Now, some say that Clinton’s victory is now more or less a foregone conclusion. You also talked about the necessity of strategic voting. Can you talk about both the arguments that you’ve made in light of where we stand today in the campaign and with the election less than a month away?

EDDIE GLAUDE: Sure. You know, I think that it is—it is reasonable to conclude that Hillary Clinton is going to win. I think the internal polling for the Republican—on the Republican side suggests that Donald Trump is going to go down pretty badly, that it’s going to be a pretty decisive victory. Some, like Steve Schmidt, are predicting that she’s going to win upward to 400—get to 400 in the Electoral College, some at 380. People are declaring that this is going to be the destruction of the Republican Party.

And a lot of this has to do with, right, the fact that Donald Trump moves between being, as I’ve said before, a lunatic and an adolescent. And we can talk about him, but in kind of orienting us to this campaign, to this election cycle, by emphasizing the ridiculousness of and the bombasity of Donald Trump, we have turned our attention away from, I think, Hillary Clinton and the policies that have defined the Democratic Party up to this point. And I think Donald Trump is just an exaggerated indication of the rot that’s at the heart of the country, and that Hillary Clinton is the poster child for, I think, a failed economic policy that has left so many fellow Americans behind, and particularly the most vulnerable.

So what I’ve said is that we needed to suggest to Hillary Clinton that—and suggest to the Democratic Party that business as usual was no longer acceptable and that I couldn’t vote for and I couldn’t do that—I can do that because I’m in a blue state, and that there are some who are in a red state who can vote their conscience, but if you’re in a battleground state, it makes all the sense in the world, given who Trump is, to not vote for her—to vote for—to not to vote for Hillary Clinton—I mean, to not vote for Trump and to vote for Hillary Clinton.

So, in this case, part of what I’m trying to suggest is that we need to be very mindful in this moment, even as we say she’s going to win. We need to understand who she’s appointing as her transition team. We need to understand that personnel is policy. We need to see what her position will really be in terms of how she will govern economically, who she’s going to pick and choose for attorney general position, who’s going to populate her government. And I think once we get a better sense or if we pay attention to what she’s doing, we will be even better mobilized and organized to bring pressure to bear on her presidency, once November 8th happens.

AMY GOODMAN: So, what do you think about this, Chris Hedges, this idea of strategic voting?

CHRIS HEDGES: I think it’s an utter failure. I mean, one of the things that the WikiLeaks Podesta emails showed is that they were putting in place this neoliberal policy—Froman, who was then a—he’s now a U.S. trade representative. He, at the time, was at Citibank. In October, before Obama even achieved power, he’s sending out a list of Cabinet positions, all of which—most all of which came to pass. That’s certainly happening now.

I think that we have to step outside this corporate, two-party duopoly and begin to empower right now the third party, you know, that I think represents or challenges corporate power most effectively, is the Green. It has issues. You know, it functions well in cities like Richmond, California, doesn’t function as well in other places. But if they can poll 15 percent, that gives them ballot access in 2020 in a few dozen states, and it gives them $10 million. And I think that now is the time to, as Syriza did a decade ago, to fight back, because we have very little time left.

One of the things we have to remember is that we have a large number of supporters of Donald Trump who celebrate American violence through the gun culture, open racism, neo-Confederist movements, nativist movements. And Trump, I think, has made clear now, on the campaign trail, that he will essentially attempt to discredit the system if he loses. And right now they are working within the system. But unleashing that rage, you know, or essentially legitimizing that rage and that kind of violence after the election will begin to really rend the fabric of American society.

We have no more time to play around. We haven’t even spoken about the issue of climate change. We know, from the leaked emails, that Hillary Clinton is a fan of fracking. She brags about promoting fracking in Poland and other places as secretary of state. We just—the kind of weakness of the system itself cannot, I think, sustain much more of this assault without dramatic and frightening blowback and ramifications. And I think Trump is systematic of that.

So, as I’ve said many times, I think we have to do what many—Podemos and many parties in Europe have done. We have to walk into the political wilderness. We have to build movements, and we have to build alternative third parties that challenge this system, because the inevitable result is a kind of frightening police state. Well, legally, it’s already in place, physically, in marginal communities. They’ve been turned virtually into mini police states. The system of mass incarceration will not be affected in any meaningful way. Of course, it was the Clintons that put much of it in place. We just saw this very courageous prisoner strike, where the prisoners did work stoppages because, they said, the only way to stop this system of neoslavery is to stop being a slave. And I think that is a level of political consciousness that the rest of us have to begin to attain.

AMY GOODMAN: So, Professor Glaude, your response to Chris Hedges’ rejection of strategic voting?

EDDIE GLAUDE: Well, I think we agree on principle. And part of what I think—where we agree is that we have to keep Trump out of office. And the question for me is that: How do we do that? And one of the ways I’m thinking we need to do it is to vote strategically. And that is, in those places where we can, for me, blank out or vote for Jill Stein, we should. And in those places where—the battleground states, where it matters, where Trump has a chance to win, I think we need to turn out in massive numbers and make sure that he doesn’t win those states. I think we have to do two things simultaneously.

And I think he’s right in this regard: I think that what we’ve seen and what we’ve witnessed in this moment is the bankruptcy of a particular economic ideological philosophy that has left so many—so many people behind. And I think we need to dare to imagine a new world. But I think it’s going to require strategic and tactical thinking. And I think, on its face, Chris and I aren’t disagreeing. I just think there are ways to get to the same—to the same end. There are different ways to get to the same end.

AMY GOODMAN: We want to bring in—we want to bring in someone that people might not be expecting would weigh in. And that is the legendary musician Bruce Springsteen, Bruce Springsteen who was interviewed on Channel 4 in Britain, who describes Donald Trump as a “flagrant, toxic narcissist.”

BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN: I mean, I know some Trump voters, you know. But I think that he’s really—he’s really preyed upon that part of the country, because he gives these very glib and superficial answers to very, very entrenched and very difficult problems, but they’re answers that sound pretty good if you’ve struggled for the past 20 or 30 years. So—

MATT FREI: You can understand his appeal?

BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN: Yeah, yeah, I can understand that there’s somebody with simple answers to very complicated questions, who sound like they’re listening to you for the first time.

MATT FREI: Do you think the people who like him are racists?

BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN: No, no, I don’t believe that—you can’t generalize like that. You know, I think—I think there’s all kinds of people that are interested in him for a variety of different reasons.

MATT FREI: Do you think that rage will go away after this election?

BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN: No, no. I don’t know how it’s going to manifest itself, but it will manifest itself somehow, you know?

MATT FREI: Do you think there might be some trouble? I mean, you know, we’ve already seen some strife on the streets and—

BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN: Well, the trouble at the moment is, is you have Donald Trump who is talking about rigged elections. And he’s not—he has a feeling he’s going to lose now, which he—of course, he is going to lose.

MATT FREI: You’re confident?

BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN: Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. He’s going to lose. And he knows that. He knows he’s going to lose. And he’s such a flagrant, toxic narcissist that he wants to take down the entire democratic system with him if he goes. If he could reflect on these things, maybe he’d have—but he’s such an unreflective person. And he doesn’t—he simply has no sense of decency and no sense of responsibility about him. And the words that he’s been using over the past several weeks really are an attack on the entire democratic process.

MATT FREI: And is that dangerous?

BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN: Yeah, it is. I think it’s very dangerous. He does have a lot of people’s ears. And I don’t think he’s going to go quietly into the—you know, gently into the good night. I think he’s going to make a big a mess as he can. And I don’t know what that’s going to mean, but we’ll find out shortly.

NERMEEN SHAIKH: That was Bruce Springsteen speaking to Britain’s Channel 4. So, Professor Eddie Glaude, you know, this election—tonight’s debates come as both Clinton and Trump are among the most unpopular candidates, I mean, in decades, in American history. And younger voters are reportedly especially dismayed by the state of the race. A recent survey, which was reported in the BBC, found that many younger voters would rather see a giant meteor destroy the Earth than vote for either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump. So, Professor Eddie Glaude, can you talk about that, first what Springsteen said about Trump’s appeal and then where young voters stand today in this race?

EDDIE GLAUDE: Well, really quickly, I want us to be very careful in terms of how we characterize Trump. We try to characterize him in this way, and I think, for the most part, Bruce Springsteen is right, but we’re describing him in such a way that it almost distances him from what the Republican Party has been doing for decades.

So, talk of voter fraud, this is the justification that was used for voter ID laws in North Carolina, in Texas, the attempt in Pennsylvania. We’ve heard this language before. And when Donald Trump talks about “Look at Philadelphia, look at Chicago, look at St. Louis,” I mean, that’s not a racial dog whistle, that’s a foghorn. He’s saying to his voters, “These black and brown voters are going to steal your election.” We’ve heard this before.

When he talks about a liberal media stealing or rigging the election, we’ve heard this going all the way back to the '80s and even before then. We've seen it on the attack of PBS, on the attack of NPR, even the attack of Sesame Street. There has been this idea that there’s a conspiracy on the part of the liberal media to kind of—to block out conservative views. So, he’s just ratcheted up.

And this question about the legitimacy or the illegitimacy of the election of Hillary Clinton, we’ve been experiencing this for the last eight years around President Obama’s election. So, the fact that you have this manufactured outrage on the part of Republicans about what Donald Trump is doing, he’s just simply transporting what they have been doing over the last few years, over the last decade or so, into the presidential campaign season. So that’s the first thing. So we don’t want to make that differentiation to start.

In terms of young voters, I think what we see, right, is the fact that they are, in some significant way, fed up with this duopoly. They’re fed up with this two-party system, many of them are. And they see that their life chances cannot be defined, right, by business as usual. So, the Republican Party is bankrupt, right? The Democratic Party is hardly distinguishable, and they’re bankrupt. And so, what you see are millennials, in interesting sorts of ways, groping for a different kind of politics, trying to speak to the fact that their student debt, right, has overwhelmed, right, credit card debt, trying to—trying to understand how they’re going to enter into a labor market where they don’t seem to have a place, even though they may have a college degree, trying to understand, right, what does it mean to imagine the U.S. as an imperial power under these conditions and to be wholly against this fact. They’re growing up amid five wars. How are they going to talk about that we’ve just went through or experienced the hottest month or year on record, right, in terms of our stewardship of the planet?

So I think what we’re seeing—and this is really important for long-term implications, right, of the election cycle—I think we’re seeing young people, I think we’re seeing people of color, right, look at what’s going on in this election cycle, and I think they’re drawing a number of conclusions. But one conclusion that they’re drawing is that it seems as if white people are losing their damn minds.

NERMEEN SHAIKH: So, Professor Foner, on that, do you think that—to comment on what Professor Glaude said, you spoke earlier of the historical antecedents to Trump. Would you go so far as to say that Trump is the natural culmination of where the Republican Party—what the trajectory has been of the Republican Party?

ERIC FONER: Well, what Professor Glaude just said is quite right. Yeah, much of what—much of what Trump is saying is in—a much more kind of forthright and extreme version of things that have gone back to Nixon’s Southern strategy. It was Vice President Agnew who launched the attack on the press—that’s a long time ago—and certainly voter suppression, all those sorts of things, yes. But it’s a little bit different, you know, just the way he does it.

But I think, you know, Trump has—according to the polls, which may or may not be accurate, you know, 85 percent of Republicans are going to vote for Trump. So, he is, in many ways, a mainstream Republican candidate, even though he’s a little more—you know, the way he goes about it is not quite the same as, let us say, Jeb Bush or someone like that in the language he uses. But most Republicans recognize him as a, you know, acceptable Republican. Now, he’s lost some. Hillary is getting 95 percent of the Democratic vote, according to these, so there’s a gap. But that’s not that gigantic a number of Republicans who are saying, “No, I’m fed up with Trump. I can’t stand Trump. He’s impossible. He’s, you know, a demagogue,” etc.

So, yes, Trump is the logical conclusion of a lot of things the Republican Party has been doing. Really, I think Nixon, for all his sins, was also the father of a lot of this with the Southern strategy, which was based on, you know, getting whites in the South to shift from the Democratic Party, which they had been in for almost a century, to the Republican Party based on resentment over the gains of the civil rights movement. And that’s really planted the seeds for the transformation of the Republican Party into what we see today. And Trump is the conclusion of that.

AMY GOODMAN: I wanted to follow up on something Professor Glaude said, who has left us now, from Princeton University. We want to thank him, chair of the Department of African American Studies. His most recent book, Democracy in Black: How Race Still Enslaves the American Soul. I wanted to follow up with a new guest, May Boeve, who is executive director of 350 Action. He referenced climate change, which is more than happens in these debates, the next one which we’re about to see. Right now, Chris Wallace—this debate is going to happen in just about 35 minutes, and we’ll be going to it live at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Chris Wallace laid out the six areas that they’re going to be talking about, among them, fitness to be president, immigration, entitlements and the budget. As well, he’s going to be talking about foreign hot spots. But in these six, we did not see climate change. What about this issue, May?

MAY BOEVE: Well, of course, we’ve heard precious little on the issue of climate change in this election. And in even some of those six areas, climate change could come up. It is relevant to the issue of global hot spots. It is relevant to the issue of the budget. But Fox News does not have a great track record of asking questions about climate change, when it comes to actually believing it is an important issue.

AMY GOODMAN: But we should say that there have been three other debates, one vice-presidential, two presidential, and in none of these debates, where it wasn’t Fox that was moderating, did they raise this question of climate change. Yes, Hillary Clinton raised it once in a sort of side comment. And at the town hall that Martha Raddatz of ABC and Anderson Cooper of CNN moderated, one of the people in the audience asked a question about fossil fuel workers.

MAY BOEVE: Which we were glad to see. At least it came up in that respect. But it’s not a good indication of how concerned voters are about this issue, because when questions were submitted before the debate, the fourth most highly ranked question was about climate change.

And we’ve been talking this evening about the role of young voters. For that group, in particular, climate change is a vitally important issue. Imagine for a second if this were your first election that you are voting in. We’re all talking about how it’s a historically disappointing election. Imagine if you’re a young person. This is your first chance to vote for a president. And for many of the young people we work with in the climate movement, just let that sink in for a second. But the good news is, when we’re talking to young activists around the country, they’re actually excited about taking part in this, because they see that the long game is about building a stronger movement. They know they have to get engaged in politics. We know our movements have to build power. But the work that they’re excited about really resumes on November 9th. That’s why we’re seeing actions like the #GOPHandsOffMe action that young feminists have been engaged in. So, we’re seeing a lot of excitement among young voters. And for us, we’re particularly tapped into what young climate voters are interested in.

AMY GOODMAN: Now, clearly, Hillary Clinton needs Bernie Sanders right now in a major way. So you have Bernie Sanders crisscrossing the country, championing Hillary Clinton, the woman that he ran against. And that is how the, you know, election system works after the primary. But I think it clearly shows that Hillary Clinton sees that the millennial vote is not with her, and she needs to really galvanize people. What do you see as a young person who’s involved in the climate action movement? What gives you any faith right now, Hillary Clinton known as a champion of fracking, and a lot has come out in the WikiLeaks documents, over these years?

MAY BOEVE: We know, without a doubt, she’s not where she needs to be on this issue. And if anyone had any doubt, the line about climate activists getting a life is further evidence, so—


MAY BOEVE: In the leaked emails, there was a reference to some of the young people who are coming to rallies and asking questions about keeping fossil fuels in the ground, and the response was essentially “Get a life.” This came out earlier this week. But leaving that aside for a moment, in campaigning, in organizing, you need to know where—

AMY GOODMAN: Have you been looking for a life, May?

MAY BOEVE: Yes, I’ve been looking, and now I’m extra, extra happy with the one I found. But in politics and in organizing, you need to know where you stand. So we know exactly where we stand. We know exactly where we’re going to need to push. Fracking is going to be the critical litmus test for us, looking to see how we change the positions. But there were some bright spots in campaigning in the primary. We got some good commitments. We got good commitments around stopping the Keystone pipeline. That had never happened before, and it was organizing on the campaign trail that got that commitment. So, we don’t say that to be rosy-eyed optimists, but we know what we need to do to push, and we think we can do it.

AMY GOODMAN: On the Dakota Access pipeline, which is just six miles short of the Keystone XL, Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump have not taken a stand on this, despite the fact that thousands of people have been there, particularly Native Americans, taking on this $3.8 billion oil pipeline that begins in the Bakken oilfields of North Dakota with fracked oil and takes that oil—the Native Americans call it the black snake—through that pipeline from North to South Dakota to Iowa to Illinois.

MAY BOEVE: We’ve got to get clarity about what she plans to do. This is going to be something—she’s already getting asked about it everywhere she goes, but the pressure is not going to let up on that a single bit. It’s only going to intensify.

NERMEEN SHAIKH: Well, I’d like to bring in Phyllis Bennis, who’s just joined us from Washington, D.C., a fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies. She’s written several books, including, most recently, Understanding ISIS and the New Global War on Terror. Welcome to Democracy Now!, Phyllis. Now, we’re turning now to the question of foreign policy. Foreign policy is among the lowest-priority issues for American voters, according to several studies. And people have pointed out that Trump has used this lack of interest in foreign policy to his advantage, offering ideas that experts consider more or less impossible to implement but that cater to certain fears and anxieties among certain parts of the American electorate. Do you think that’s true? And how do you think—what effects do you think that’s had on where Trump stands today, and Clinton?

PHYLLIS BENNIS: You know, it’s funny, Nermeen, when you look at how the debate is being opened, how it’s being described, one of the issues is supposed to be on hot spots, global hot spots. Certainly climate is getting to be a very hot spot, I would say. May is absolutely right about that.

But I think that what we’re seeing in the election is a sense that because the issues that are going on regarding the U.S. global war on terror, regarding the increasing militarization that’s underway in so many places, that those are not on the top level of points of interest that people identify to pollsters, that somehow people don’t care about this. I don’t really think that’s accurate. I think that we’re seeing, to some degree, in the Trump campaign that there is taking that for granted. There is the sense that relying on statements like “I’m going to hit ISIS so hard that they will collapse,” when no one really knows what that means. How would that actually be different than what President Obama is doing? How is that different than what Hillary Clinton has said she would do? None of that is very clear.

What we do know is that as these discussions go forward without much clarity, except on the question of the call from Secretary Clinton for a no-fly zone in Syria, otherwise, the questions about what will happen in foreign policy are not taking into account what President Obama actually is doing in the meantime. We’re not hearing from Donald Trump what would he would do differently. We’re not hearing from Secretary Clinton, other than on the question of a no-fly zone, exactly what she would do differently, as well. If we look at the legacy of failure in the so-called global war on terror, the essential central hot spot, if you will, of U.S. foreign policy right now, the point where there is the most militarization, the most death and destruction underway, particularly among people in Syria, in Iraq, in Afghanistan, in Yemen, in Libya, in all these places, but also including U.S. military personnel—there were two soldiers killed in Afghanistan just in the last 24 hours. So, we’re not hearing actual proposals about how that would move forward. And I think what you’re referring to, in terms of the Trump campaign appearing to accept this notion that Americans are not interested in this, is their sense that they don’t have to have answers. They don’t have to have answers, because no one is pushing for that question to be at the top of the list.

I just came back from Boston, where I spoke in a dozen college campuses, and young people are very interested in these questions. They’re very worried. They’re worried about the military consequences. They’re worried particularly about the humanitarian consequences. They’re worried about how that may have blowback against us in this country. So, the notion that there is no interest in these questions, I think, is really a misreading of how the polling is going forward and how the polls are being read and relied on, really, by both campaigns.

AMY GOODMAN: Phyllis, how important is U.S. relations with Russia here and Iran? What role do they play with solving the problem right now, the crisis, the catastrophe that is Syria?

PHYLLIS BENNIS: You know, Amy, you raise a fundamental question here. Right now, the growing tension between the United States and Russia—I would say, in the last 48 hours, there’s been a slight lowering of the temperature, but it’s very slight. We heard from a top Russian official just in the last couple of days that relations between the U.S. and Russia right now are at a lower level than at any time since 1973, when, during the Middle East war of '73, the U.S. actually put its nuclear weapons on high alert, preparing to go after the Soviet Union at that time. So, that's a very dramatic statement from top officials in Moscow, that Russia is viewing the current tensions between Washington and Moscow in that light.

The role of Syria, the Syrian crisis, which is a multitude of wars—this is not just one civil war in Syria. We’re talking about somewhere between 10 and 12 separate wars that are being waged, all being fought to the last Syrian. This is the catastrophe, in your words, Amy, and I think appropriate, of what we’re seeing right now. And in that context, both Russia and Iran are playing major roles as the key political supporter and the key provider of arms to the Syrian regime, just like the U.S. and its allies—Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Jordan, the UAE, Qatar—are playing the key roles of supporting the opposition forces in Syria. But in that context, the wars that are being waged are not simply the wars of the Syrian regime against an opposition force. We have a war between Iran and Saudi Arabia being waged in Syria for who is going to be the regional hegemon. There’s a war between those same two countries—Iran and Saudi Arabia—for sectarian dominance. Is it going to be Sunni or Shia Islam that plays the dominant role? There’s a war between Turkey and the Kurds being waged in Syria. There’s a war between the U.S. and Israel being waged against Iran. So there’s a host of wars being fought all over each other, as well as a fundamental civil war between a terribly repressive, aggressive, lethal regime against an opposition within its own population. So you have this combination of forces. There’s the war between the U.S. and Russia, which, as I mentioned, is getting hotter and hotter each day that that war goes forward, again, being fought to the last Syrian.

So the question right now of what is going to exacerbate that war needs to be taken very seriously. When we hear Secretary Clinton, for instance, talking about a no-fly zone in Syria as a solution, what she is actually calling for, according to the analysis of her colleague in the—in the Obama White House, when she was secretary of state in 2011 and was supporting a no-fly zone in Libya, and the secretary of defense at that time, Robert Gates, who had been the Obama administration Republican holdover from the Bush administration, he was opposing her proposal for a no-fly zone, saying that the first step in a no-fly zone is to go to war, because the first thing you have to do is take out the anti-aircraft system to make it safe for your pilots and your aircraft. In the Syrian context, what that means is the U.S. has to go to war not only against Syria, but also against Russia, because Syria’s anti-aircraft system was installed decades ago by the Soviet Union and has been kept in place and kept up by Russia. And there are Russian troops, Russian specialists, that are staffing some of them. So it would mean the threat of a full-scale war between the United States and Russia to talk about going forward with a so-called no-fly zone. The notion that that is somehow going to make Syrians more safe, I think, really denies the reality of what a no-fly zone represents. And it goes directly to this question of the role of Russia, along with the United States, as the two global powers that are competing with each other in Syria.

NERMEEN SHAIKH: Well, to continue on the theme of relations between Russia and the United States, Ecuador has confirmed yesterday, I believe, that it temporarily cut off—earlier this week, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s internet access in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London. Today, NBC reported that the U.S. government urged Ecuador to do so, to cut off his internet access. NBC writes, quote, “The action came after U.S. officials conveyed their conclusion that Assange is a willing participant in a Russian intelligence operation to undermine the U.S. presidential election.” So, Chris Hedges, could you talk about that? What are relations like, Russia and the U.S., now? And what about this accusation that WikiLeaks is working with Russian intelligence agencies to undermine the American electoral process?

CHRIS HEDGES: Well, we haven’t seen any evidence that that’s true. They’ve made that accusation. I don’t particularly trust them. It may be true, it may not be true. As someone who regularly printed leaked material given to me by the U.S. government, given to me by the Israeli Mossad, given to me by the French intelligence service, the question is whether it is true or whether it is untrue. It is usually the case, except for whistleblowers—and we’ve seen what the Obama administration has done to whistleblowers, people with a conscience, like Assange, like Snowden, like Chelsea Manning, Drake, Kiriakou and many others, and the persecution that is carried out against them. But when institutions or governments leak, they don’t do so—you know, they leak out of self-interest. That’s always the case. And your job as a publisher or as a journalist is to verify that information and put it out.

And then I think that one of the things that’s been frustrating is that on the commercial media, it is—the emails are ignored, or largely ignored, for speculation about whether Russia is trying to swing the election in Trump’s favor, is Russia hacking into our system, and I think that that has been a nice subterfuge. We spoke earlier—I think it was Professor Foner, talked about, you know, this—the widespread support among the base for Trump. I think we have to qualify that by saying that the Republican elite is not behind Trump. The Republican elite has essentially joined forces with the Democratic elite to elect Hillary Clinton. Whether that’s former President Bush or Condoleezza Rice, there’s a long, long list. And that goes back to what happened in 1972 with the McGovern campaign, where essentially the Democratic elite turned on its own base and joined with the Republican elite to elect Richard Nixon. And the press has been, I think, part of this process. You know, they may pull up three Democrats and three Republicans from the power elites, but almost all of them will sit around and trash Trump.

So, you know, there was a study not long ago that when the revelations broke in the emails, the nightly news programs spent, I think, 23—I think Trump has quoted this—23 minutes on Trump’s misogyny and one minute or something on the emails. And I think, as a journalist, those emails are very, very, very important and very revealing about what the Clinton administration intends to do when it takes power. We’ve just been speaking about climate change. It’s very clear from those emails that there will be a support of the fracking industry. And we must not forget that the Democratic establishment, with the Republican establishment, once Congress resumes after the election, intends to push through the TPP, which is devastating for the climate.

AMY GOODMAN: We want to thank you, Chris Hedges, for joining us. Chris Hedges, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, formerly with The New York Times, award-winning author and activist, his most recent book, Wages of Rebellion: The Moral Imperative of Revolt, speaking to us from the University of California, Berkeley, as we turn to Kristen Clarke, who’s just joined us anew in Washington, D.C., president and executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. The group, along with the ACLU of Arkansas and the law firm of Morrison & Foerster, filed suit against Pulaski County, the city of Sherwood and Judge Hale on behalf of four plaintiffs who say they’ve been trapped for years in a cycle of debt. One of the issues that will be discussed tonight is the economy.

And let me just go through this all right now. I’m Amy Goodman, with Nermeen Shaikh. And we are co-hosting tonight’s three-and-a-half-hour special. In just about 15 minutes at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump will face off for their final of three presidential debates before the election, which is almost three weeks away. The moderator is Fox News’s Chris Wallace. And he has said, and the Commission on Presidential Debates has said, that they’re dividing tonight’s debate into six different areas. And those area are debt and entitlements, immigration, the economy, the Supreme Court, foreign hot spots—it remains to be seen if they’re talking about war or climate change, foreign hot spots—and fitness to be president, whether it’s physical fitness, something that Donald Trump has been emphasizing, or just overall fitness, well, remains to be seen. And you will hear it and watch it all here on Democracy Now! in the 9:00-to-10:30 debate.

But right now we’re continuing our discussion. Kristen Clarke, two issues—economy and entitlements, as they put it, is going to be one of the sections—like to get your view on that—and also the critical issue, that I think no one can dispute, is the difference between a Donald Trump presidency and a Hillary Clinton presidency when it comes to appointments to the Supreme Court.

KRISTEN CLARKE: Well, you know, right now there is a constitutional crisis that looms over us. We have a Supreme Court that stands at eight members, since Justice Scalia passed in February. The president, Barack Obama, did his job. He’s still in office and has a job that he needs to do. And the Constitution dictates that when there is a vacancy to the Supreme Court, that the president put forth a nominee for advice and consent by the Senate. And sadly, what we’ve seen over the last several months is a Senate that has been unwilling to do its job and give that nominee a hearing and a vote.

We went through one full Supreme Court term with only eight justices in place and, indeed, faced gridlock, a deadlocked court, in very critically important cases. One of the most important among them was a case involving immigration reform. And, you know, this has been an issue that has nagged at the nation for years. The president put forth a series of important reforms to address immigration and to bring about reform. Those reforms got entangled in litigation. The case eventually made its way up to a Supreme Court that was in a state of paralysis, a court that with only eight justices could not do its job and provide clarity to the nation on an incredibly important issue.

So, as we move towards the end of this president’s tenure and think about 2017, it is my hope that we will put in place a president that’s prepared to do their job and nominate someone to fill that vacancy, and that the Senate will do its job and give that nominee a hearing and a vote. Already, we have heard statements from members of the Senate who have said, “No matter.” You know, if Clinton takes office, it doesn’t matter who she puts forward, they will refuse to give that nominee a hearing. And I think that that is reckless and a dereliction of duty. We put members of the Senate in office to do their job, and that’s something that they’ve failed to do. But, you know, I’m looking in the road ahead in 2017 for us to restore the standing of the U.S. Supreme Court. We need a court that has integrity, a court that has nine justices, a court that can resolve the grave issues that come before it all the time.

AMY GOODMAN: Could Merrick Garland be renominated by Hillary Clinton, if she were to be elected president? I assume that Donald Trump wouldn’t go near him.

KRISTEN CLARKE: You know, that is a possibility. I think that it is most certainly the prerogative of our next president to pick a nominee. But what truly troubles me are just the statements that we are already hearing from members of the Senate, who say, no matter what, if Clinton is the president, they will not give her nominee consideration. I think, you know, again, that’s a dereliction of duty. They have a job that they must do, and they must respect, whoever our next president is, their choice to fill that vacant seat on the court.

I mean, it’s only October. We’re at just the start of a new Supreme Court term, and already important cases have come before that court. Just two weeks ago, the court heard a case dealing with the death penalty, race and the death penalty, a case called Buck v. Davis, a case handled by the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, where a man’s life hangs in the balance. This is one of the most important civil rights cases on the court’s docket this term, and the question in that case is whether it is permissible to keep a man on death row where there is evidence that he was placed there in large part based on the testimony given by an expert that is racially—was racially driven. The expert in this case said that all African Americans are dangerous, and the question of future dangerousness is a key question when jurors in the state of Texas, where this case arises—is a key piece of evidence that jurors must look at when deciding between life and death. So, this is one example, among many, of the critically important cases that sit on the court’s docket each and every term and right now. And we have a court that, with eight justices, may allow this man to be executed, based on unconstitutional and racial evidence, because if we have a deadlocked court, this man’s death sentence will stand.

NERMEEN SHAIKH: And, Professor Eric Foner, could we get your perspective on this? What is at stake in the nomination for a Supreme Court justice?

ERIC FONER: Well, I think a lot is at stake. And as you said, this is one of the key differences between Trump and Clinton. I mean, I am happily voting for Clinton. I am on the board of The Nation, which wrote a strong editorial for her. All the flaws of Clinton that have been mentioned tonight are true, and I share the view. But I think that we are in a position where actually the Democratic Party has been moved to the left by the Sanders campaign, and the Supreme Court is in a position where a fifth justice could really shift its view. I mean, a fifth liberal, so to speak, could really shift its view on very important issues, having to do with race, having to do with the Citizens United case—they could relook at that—redistricting issues, gerrymandering issues. You know, Trump talks about rigging the election. Many elections in this country are already rigged, mostly by Republicans, who have gerrymandered legislative districts in many states so that it’s guaranteed that Republicans are going to win those districts, even before the election takes place.

So, you know, I think that if Clinton is elected, the Supreme Court is one thing, but I think it will be—it will create a situation where movements, like the climate movement, like Black Lives Matter, like other such movements now, can actually exert pressure. I do not have any, you know, illusion that she is a movement type of person, but given the state of the Democratic Party now, I think that there are possibilities for moving Clinton in the right direction. If Trump is elected, you’re going to have four years of just fighting off the most horrible policies and trying to defend things that have been taken for granted for 75 years. So, I do think—I don’t agree with Chris Hedges that there is no difference here between the candidates and in the consequences of one or the other’s election.

NERMEEN SHAIKH: And what about voters who say that this is the moment to vote for a third-party candidate?

ERIC FONER: You know, I don’t agree with that. I think, unfortunately, we have a system where third parties have very rarely made much of an impact. The two parties seem to be ensconced. You know, the Republican Party was created in the 1850s, and we haven’t had a major party come into being since then. And, you know, I think, in a sense, it’s circular. If a third party has a possibility of really getting a significant vote, I think it does play an important role to vote for it. But when a third party like the Greens are running at 1 or 2 percent, I think it’s a wasted vote. Politics is not a form of, you know, kind of just self-expression. It should be, you know, a carefully worked-out political judgment about what the most valuable use of your vote is. And in this case, I think voting for a third party—I think the more—the bigger the majority Clinton wins by, the better it will be for movements to be able to push her further.

AMY GOODMAN: Now, let’s turn to Professor Megan Ming Francis. I can tell you one thing. I’m not a—I don’t have a crystal ball here, but I can—I absolutely bet the candidates are not going to disagree on, or probably even be asked about tonight, surveillance in communities. You teach a class on race, surveillance and the law. What’s important to understand about this? And why do you see that as a key issue on what’s happening today?

MEGAN MING FRANCIS: I think, in part, because—I think, in part, it’s a key issue because surveillance is an area that a lot of people don’t think about, and it’s invading everybody’s daily lives, right? So, in terms of—there’s been a number of important Supreme Court cases. This is also why I think in terms of this notion about that the next president will appoint maybe one, up to three judges on the Supreme Court, and also federal judgeships, that there’s been a number of important cases around cellphone tracking, around tracking devices on cars. I think one of the most interesting areas around surveillance is something called stingray surveillance, right? And so, it’s when like, basically, a van pulls up, and then people, let’s say a demonstration in Baltimore—this happened after Freddie Gray—and then you attach, basically—you think it’s AT&T or T-Mobile, but it’s basically a government-operated device. And so, you’re maybe texting your friends or other organizers, and they’re pulling data off your phone.

And I do think, especially in this era with technology advancing in, I think, incredibly and important ways, that we also need to be mindful of the way in which government is invading our lives and, at some level, kind of what is this—what is this line between, at some level, government searches and ways in which we don’t necessarily think about, right? There was this fascinating Supreme Court case where they were talking about kind of codes on phones. And the Supreme Court justice—I think it’s Breyer—made an argument that unlocking—unlocking a phone is like unlocking the secrecies of life. It’s like unlocking a door on a house now, because we have everything on our phone, right? So I think we need to be very mindful of the ways in which surveillance operates, and also government—government operations and procedures around surveillance.

AMY GOODMAN: You know, Malkia Cyril was on Democracy Now! because she’s featured in this new film by Ava DuVernay called 13th


AMY GOODMAN: —about the 13th Amendment, that clause that says, you know, we’re ending slavery, except when it comes to prisoners—


AMY GOODMAN: —and the idea of slavery to mass incarceration today. And she said, “As we get all this technology pouring into the hands of police officers—electronic monitoring, aerial surveillance over Baltimore—it’s critical we don’t repeat the mistakes of the past and turn our communities into open-air prisons, even as we decarcerate the facilities themselves.”

MEGAN MING FRANCIS: Yes, yes. I mean, this is part of the thing in terms of—I like a lot of the journalism—journalism in The Nation and also in other outlets that have likened what’s going on right now from a prison state to a surveillance state, right? So, in some ways, we can kind of take people out or we can think that more policies are open, but in so many ways it’s actually—the government is watching in new and, I think, very, very problematic ways. Yeah, I’m going to—I’m going to stop. There’s a lot more that I could say on that, but…

AMY GOODMAN: So, let’s go quickly around. Five words, what you want to hear tonight? Because in just a minute, we’re going to be going to Las Vegas. May Boeve?

MAY BOEVE: What is their plan to address the climate crisis?

AMY GOODMAN: Professor Eric Foner?

ERIC FONER: I’d like to see them talk about any issue other than—other than just insulting each other, calling each other liars, and, you know, the way the second debate went.

AMY GOODMAN: Kristen Clarke?

KRISTEN CLARKE: Criminal justice, policing reform, voting rights.

AMY GOODMAN: Phyllis Bennis? Ah, I don’t think we still have Phyllis Bennis with us. And finally, Ming—Megan Ming Francis?

MEGAN MING FRANCIS: Criminal justice, policing and Black Lives Matter.

AMY GOODMAN: So, we want to thank you all for being with us. And at the other end, we’ll have some of you stay with us. We are going to the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. I want to thank Professor Megan Ming Francis of the University of Washington, happy that she’s with us here in New York; Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Eric Foner of Columbia University; Phyllis Bennis of the Institute for Policy Studies; Kristen Clarke of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. I want to thank Professor Eddie Glaude, who was with us before, from Princeton University, and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Chris Hedges, and, finally, May Boeve of 350 Action.

The presidential debate is just about to begin, which is moderated by Fox News’s Chris Wallace. He just has the teleprompter in front of him, and he looks like he’s about to begin reading those words. What we see right now is an empty stage.

CHRIS WALLACE: Good evening, from the Thomas & Mack Center at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

AMY GOODMAN: Here he goes.

CHRIS WALLACE: I’m Chris Wallace of Fox News, and I welcome you to the third and final of the 2016 presidential debates between Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Donald J. Trump. This debate is sponsored by the Commission on Presidential Debates. The commission has designed the format: six roughly 15-minute segments with two-minute answers to the first question, then open discussion for the rest of each segment. Both campaigns have agreed to those rules. For the record, I decided the topics and the questions in each topic. None of those questions has been shared with the commission or the two candidates.

The audience here in the hall has promised to remain silent—no cheers, boos or other interruptions—so we and you can focus on what the candidates have to say. No noise, except right now, as we welcome the Democratic nominee for president, Secretary Clinton, and the Republican nominee for president, Mr. Trump.

Secretary Clinton, Mr. Trump, welcome. Let’s get right to it. The first topic is the Supreme Court. You both talked briefly about the court in the last debate, but I want to drill down on this, because the next president will almost certainly have at least one appointment and likely or possibly two or three appointments, which means that you will, in effect, determine the balance of the court for what could be the next quarter-century. First of all, where do you want to see the court take the country? And secondly, what’s your view on how the Constitution should be interpreted? Do the founders’ words mean what they say, or is it a living document to be applied flexibly according to changing circumstances? In this segment, Secretary Clinton, you go first. You have two minutes.

HILLARY CLINTON: Thank you very much, Chris. And thanks to UNLV for hosting us.

You know, I think when we talk about the Supreme Court, it really raises the central issue in this election—namely, what kind of country are we going to be? What kind of opportunities will we provide for our citizens? What kind of rights will Americans have?

And I feel strongly that the Supreme Court needs to stand on the side of the American people, not on the side of the powerful corporations and the wealthy. For me, that means that we need a Supreme Court that will stand up on behalf of women’s rights, on behalf of the rights of the LGBT community, that will stand up and say no to Citizens United, a decision that has undermined the election system in our country because of the way it permits dark, unaccountable money to come into our electoral system.

I have major disagreements with my opponent about these issues and others that will be before the Supreme Court. But I feel that at this point in our country’s history, it is important that we not reverse marriage equality, that we not reverse Roe v. Wade, that we stand up against Citizens United, we stand up for the rights of people in the workplace, that we stand up and basically say the Supreme Court should represent all of us. That’s how I see the court, and the kind of people that I would be looking to nominate to the court would be in the great tradition of standing up to the powerful, standing up on behalf of our rights as Americans.

And I look forward to having that opportunity. I would hope that the Senate would do its job and confirm the nominee that President Obama has sent to them. That’s the way the Constitution fundamentally should operate: The president nominates, and then the Senate advises and consents, or not, but they go forward with the process.

CHRIS WALLACE: Secretary Clinton, thank you. Mr. Trump, same question. Where do you want to see the court take the country? And how do you believe the Constitution should be interpreted?

DONALD TRUMP: Well, first of all, it’s great to be with you, and thank you, everybody.

The Supreme Court, it’s what it’s all about. Our country is so, so—it’s just so imperative that we have the right justices.

Something happened recently where Justice Ginsburg made some very, very inappropriate statements toward me and toward a tremendous number of people, many, many millions of people that I represent. And she was forced to apologize. And apologize she did. But these were statements that should never, ever have been made.

We need a Supreme Court that, in my opinion, is going to uphold the Second Amendment—and all amendments, but the Second Amendment, which is under absolute siege. I believe if my opponent should win this race, which I truly don’t think will happen, we will have a Second Amendment which will be a very, very small replica of what it is right now. But I feel that it’s absolutely important that we uphold, because of the fact that it is under such trauma.

I feel that the justices that I am going to appoint—and I’ve named 20 of them—the justices that I’m going to appoint will be pro-life. They will have a conservative bent. They will be protecting the Second Amendment. They are great scholars in all cases, and they’re people of tremendous respect. They will interpret the Constitution the way the founders wanted it interpreted. And I believe that’s very, very important. I don’t think we should have justices appointed that decide what they want to hear. It’s all about the Constitution of—of—and so important, the Constitution the way it was meant to be. And those are the people that I will appoint.

CHRIS WALLACE: Mr. Trump, thank you. We now have about 10 minutes for an open discussion. I want to focus on two issues that, in fact, by the justices that you name, could end up changing the existing law of the land. First is one that you mentioned, Mr. Trump, and that is guns. Secretary Clinton, you said last year—and let me quote—”The Supreme Court is wrong on the Second Amendment.” And now, in fact, in the 2008 Heller case, the court ruled that there is a constitutional right to bear arms, but a right that is reasonably limited. Those were the words of the—of the judge, Antonin Scalia, who wrote the decision. What’s wrong with that?

HILLARY CLINTON: Well, first of all, I support the Second Amendment. I lived in Arkansas for 18 wonderful years. I represented upstate New York. I understand and respect the tradition of gun ownership. It goes back to the founding of our country.

But I also believe that there can be and must be reasonable regulation. Because I support the Second Amendment doesn’t mean that I want people who shouldn’t have guns to be able to threaten you, kill you or members of your family.

And so, when I think about what we need to do, we have 33,000 people a year who die from guns. I think we need comprehensive background checks, need to close the online loophole, close the gun show loophole. There’s other matters that I think are sensible, that are the kind of reforms that would make a difference, that are not in any way conflicting with the Second Amendment.

You mentioned the Heller decision. And what I was saying, that you referenced, Chris, was that I disagreed with the way the court applied the Second Amendment in that case, because what the District of Columbia was trying to do was to protect toddlers from guns, and so they wanted people with guns to safely store them. And the court didn’t accept that reasonable regulation, but they’ve accepted many others. So I see no conflict between saving people’s lives and defending the Second Amendment.

CHRIS WALLACE: Let me bring Mr. Trump in here. The bipartisan Open Debate Coalition got millions of votes on questions to ask here, and this was, in fact, one of the top questions that they got. How will you ensure the Second Amendment is protected? You just heard Secretary Clinton’s answer. Does she persuade you that, while you may disagree on regulation, that, in fact, she supports a Second Amendment right to bear arms?

DONALD TRUMP: Well, the D.C. v. Heller decision was very strongly—and she was extremely angry about it. I watched. I mean, she was very, very angry, when upheld. And Justice Scalia was so involved. And it was a well-crafted decision. But Hillary was extremely upset, extremely angry. And people that believe in the Second Amendment, and believe in it very strongly, were very upset with what she had to say.

CHRIS WALLACE: Well, let me—let me bring in Secretary Clinton. Were you extremely upset?

HILLARY CLINTON: Well, I was upset, because, unfortunately, dozens of toddlers injure themselves, even kill people, with guns, because, unfortunately, not everyone who has loaded guns in their homes takes appropriate precautions. But there’s no doubt that I respect the Second Amendment, that I also believe there’s an individual right to bear arms. That is not in conflict with sensible, commonsense regulation.

And, you know, look, I understand that Donald’s been strongly supported by the NRA. The gun lobby’s on his side. They’re running millions of dollars of ads against me. And I regret that, because what I would like to see is for people to come together and say, “Of course we’re going to protect and defend the Second Amendment. But we’re going to do it in a way that tries to save some of these 33,000 lives that we lose every year.”

CHRIS WALLACE: Let me bring Mr. Trump back into this, because, in fact, you oppose any limits on assault weapons, any limits on high-capacity magazines. You support a national right to carry law. Why, sir?

DONALD TRUMP: Well, let me just tell you, before we go any further, in Chicago, which has the toughest gun laws in the United States, probably you could say by far, they have more gun violence than any other city. So we have the toughest laws, and you have tremendous gun violence.

I am a very strong supporter of the Second Amendment. And I am—I don’t know if Hillary was saying it in a sarcastic manner, but I’m very proud to have the endorsement of the NRA. And it’s the earliest endorsement they’ve ever given to anybody who ran for president. So I’m very honored by all of that.

We are going to appoint justices—this is the best way to help the Second Amendment. We are going to appoint justices that will feel very strongly about the Second Amendment, that will not do damage to the Second Amendment.

CHRIS WALLACE: Well, let’s pick up on another issue which divides you, and the justices that whoever ends up winning this election appoints could have a dramatic effect there, and that’s the issue of abortion.


CHRIS WALLACE: Mr. Trump, you’re pro-life. But I want to ask you specifically: Do you want the court, including the justices that you will name, to overturn Roe v. Wade, which includes—in fact, states—a woman’s right to abortion?

DONALD TRUMP: Well, if that would happen, because I am pro-life, and I will be appointing pro-life judges, I would think that that will go back to the individual states.

CHRIS WALLACE: But I’m asking you specifically. Would you like to—

DONALD TRUMP: If they overturned it, it will go back to the states.

CHRIS WALLACE: But what I’m asking you, sir, is: Do you want to see the court overturn—you’ve just said you want to see the court protect the Second Amendment. Do you want to see the court overturn Roe v. Wade?

DONALD TRUMP: Well, if we put another two or perhaps three justices on, that’s really what’s going to be—that will happen. And that’ll happen automatically, in my opinion, because I am putting pro-life justices on the court. I will say this: It will go back to the states, and the states will then make a determination.

CHRIS WALLACE: Secretary Clinton?

HILLARY CLINTON: Well, I strongly support Roe v. Wade, which guarantees a constitutional right to a woman to make the most intimate, most difficult, in many cases, decisions about her healthcare that one can imagine.

And in this case, it’s not only about Roe v. Wade. It is about what’s happening right now in America. So many states are putting very stringent regulations on women that block them from exercising that choice, to the extent that they are defunding Planned Parenthood, which, of course, provides all kinds of cancer screenings and other benefits for women in our country. Donald has said he’s in favor of defunding Planned Parenthood. He even supported shutting the government down to defund Planned Parenthood. I will defend Planned Parenthood, I will defend Roe v. Wade, and I will defend women’s rights to make their own healthcare decisions.

CHRIS WALLACE: Secretary Clinton—

HILLARY CLINTON: And we have come too far to have that turned back now. And, indeed, he said women should be punished, that there should be some form of punishment for women who obtain abortions. And I could just not be more opposed to that kind of thinking.

CHRIS WALLACE: I’m going to give you a chance to respond, but I want to ask you, Secretary Clinton—I want to explore how far you believe the right to abortion goes. You have been quoted as saying that the fetus has no constitutional rights. You also voted against a ban on late-term, partial-birth abortions. Why?

HILLARY CLINTON: Because Roe v. Wade very clearly sets out that there can be regulations on abortion so long as the life and the health of the mother are taken into account. And when I voted as a senator, I did not think that that was the case.

The kinds of cases that fall at the end of pregnancy are often the most heartbreaking, painful decisions for families to make. I have met with women who toward the end of their pregnancy get the worst news one could get, that their health is in jeopardy if they continue to carry to term or that something terrible has happened or just been discovered about the pregnancy. I do not think the United States government should be stepping in and making those most personal of decisions. So, you can regulate, if you are doing so with the life and the health of the mother taken into account.

CHRIS WALLACE: Mr. Trump, your reaction, and particularly on this issue of late-term, partial birth abortion?

DONALD TRUMP: Well, I think it’s terrible. If you go with what Hillary is saying, in the ninth month, you can take the baby and rip the baby out of the womb of the mother just prior to the birth of the baby. Now, you can say that that’s OK, and Hillary can say that that’s OK, but it’s not OK with me, because, based on what she’s saying and based on where she’s going and where she’s been, you can take the baby and rip the baby out of the womb in the ninth month, on the final day. And that’s not acceptable.

HILLARY CLINTON: Well, that is not what happens in these cases. And using that kind of scare rhetoric is just terribly unfortunate. You should meet with some of the women that I’ve met with, women I’ve known over the course of my life. This is one of the worst possible choices that any woman and her family has to make. And I do not believe the government should be making it.

You know, I’ve had the great honor of traveling across the world on behalf of our country. I’ve been to countries where governments either forced women to have abortions, like they used to do in China, or forced women to bear children, like they used to do in Romania. And I can tell you, the government has no business in the decisions that women make with their families, in accordance with their faith, with medical advice. And I will stand up for that right.

CHRIS WALLACE: All right. But just briefly, I want to move on to another segment.

DONALD TRUMP: And, honestly, nobody has business doing what I just said, doing that, as late as one or two or three or four days prior to birth. Nobody has that.

CHRIS WALLACE: All right. Let’s move on to the subject of immigration. And there is almost no issue that separates the two of you more than the issue of immigration. Actually, there are a lot of issues that separate the two of you. Mr. Trump, you want to build a wall. Secretary Clinton, you have offered no specific plan for how you want to secure our southern border. Mr. Trump, you are calling for major deportations. Secretary Clinton, you say that within your first hundred days as president you’re going to offer a package that includes a pathway to citizenship. The question, really, is: Why are you right and your opponent wrong? Mr. Trump, you go first in this segment. You have two minutes.

DONALD TRUMP: Well, first of all, she wants to give amnesty, which is a disaster and very unfair to all of the people that are waiting on line for many, many years. We need strong borders.

In the audience tonight, we have four mothers of—I mean, these are unbelievable people that I’ve gotten to know over a period of years, whose children have been killed, brutally killed, by people that came into the country illegally. You have thousands of mothers and fathers and relatives all over the country. They’re coming in illegally. Drugs are pouring in through the border. We have no country if we have no border.

Hillary wants to give amnesty. She wants to have open borders. The border—as you know, the Border Patrol agents, 16,500-plus ICE last week, endorsed me—first time they’ve ever endorsed a candidate. It means their job is tougher. But they know what’s going on. They know it better than anybody. They want strong borders. They feel we have to have strong borders.

I was up in New Hampshire the other day. The biggest complaint they have—it’s with all of the problems going on in the world, many of the problems caused by Hillary Clinton and by Barack Obama, all of the problems. Their single biggest problem is heroin that pours across our southern border. It’s just pouring and destroying their youth. It’s poisoning the blood of their youth and plenty of other people. We have to have strong borders. We have to keep the drugs out of our country. We are—right now, we’re getting the drugs, they’re getting the cash. We need strong borders. We need absolute—we cannot give amnesty.

Now, I want to build the wall. We need the wall. The Border Patrol, ICE, they all want the wall. We stop the drugs. We shore up the border. One of my first acts will be to get all of the drug lords, all of the bad ones—we have some bad, bad people in this country that have to go out. We’re going to get them out. We’re going to secure the border. And once the border is secured, at a later date, we’ll make a determination as to the rest. But we have some bad hombres here, and we’re going to get ’em out.

CHRIS WALLACE: Mr. Trump, thank you. Same question to you, Secretary Clinton. Basically, why are you right and Mr. Trump is wrong?

HILLARY CLINTON: Well, as he was talking, I was thinking about a young girl I met here in Las Vegas, Carla, who is very worried that her parents might be deported, because she was born in this country, but they were not. They work hard. They do everything they can to give her a good life.

And you’re right: I don’t want to rip families apart. I don’t want to be sending parents away from children. I don’t want to see the deportation force that Donald has talked about in action in our country.

We have 11 million undocumented people. They have 4 million American citizen children. Fifteen million people. He said as recently as a few weeks ago in Phoenix that every undocumented person would be subject to deportation. Now, here’s what that means. It means you would have to have a massive law enforcement presence, where law enforcement officers would be going school to school, home to home, business to business, rounding up people who are undocumented. And we would then have to put them on trains, on buses, to get them out of our country. I think that is an idea that is not in keeping with who we are as a nation. I think it’s an idea that would rip our country apart.

I have been for border security for years. I voted for border security in the United States Senate. And my comprehensive immigration reform plan of course includes border security. But I want to put our resources where I think they’re most needed: getting rid of any violent person. Anybody who should be deported, we should deport them.

When it comes to the wall that Donald talks about building, he went to Mexico, he had a meeting with the Mexican president, didn’t even raise it. He choked and then got into a Twitter war because the Mexican president said, “We’re not paying for that wall.”

So I think we are both a nation of immigrants and we are a nation of laws and that we can act accordingly. And that’s why I’m introducing comprehensive immigration reform within the first hundred days with a path to citizenship.

CHRIS WALLACE: Thank you, Secretary Clinton. I want to follow up—

DONALD TRUMP: Chris, I think it’s—


DONALD TRUMP: I think I should respond to that. First of all, I had a very good meeting with the president of Mexico, very nice man. We will be doing very much better with Mexico on trade deals. Believe me. The NAFTA deal signed by her husband is one of the worst deals ever made of any kind, signed by anybody. It’s a disaster.

Hillary Clinton wanted the wall. Hillary Clinton fought for the wall in 2006 or thereabouts. Now, she never gets anything done, so naturally the wall wasn’t built. But Hillary Clinton wanted the wall.

CHRIS WALLACE: Well, let me—

DONALD TRUMP: We are a country of laws.

CHRIS WALLACE: Wait, wait. Sir, let me—let me—

DONALD TRUMP: We either have—and, by the way—

CHRIS WALLACE: No, wait. I’d like to hear from—

DONALD TRUMP: Well—well, but she said one thing.

CHRIS WALLACE: I’d like to hear from—I’d like to hear from Secretary Clinton.

HILLARY CLINTON: I voted for border security. And there are some—

DONALD TRUMP: And the wall.

HILLARY CLINTON: There are some limited places where that was appropriate. There also is necessarily going to be new technology and how best to deploy that. But it is clear, when you look at what Donald has been proposing—he started his campaign bashing immigrants, calling Mexican immigrants rapists and criminals and drug dealers—that he has a very different view about what we should do to deal with immigrants.

Now, what I am also arguing is that bringing undocumented immigrants out from the shadows, putting them into the formal economy will be good, because then employers can’t exploit them and undercut Americans’ wages. And Donald knows a lot about this. He used undocumented labor to build the Trump Tower. He underpaid undocumented workers, and when they complained, he basically said what a lot of employers do: “You complain, I’ll get you deported.” I want to get everybody out of the shadows, get the economy working, and not let employers like Donald exploit undocumented workers, which hurts them, but also hurts American workers.


DONALD TRUMP: President Obama has moved millions of people out. Nobody knows about it, nobody talks about it. But under Obama, millions of people have been moved out of this country. They’ve been deported. She doesn’t want to say that, but that’s what’s happened, and that’s what happened big league.

As far as moving these people out and moving—we either have a country or we don’t. We’re a country of laws. We either have a border or we don’t.

Now, you can come back in, and you can become a citizen. But it’s very unfair. We have millions of people that did it the right way. They’re on line. They’re waiting. We’re going to speed up the process, big league, because it’s very inefficient. But they’re on line and they’re waiting to become citizens. Very unfair that somebody runs across the border, becomes a citizen. Under her plan, you have open borders. You would have a disaster on trade, and you will have a disaster with your open borders.



DONALD TRUMP: But what she doesn’t say is that President Obama has deported millions and millions of people just the way it is.

CHRIS WALLACE: Secretary Clinton, I want to—

HILLARY CLINTON: We will not have open borders.

CHRIS WALLACE: Well, let me—Secretary—

HILLARY CLINTON: That is a rank mischaracterization.

CHRIS WALLACE: Secretary Clinton—

DONALD TRUMP: Is that what you call it?

HILLARY CLINTON: We will have secure borders, but we will also have reform. And this used to be a bipartisan issue. Ronald Reagan was the last president—

CHRIS WALLACE: Secretary Clinton, excuse me. Secretary Clinton?

HILLARY CLINTON: —to sign immigration reform, and George W. Bush supported it, as well.

CHRIS WALLACE: Secretary Clinton, I want to clear up your position on this issue, because in a speech you gave to a Brazilian bank for which you were paid $225,000, we’ve learned from the WikiLeaks that you said this, and I want to quote: “My dream is a hemispheric common market with open trade and open borders.” So, that’s the question—

DONALD TRUMP: Thank you.

CHRIS WALLACE: That’s the question. Please, quiet, everybody. Is that your dream, open borders?

HILLARY CLINTON: Well, if you went on to read the rest of the sentence, I was talking about energy. You know, we trade more energy with our neighbors than we trade with the rest of the world combined. And I do want us to have a—an electric grid, an energy system that crosses borders. I think that would be a great benefit to us.

But you are very clearly quoting from WikiLeaks. And what’s really important about WikiLeaks is that the Russian government has engaged in espionage against Americans. They have hacked American websites, American accounts of private people, of institutions. Then they have given that information to WikiLeaks for the purpose of putting it on the internet. This has come from the highest levels of the Russian government, clearly from Putin himself, in an effort, as 17 of our intelligence agencies have confirmed, to influence our election.

So I actually think the most important question of this evening, Chris, is: Finally, will Donald Trump admit and condemn that the Russians are doing this, and make it clear that he will not have the help of Putin in this election, that he rejects Russian espionage against Americans, which he actually encouraged in the past? Those are the questions we need answered. We’ve never had anything like this happen—


HILLARY CLINTON: —in any of our elections before.

DONALD TRUMP: That was a great pivot off the fact that she wants open borders, OK? How did we get on to Putin?

CHRIS WALLACE: Hold on. Hold on.

DONALD TRUMP: No, no. That—

CHRIS WALLACE: Wait, wait. Hold on, folks, because we could—this is going to end up getting out of control. Let’s try to keep it quiet so—for the candidates and for the American people. Go ahead.

DONALD TRUMP: So, just to finish on the borders—


DONALD TRUMP: She wants open borders. People are going to pour into our country. People are going to come in from Syria. She wants 550 percent more people than Barack Obama, and he has thousands and thousands of people. They have no idea where they come from. And you see. We are going to stop radical Islamic terrorism in this country. She won’t even mention the words, and neither will President Obama. So, I just want to tell you: She wants open borders.

Now we can talk about Putin. I don’t know Putin. He said nice things about me. If we got along well, that would be good. If Russia and the United States got along well and went after ISIS, that would be good. He has no respect for her. He has no respect for our president. And I’ll tell you what: We’re in very serious trouble, because we have a country with tremendous numbers of nuclear warheads—1,800, by the way—where they expanded and we didn’t—1,800 nuclear warheads. And she’s playing chicken. Look, Putin—


DONALD TRUMP: —from everything I see, has no respect for this person.

HILLARY CLINTON: Well, that’s because he’d rather have a puppet as president of the United States.

DONALD TRUMP: No puppet. No puppet.

HILLARY CLINTON: And it’s pretty clear—

DONALD TRUMP: You’re the puppet!

HILLARY CLINTON: It’s pretty clear you won’t admit that the Russians—

DONALD TRUMP: No, you’re the puppet.

HILLARY CLINTON: —have engaged in cyber-attacks against the United States of America, that you encouraged espionage against our people, that you are willing to spout the Putin line, sign up for his wish list, break up NATO, do whatever he wants to do, and that you continue to get help from him, because he has a very clear favorite in this race.

So, I think that this is such an unprecedented situation. We’ve never had a foreign government trying to interfere in our election. We have 17—17 intelligence agencies, civilian and military, who have all concluded that these espionage attacks, these cyber-attacks, come from the highest levels of the Kremlin, and they are designed to influence our election. I find that deeply disturbing.

CHRIS WALLACE: Secretary Clinton—

HILLARY CLINTON: And I think it’s time that you take a stand, because if—

DONALD TRUMP: She has no idea whether it’s Russia, China or anybody else.

HILLARY CLINTON: I am not quoting myself. I am quoting 17—

DONALD TRUMP: She has no idea. Hillary, you have no idea.

HILLARY CLINTON: Seventeen—do you doubt? Seventeen military and civilian agencies.

DONALD TRUMP: Our country has no idea.


DONALD TRUMP: Yeah, I doubt it. I doubt it.

HILLARY CLINTON: He’d rather believe Vladimir Putin than the military and civilian intelligence professionals who are sworn to protect us. I find that just absolutely frightening.

CHRIS WALLACE: Secretary, Mr. Trump—

DONALD TRUMP: She doesn’t like Putin, because Putin has—


DONALD TRUMP: —outsmarted her at every step of the way.


DONALD TRUMP: Excuse me. Putin has outsmarted her in Syria.

CHRIS WALLACE: Mr. Trump—Mr. Trump, I’m not a potted plant.

DONALD TRUMP: He’s outsmarted her every step of the way.

CHRIS WALLACE: I do get to ask—I do get to ask some questions.

DONALD TRUMP: Yes, that’s fine.

CHRIS WALLACE: And I would like to ask you this direct question. The top national security officials of this country do believe that Russia has been behind these hacks. Even if you don’t know for sure whether they are, do you condemn any interference by Russia in the American election?

DONALD TRUMP: By Russia or anybody else.

CHRIS WALLACE: You condemn their interference?

DONALD TRUMP: Of course I condemn. Of course I—I don’t know Putin. I have no idea.

CHRIS WALLACE: I’m not asking you that. I’m asking do you condemn?

DONALD TRUMP: I never met Putin. This is not my best friend. But if the United States got along with Russia, wouldn’t be so bad. Let me tell you, Putin has outsmarted her and Obama at every single step of the way, whether it’s Syria, you name it. Missiles. Take a look at the start up that they signed. The Russians have said, according to many, many reports, “I can’t believe they allowed us to do this.” They create warheads, and we can’t. The Russians can’t believe it. She has been outsmarted by Putin. And all you have to do is look at the Middle East. They’ve taken over. We’ve spent $6 trillion. They’ve taken over the Middle East. She has been outsmarted and outplayed worse than anybody I’ve ever seen in any government whatsoever.

CHRIS WALLACE: We’re a long way away from immigration, but I’m going to let you finish this topic.


CHRIS WALLACE: You got about 45 seconds.


DONALD TRUMP: And she always will be.

HILLARY CLINTON: I find it ironic that he’s raising nuclear weapons. This is a person who has been very cavalier, even casual, about the use of nuclear weapons. He’s—


HILLARY CLINTON: —advocated more countries getting them—Japan, Korea, even Saudi Arabia. He’s said, “Well, if we have them, why don’t we use them,” which I think is terrifying.

But here’s the deal. The bottom line on nuclear weapons is that when the president gives the order, it must be followed. There’s about four minutes between the order being given and the people responsible for launching nuclear weapons to do so. And that’s why 10 people who have had that awesome responsibility have come out and, in an unprecedented way, said they would not trust Donald Trump with the nuclear codes or to have his finger on the nuclear button.

DONALD TRUMP: I have 200 generals—

CHRIS WALLACE: Very quickly.

DONALD TRUMP: —and admirals, 21 endorsing me, 21 congressional Medal of Honor recipients. As far as Japan and other countries, we are being ripped off by everybody in the world. We’re defending other countries. We are spending a fortune doing it. They have the bargain of the century. All I said is, we have to renegotiate these agreements, because our country cannot afford to defend Saudi Arabia, Japan, Germany, South Korea and many other places. We cannot continue to afford. She took that as saying nuclear weapons.


DONALD TRUMP: Look, she’s been proven to be a liar on so many different ways. This is just another lie.

HILLARY CLINTON: Well, I’m just quoting you when you were asked—

DONALD TRUMP: There’s no quote. You’re not going to find a quote from me.

HILLARY CLINTON: —about a potential nuclear—nuclear competition in Asia, you said, you know, “Go ahead. Enjoy yourselves, folks.” That kind—

DONALD TRUMP: And defend yourselves.

HILLARY CLINTON: —of language, that—well—

DONALD TRUMP: And defend yourselves. I didn’t say nuclear. And defend yourself.

HILLARY CLINTON: The United States has kept the peace. The United States has kept the peace through our alliances. Donald wants to tear up our alliances. I think it makes the world safer, and, frankly, it makes the United States safer. I would work with our allies in Asia, in Europe, in the Middle East and elsewhere. That’s the only way we’re going to be able to keep the peace.

CHRIS WALLACE: We’re going to—no, we’re going to—we are going to move on to the next topic, which is the economy. And I hope we handle that as well as we did immigration. You also have very different ideas about how to get the economy growing faster. Secretary Clinton, in your plan, government plays a big role. You see more government spending, more entitlements, more tax credits, more tax penalties. Mr. Trump, you want to get government out with lower taxes and less regulation.


CHRIS WALLACE: We’re going to drill down into this a little bit more. But in this overview, please explain to me why you believe that your plan will create more jobs and growth for this country, and your opponent’s plan will not. In this round, you go first, Secretary Clinton.

HILLARY CLINTON: Well, I think when the middle class thrives, America thrives. And so, my plan is based on growing the economy, giving middle-class families many more opportunities. I want us to have the biggest jobs program since World War II, jobs in infrastructure and advanced manufacturing—I think we can compete with high-wage countries, and I believe we should—new jobs in clean energy, not only to fight climate change, which is a serious problem, but to create new opportunities and new businesses. I want us to do more to help small business. That’s where two-thirds of the new jobs are going to come from. I want us to raise the national minimum wage, because people who live in poverty should not—who work full-time should not still be in poverty. And I sure do want to make sure women get equal pay for the work we do.

I feel strongly that we have to have an education system that starts with preschool and goes through college. That’s why I want more technical education in high schools and in community colleges, real apprenticeships to prepare young people for the jobs of the future. I want to make college debt-free. And for families making less than $125,000, you will not get a tuition bill from a public college or university, if the plan that I worked on with Bernie Sanders is enacted.

And we’re going to work hard to make sure that it is, because we are going to go where the money is. Most of the gains in the last years since the Great Recession have gone to the very top. So, we are going to have the wealthy pay their fair share. We’re going to have corporations make a contribution greater than they are now to our country. That is a plan that has been analyzed by independent experts, which said that it could produce 10 million new jobs.

By contrast, Donald’s plan has been analyzed to conclude it might lose three-and-a-half million jobs. Why? Because his whole plan is to cut taxes, to give the biggest tax breaks ever to the wealthy and to corporations, adding $20 trillion to our debt and causing the kind of dislocation that we have seen before, because it truly will be trickle-down economics on steroids.

So, the plan I have, I think, will actually produce greater opportunities. The plan he has will cost us jobs and possibly lead to another Great Recession.

CHRIS WALLACE: Secretary, thank you. Mr. Trump, why will your plan create more jobs and growth than Secretary Clinton’s?

DONALD TRUMP: Well, first of all, before I start on my plan, her plan is going to raise taxes and even double your taxes. Her tax plan is a disaster. And she can say all she wants about college tuition. And I’m a big proponent. We’re going to do a lot of things for college tuition. But the rest of the public’s going to be paying for it. We will have a massive, massive tax increase under Hillary Clinton’s plan.

But I’d like to start off where we left, because when I said Japan and Germany, and I’m—not to single them out, but South Korea, these are very rich, powerful countries. Saudi Arabia, nothing but money. We protect Saudi Arabia. Why aren’t they paying? She immediately, when she heard this—I questioned it, and I questioned NATO. Why aren’t the NATO questioned? Why aren’t they paying? Because they weren’t paying.

Since I did this—this was a year ago—all of a sudden they’re paying. And I’ve been given a lot of—a lot of credit for it. All of a sudden, they’re starting to pay up. They have to pay up. We’re protecting people. They have to pay up. And I’m a big fan of NATO. But they have to pay up.

She comes out and said, “We love our allies. We think our allies are great.” Well, it’s awfully hard to get them to pay up when you have somebody saying we think how great they are. We have to tell Japan in a very nice way, we have to tell Germany, all of these countries, South Korea—we have to say, “You have to help us out.” We have, during his regime—during President Obama’s regime, we’ve doubled our national debt. We’re up to $20 trillion.

So my plan, we’re going to renegotiate trade deals. We’re going to have a lot of free trade. We’re going to have free trade, more free trade than we have right now. But we have horrible deals. Our jobs are being taken out by the deal that her husband signed, NAFTA, one of the worst deals ever. Our jobs are being sucked out of our economy. You look at all of the places that I just left. You go to Pennsylvania, you go to Ohio, you go to Florida, you go to any of them. You go upstate New York. Our jobs have fled to Mexico and other places. We’re bringing our jobs back. I am going to renegotiate NAFTA. And if I can’t make a great deal, then we’re going to terminate NAFTA, and we’re going to create new deals. We’re going to have trade, but we’re going—we’re going to terminate it. We’re going to make a great trade deal.

And if we can’t, we’re going to do it—we’re going to go a separate way, because it has been a disaster. We are going to cut taxes massively. We’re going to cut business taxes massively. They’re going to start hiring people. We’re going to bring the two-and-a-half trillion dollars—

CHRIS WALLACE: Time, Mr. Trump.

DONALD TRUMP: —that’s offshore back into the country. We are going to start the engine rolling again, because right now—


DONALD TRUMP: —our country is dying at 1 percent GDP.

HILLARY CLINTON: Well, let me translate that, if I can, Chris, because—

DONALD TRUMP: You can’t.

HILLARY CLINTON: —the fact is, he’s going to advocate for the largest tax cuts we’ve ever seen, three times more than the tax cuts under the Bush administration. I have said repeatedly throughout this campaign, I will not raise taxes on anyone making $250,000 or less. I also will not add a penny to the debt. I have costed out what I’m going to do. He will, through his massive tax cuts, add $20 trillion to the debt.

Well, he mentioned the debt. We know how to get control of the debt. When my husband was president, we went from a $300 billion deficit to a $200 billion surplus, and we were actually on the path to eliminating the national debt. When President Obama came into office, he inherited the worst economic disaster since the Great Depression. He has cut the deficit by two-thirds.

So, yes, one of the ways you go after the debt, one of the ways you create jobs, is by investing in people. So, I do have investments, investments in new jobs, investments in education, skill training, and the opportunities for people to get ahead and stay ahead. That’s the kind of approach—


HILLARY CLINTON: —that will work. Cutting taxes on the wealthy, we’ve tried that.


HILLARY CLINTON: It has not worked the way that it has been promised.

CHRIS WALLACE: Secretary Clinton, I want to pursue your plan, because in many ways it is similar to the Obama stimulus plan in 2009, which has led to the slowest GDP growth since 1949.


CHRIS WALLACE: Thank you, sir. You told me in July, when we spoke, that the problem is that President Obama didn’t get to do enough in what he was trying to do with his stimulus. So, is your plan basically more—even more of the Obama stimulus?

HILLARY CLINTON: Well, it’s a combination, Chris. And let me say that when you inherit the level of economic catastrophe that President Obama inherited, it was a real touch-and-go situation. I was in the Senate before I became secretary of state. I’ve never seen people as physically distraught as the Bush administration team was because of what was happening to the economy. I personally believe that the steps that President Obama took saved the economy. He doesn’t get the credit he deserves for taking some very hard positions. But it was a terrible recession.

So now we’ve dug ourselves out of it. We’re standing, but we’re not yet running. So what I am proposing is that we invest from the middle out and the ground up, not the top down. That is not going to work. That’s why what I have put forward doesn’t add a penny to the debt, but it is the kind of approach that will enable more people to take those new jobs, higher-paying jobs. We’re beginning to see some increase in incomes, and we certainly have had a long string—


HILLARY CLINTON: —of increasing jobs. We’ve got to do more to get the whole economy moving, and that’s what I believe I will be able to do.

CHRIS WALLACE: Mr. Trump, even conservative economists who have looked at your plan say that the numbers don’t add up, that your idea—and you’ve talked about 25 million jobs created, 4 percent—

DONALD TRUMP: Over a 10-year period.

CHRIS WALLACE: —growth—is unrealistic. And they say—you talk a lot about growing the energy industry. They say with oil prices as low as they are right now, that’s unrealistic, as well. Your response, sir?

DONALD TRUMP: So I just left some high representatives of India. They’re growing at 8 percent. China is growing at 7 percent. And that, for them, is a catastrophically low number. We are growing—our last report came out—and it’s right around the 1 percent level, and I think it’s going down. Last week, as you know, the end of last week, they came out with an anemic jobs report, a terrible jobs report. In fact, I said, “Is that the last jobs report before the election? Because if it is, I should win easily.” It was so bad. The report was so bad.

Look, our country is stagnant. We’ve lost our jobs. We’ve lost our businesses. We’re not making things anymore, relatively speaking. Our product is pouring in from China, pouring in from Vietnam, pouring in from all over the world.

I’ve visited so many communities. This has been such an incredible education for me, Chris. I’ve gotten to know so many—I’ve developed so many friends over the last year. And they cry when they see what’s happened. I pass factories that were thriving 20, 25 years ago, and because of the bill that her husband signed and she blessed 100 percent, it is just horrible what’s happened to these people in these communities. Now, she can say that her husband did well, but, boy, did they suffer as NAFTA kicked in, because it didn’t really kick in very much, but it kicked in after they left. Boy, did they suffer. That was one of the worst things that’s ever been signed by our country.

Now she wants to sign Trans-Pacific Partnership. And she wants it. She lied when she said she didn’t call it the gold standard in one of the debates. She totally lied. She did call it the gold standard. And they actually fact-checked, and they said I was right. I was so honored.

CHRIS WALLACE: I want you to give you a chance to briefly speak to that, then I want to pivot to one-sixth of the economy—

DONALD TRUMP: And that will be as bad as NAFTA.

CHRIS WALLACE: —which is Obamacare. But go ahead, briefly.

HILLARY CLINTON: Well, first, let me say, number one, when I saw the final agreement for TPP, I said I was against it. It didn’t meet my test. I’ve had the same test. Does it create jobs, raise incomes and further our national security? I’m against it now. I’ll be against it after the election. I’ll be against it when I’m president.

There’s only one of us on this stage who’s actually shipped jobs to Mexico, because that’s Donald. He’s shipped jobs to 12 countries, including Mexico. But he mentioned China. And, you know, one of the biggest problems we have with China is the illegal dumping of steel and aluminum into our markets. I have fought against that as a senator. I’ve stood up against it as secretary of state. Donald has bought Chinese steel and aluminum. In fact, the Trump Hotel right here in Las Vegas was made with Chinese steel. So he goes around with crocodile tears about how terrible it is, but he has given jobs to Chinese steelworkers, not American steelworkers.


HILLARY CLINTON: That’s the kind of approach—

DONALD TRUMP: Well, let me just say—let me just say.

HILLARY CLINTON: —that is just not going to work.


HILLARY CLINTON: We’re going to pull the country together. We’re going to have trade agreements that we enforce. That’s why I’m going to have a trade prosecutor for the first time in history. And we’re going to enforce those agreements, and we’re going to look for businesses to help us by buying American products.

CHRIS WALLACE: Secretary Clinton? Go ahead, Mr. Trump.

DONALD TRUMP: I ask a simple question. She’s been doing this for 30 years. Why the hell didn’t you do it over the last 15, 20 years?


DONALD TRUMP: You were very much involved—excuse me. My turn. You were very much involved in every aspect of this country. Very much. And you do have experience. I say the one thing you have over me is experience, but it’s bad experience, because what you’ve done has turned out badly. For 30 years, you’ve been in position to help, and if you say that I use steel or I use something else, I—make it impossible for me to do that. I wouldn’t mind. The problem is, you talk, but you don’t get anything done, Hillary. You don’t. Just like when you ran the State Department, $6 billion was missing. How do you miss $6 billion? You ran the State Department. Six billion dollars was either stolen—they don’t know. It’s gone, $6 billion. If you become president, this country is going to be in some mess. Believe me.

HILLARY CLINTON: Well, first of all, what he just said about the State Department is not only untrue, it’s been debunked numerous times.

But I think it’s really an important issue. He raised the 30 years of experience, so let me just talk briefly about that. You know, back in the 1970s, I worked for the Children’s Defense Fund, and I was taking on discrimination against African-American kids in schools. He was getting sued by the Justice Department for racial discrimination in his apartment buildings. In the 1980s, I was working to reform the schools in Arkansas. He was borrowing $14 million from his father to start his businesses. In the 1990s, I went to Beijing, and I said women’s rights are human rights. He insulted a former Miss Universe, Alicia Machado, called her an “eating machine.”

DONALD TRUMP: Give me a break.

HILLARY CLINTON: And on the day when I was in the Situation Room monitoring the raid that brought Osama bin Laden to justice, he was hosting the Celebrity Apprentice. So, I’m happy to compare my 30 years of experience, what I’ve done for this country, trying to help in every way I could, especially kids and families get ahead and stay ahead, with your 30 years, and I’ll let the American people make that decision.

DONALD TRUMP: Well, I think I did a much better job. I built a massive company, a great company, some of the greatest assets anywhere in the world, worth many, many billions of dollars. I started with a $1 million loan. I agree with that. It’s a $1 million loan. But I built a phenomenal company. And if we could run our country the way I’ve run my company, we would have a country that you would be so proud of. You would even be proud of it.

And frankly, when you look at her real record, take a look at Syria. Take a look at the migration. Take a look at Libya. Take a look at Iraq. She gave us ISIS, because her and Obama created this huge vacuum, and a small group came out of that huge vacuum, because when they—we should never have been in Iraq, but once we were there, we should have never got out the way they wanted to get out. She gave us ISIS, as sure as you are sitting there. And what happened is now ISIS is in 32 countries. And now I listen how she’s going to get rid of ISIS. She’s going to get rid of nobody.

CHRIS WALLACE: All right. We are going to get to foreign hot spots in a few moments, but the next segment is fitness to be president of the United States. Mr. Trump, at the last debate, you said your talk about grabbing women was just that—talk—and that you’d never actually done it. And since then, as we all know, nine women have come forward and said that you either groped them or kissed them without their consent. Why would so many different women from so many different circumstances over so many different years—why would they all, in this last couple of weeks, make up—you deny this—why would they all make up these stories? And since this is a question for both of you, Secretary Clinton, Mr. Trump says what your husband did and that you defended was even worse. Mr. Trump, you go first.

DONALD TRUMP: Well, first of all, those stories have been largely debunked. Those people, I don’t know those people. I have a feeling how they came. I believe it was her campaign that did it, just like if you look at what came out today on the clips, where I was wondering what happened with my rally in Chicago and other rallies where we had such violence. She’s the one, and Obama, that caused the violence. They hired people. They paid them $1,500. And they’re on tape saying, “Be violent. Cause fights. Do bad things.”

I would say the only way—because those stories are all totally false, I have to say that. And I didn’t even apologize to my wife, who’s sitting right here, because I didn’t do anything. I didn’t know any of these women. I didn’t see these women. These women—the woman on the plane, the woman—I think they want either fame, or her campaign did it.

And I think it’s her campaign, because what I saw—what they did, which is a criminal act, by the way, where they’re telling people to go out and start fist fights and start violence—and I’ll tell you what. In particular in Chicago, people were hurt and people could have been killed in that riot. And that was—now, all on tape—started by her. I believe, Chris, that she got these people to step forward. If it wasn’t, they get their 10 minutes of fame. But they were all totally—it was all fiction. It was lies, and it was fiction.


CHRIS WALLACE: Secretary Clinton?

HILLARY CLINTON: At the last debate, we heard Donald talking about what he did to women. And after that, a number of women have come forward saying that’s exactly what he did to them. Now, what was his response? Well, he held a number of big rallies where he said that he could not possibly have done those things to those women, because they were not attractive enough for them to be assaulted.

DONALD TRUMP: I did not say that. I did not say that.

HILLARY CLINTON: In fact, he went on to say—

CHRIS WALLACE: Her two minutes—sir, her two minutes. Her two minutes.

DONALD TRUMP: But did not say that.

CHRIS WALLACE: It’s her two minutes.

HILLARY CLINTON: He went on to say, “Look at her. I don’t think so.” About another woman, he said, “That wouldn’t be my first choice.” He attacked the woman reporter writing the story, called her “disgusting,” as he has called a number of women during this campaign. Donald thinks belittling women makes him bigger. He goes after their dignity, their self-worth. And I don’t think there is a woman anywhere who doesn’t know what that feels like. So we now know what Donald thinks and what he says and how he acts toward women. That’s who Donald is.

I think it’s really up to all of us to demonstrate who we are and who our country is, and to stand up and be very clear about what we expect from our next president, how we want to bring our country together, where we don’t want to have the kind of pitting of people one against the other, where instead we celebrate our diversity, we lift people up, and we make our country even greater. America is great, because America is good. And it really is up to all of us to make that true, now and in the future, and particularly for our children and our grandchildren.


DONALD TRUMP: Nobody has more respect for women than I do. Nobody. Nobody has more respect.

CHRIS WALLACE: Please, everybody.

DONALD TRUMP: And frankly, those stories have been largely debunked. And I really want to just talk about something slightly different. She mentions this, which is all fiction, all fictionalized, probably or possibly started by her and her very sleazy campaign. But I will tell you, what isn’t fictionalized are her emails, where she destroyed 33,000 emails criminally—criminally—after getting a subpoena from the United States Congress.

What happened to the FBI? I don’t know. We have a great general, four-star general, today—you read it in all the papers—going to potentially serve five years in jail for lying to the FBI. One lie. She’s lied hundreds of times to the people, to Congress and to the FBI. He’s going to probably go to jail. This is a four-star general. And she gets away with it, and she can run for the presidency of the United States? That’s really what you should be talking about, not fiction, where somebody wants fame or where they come out of her crooked campaign.

CHRIS WALLACE: Secretary Clinton?

HILLARY CLINTON: Well, every time Donald is pushed on something which is obviously uncomfortable, like what these women are saying, he immediately goes to denying responsibility. And it’s not just about women. He never apologizes or says he’s sorry for anything. So we know what he has said and what he’s done to women. But he also went after a disabled reporter, mocked and mimicked him—


HILLARY CLINTON: —on national television. He went after Mr. and Mrs. Khan, the parents of a young man who died serving our country, a Gold Star family, because of their religion. He went after John McCain, a prisoner of war, said he prefers people who aren’t captured. He went after a federal judge, born in Indiana, but who Donald said couldn’t be trusted to try the fraud and racketeering case against Trump University because his parents were Mexican.

So, it’s not one thing. This is a pattern, a pattern of divisiveness, of a very dark and, in many ways, dangerous vision of our country, where he incites violence, where he applauds people who are pushing and pulling and punching at his rallies. That is not who America is. And I hope that as we move in the last weeks of this campaign, more and more people will understand what’s at stake in this election. It really does come down to what kind of country we are going to have.

DONALD TRUMP: So sad when she talks about violence at my rallies, and she caused the violence. It’s on tape.

CHRIS WALLACE: During the last—

DONALD TRUMP: The other things are false, but, honestly, I’d love to talk about getting rid of ISIS, and I’d love to talk about other things.


DONALD TRUMP: But those other charges, as she knows, are false.

CHRIS WALLACE: In this bucket about fitness to be president, there’s been a lot of developments over the last 10 days, since the last debate. I’d like to ask you about—about them. These are questions that the American people have.

Secretary Clinton, during your 2009 Senate confirmation hearing, you promised to avoid even the appearance of a conflict of interest with your dealing with the Clinton Foundation while you were secretary of state, but emails show that donors got special access to you. Those seeking grants for Haiti relief were considered separately from non-donors, and some of those donors got contract—government contracts, taxpayer money. Can you really say that you kept your pledge to that Senate committee? And why isn’t what happened and what went on between you and the Clinton Foundation—why isn’t it what Mr. Trump calls “pay to play”?

HILLARY CLINTON: Well, everything I did as secretary of state was in furtherance of our country’s interests and our values. The State Department has said that. I think that’s been proven.

But I am happy, in fact, I am thrilled, to talk about the Clinton Foundation, because it is a world-renowned charity, and I am so proud of the work that it does. You know, I could talk for the rest of the debate; I know I don’t have the time to do that. But, just briefly, the Clinton Foundation made it possible for 11 million people around the world with HIV/AIDS to afford treatment, and that’s about half of all the people in the world who are getting treatment. In partnership with the American Health Association—

CHRIS WALLACE: Secretary Clinton—

HILLARY CLINTON: —we have made environments in schools healthier for kids, including healthier lunches.

CHRIS WALLACE: Secretary Clinton, respectfully, this is—this is an open discussion.

HILLARY CLINTON: Well, it is an open discussion. And you—

CHRIS WALLACE: I understand. And the specific question went to pay for play. Do you want to talk about that, Mr. Trump?

HILLARY CLINTON: Well, but there is no—

DONALD TRUMP: Well, I think—

HILLARY CLINTON: But there is no evidence—but there is—

DONALD TRUMP: Look, I think that it’s been very well studied—

CHRIS WALLACE: Let’s ask Mr. Trump.

HILLARY CLINTON: There is a lot of evidence about the very good work—

DONALD TRUMP: It’s been very well studied.

HILLARY CLINTON: —and the high rankings—

DONALD TRUMP: And it’s a criminal enterprise, and so many people know it.

CHRIS WALLACE: Please let Mr. Trump speak.

HILLARY CLINTON: —that the children—that the Clinton Foundation have gotten for their work.

DONALD TRUMP: It’s a criminal enterprise. Saudi Arabia giving $25 million, Qatar, all of these countries. You talk about women and women’s rights? So, these are people that push gays off business—off buildings. These are people that kill women and treat women horribly. And yet you take their money. So I’d like to ask you right now: Why don’t you give back the money that you’ve taken from certain countries that treat certain groups of people so horribly? Why don’t you give back the money? I think it would be a great gesture.


DONALD TRUMP: Because she takes a tremendous amount of money. And you take a look at the people of Haiti. I was in Little Haiti the other day in Florida. And I want to tell you, they hate the Clintons, because what’s happened in Haiti with the Clinton Foundation is a disgrace. And you know it, and they know it, and everybody knows it.

CHRIS WALLACE: Secretary Clinton?

HILLARY CLINTON: Well, very quickly, we at the Clinton Foundation spend 90 percent—90 percent—of all the money that is donated on behalf of programs of people around the world and in our own country. I’m very proud of that. We have the highest rating from the watchdogs that follow foundations. And I’d be happy to compare what we do with the Trump Foundation, which took money from other people and bought a six-foot portrait of Donald. I mean, who does that? It just was astonishing.

But when it comes to Haiti, Haiti is the poorest country in our hemisphere. The earthquake and the hurricanes, it has devastated Haiti. Bill and I have been involved in trying to help Haiti for many years. The Clinton Foundation raised $30 million to help Haiti after the catastrophic earthquake and all of the terrible problems the people there had. We’ve done things to help small businesses, agriculture and so much else. And we’re going to keep working to help Haiti—


HILLARY CLINTON: —because it’s an important part of the American experience.


DONALD TRUMP: They don’t want you to help them anymore.

CHRIS WALLACE: I wanted—I want to—

DONALD TRUMP: I’d like to—I’d like to mention one thing. Trump Foundation, small foundation. People contribute, I contribute. The money goes 100 percent—100 percent goes to different charities, including a lot of military. I don’t get anything. I don’t buy boats. I don’t buy planes. What happens is, the money goes in—

CHRIS WALLACE: Wasn’t some of the money—wasn’t some of the money used to settle your lawsuits, sir?

DONALD TRUMP: No, it was—we put up the American flag. And that’s it. They put up the American flag. We fought for the right in Palm Beach to put up the American flag.

CHRIS WALLACE: Right, but there was a—there was a penalty that was imposed by Palm Beach County.

DONALD TRUMP: There was.

CHRIS WALLACE: And the money came from your foundation—

DONALD TRUMP: There was. And, by the way, the money—

CHRIS WALLACE: —instead of Mar-a-Lago or yourself, sir.

DONALD TRUMP: —the money went to Fisher House, where they build houses—the money that you’re talking about went to Fisher House, where they build houses for veterans and disabled vets.

CHRIS WALLACE: I want to get into one last—

HILLARY CLINTON: But, of course, there’s no way we can know whether any of that is true, because he hasn’t released his tax returns. He is the first candidate ever to run for president, in the last 40-plus years, who has not released his tax returns. So, everything he says about charity or anything else, we can’t prove it. You can look at our tax returns. We’ve got them all out there.

But what is really troubling is that we learned in the last debate he has not paid a penny in federal income tax. And we were talking about immigrants a few minutes ago, Chris. You know, half of all immigrants, undocumented immigrants in our country, actually pay federal income tax. So, we have undocumented immigrants in America who are paying more federal income tax than a billionaire.

CHRIS WALLACE: I want to ask—

HILLARY CLINTON: I find that just astonishing.

DONALD TRUMP: So let me just tell you, very simply, we’re entitled, because of the laws that people like her pass, to take massive amounts of depreciation on other charges, and we do it. And all of her donors, just about all of them—I know Buffett took hundreds of millions of dollars. Soros, George Soros, took hundreds of millions of dollars.


DONALD TRUMP: Let me just explain.

CHRIS WALLACE: But, no, but we’ve heard this—

DONALD TRUMP: All of her donors—most of her donors—


DONALD TRUMP: —have done the same thing as I do.


HILLARY CLINTON: Well, in fact—

DONALD TRUMP: And you know what she should have done?

CHRIS WALLACE: Folks, we heard this in—

DONALD TRUMP: And, you know, Hillary, what you should have done? You should have changed the law when you were a United States senator, if you don’t like it.

CHRIS WALLACE: Folks, we heard this—


DONALD TRUMP: —because your donors and your special interests are doing the same thing as I do, except even more so.

HILLARY CLINTON: Well, you know—

DONALD TRUMP: You should have changed the law. But you won’t change the law, because you take in so much money. I mean, I sat in my apartment today on a very beautiful hotel down the street, known as Trump—

HILLARY CLINTON: Made with Chinese steel.

DONALD TRUMP: But I will tell you, I sat there. I sat there watching ad after ad after ad—false ad—all paid for by your friends on Wall Street that gave so much money because they know you’re going to protect them. And, frankly, you should have changed the laws.


DONALD TRUMP: If you don’t like what I did, you should have changed the laws.

CHRIS WALLACE: Mr. Trump, I want to ask you about one last question in this topic. You have been warning at rallies recently that this election is rigged and that Hillary Clinton is in the process of trying to steal it from you. Your running mate, Governor Pence, pledged on Sunday that he and you—his words—”will absolutely accept the result of this election.” Today, your daughter Ivanka said the same thing. I want to ask you here on the stage tonight: Do you make the same commitment that you will absolutely—sir, that you will absolutely accept the result of this election?

DONALD TRUMP: I will look at it at the time. I’m not looking at anything now. I’ll look at it at the time. What I’ve seen—what I’ve seen is so bad. First of all, the media is so so dishonest and so corrupt, and the pile-on is so amazing. The New York Times actually wrote an article about it, that they don’t even care. It’s so dishonest. And they’ve poisoned the minds of the voters. But unfortunately for them, I think the voters are seeing through it. I think they’re going to see through it. We’ll find out on November 8th, but I think they’re going to see through it.

CHRIS WALLACE: But, sir, there’s a—

DONALD TRUMP: If you look—excuse me, Chris—if you look at your voter rolls, you will see millions of people that are registered to vote—millions—this isn’t coming from me; this is coming from Pew report and other places—millions of people that are registered to vote that shouldn’t be registered to vote.

So, let me just give you one other thing. So I talk about the corrupt media. I talk about the millions of people. Tell you one other thing: She shouldn’t be allowed to run. It’s crook—she’s—she’s guilty of a very, very serious crime. She should not be allowed to run. And just in that respect, I say it’s rigged, because she should never—


DONALD TRUMP: Chris, she should never have been allowed to run for the presidency based on what she did with emails and so many other things.

CHRIS WALLACE: But, sir, there is a tradition in this country—in fact, one of the prides of this country is the peaceful transition of power and that no matter how hard-fought a campaign is, that at the end of the campaign, that the loser concedes to the winner—not saying that you’re necessarily going to be the loser or the winner, but that the loser concedes to the winner and that the country comes together, in part for the good of the country. Are you saying you’re not prepared now to commit to that principle?

DONALD TRUMP: What I’m saying is that I will tell you at the time. I’ll keep you in suspense. OK?

HILLARY CLINTON: Well, Chris, let me respond to that, because that’s horrifying. You know, every time Donald thinks things are not going in his direction, he claims whatever it is is rigged against him.

The FBI conducted a year-long investigation into my emails. They concluded there was no case. He said the FBI was rigged. He lost the Iowa caucus. He lost the Wisconsin primary. He said the Republican primary was rigged against him. Then Trump University gets sued for fraud and racketeering. He claims the court system and the federal judge is rigged against him. There was even a time when he didn’t get an Emmy for his TV program three years in a row, and he started tweeting that the Emmys were rigged against him.

DONALD TRUMP: Should have gotten it.

HILLARY CLINTON: This—this is a mindset. This is—this is how Donald thinks. And it’s funny, but it’s also really troubling.


HILLARY CLINTON: No, that is not the way our democracy works. We’ve been around for 240 years. We’ve had free and fair elections. We’ve accepted the outcomes when we may not have liked them. And that is what must be expected of anyone standing on a debate stage during a general election.

You know, President Obama said the other day, when you’re whining before the game is even finished—

CHRIS WALLACE: Hold on, folks. Hold on, folks.

HILLARY CLINTON: —it just shows you’re not up to doing the job. And let’s—you know, let’s be clear about what he is saying and what that means. He is denigrating, he’s talking down our democracy. And I, for one, am appalled that somebody who is the nominee of one of our two major parties would take that kind of position.

DONALD TRUMP: I think what the FBI did and what the Department of Justice did, including meeting, with her husband, the attorney general in the back of an airplane on the tarmac in Arizona—I think it’s disgraceful. I think it’s a disgrace.


DONALD TRUMP: I think we’ve never had a situation so bad in this country.

CHRIS WALLACE: Hold on, folks. This doesn’t do any good for anyone. Let’s please continue the debate, and let’s move on to the subject of foreign hot spots.

The Iraqi offensive to take back Mosul has begun. If they are successful in pushing ISIS out of that city and out of all of Iraq, the question then becomes: What happens the day after? And that’s something that whichever of you ends up—whoever of you ends up as president is going to have to confront. Will you put U.S. troops into that vacuum to make sure that ISIS doesn’t come back or isn’t replaced by something even worse? Secretary Clinton, you go first in this segment. You have two minutes.

HILLARY CLINTON: Well, I am encouraged that there is an effort, led by the Iraqi army, supported by Kurdish forces, and also given the help and advice from the number of special forces and other Americans on the ground. But I will not support putting American soldiers into Iraq as an occupying force. I don’t think that is in our interest, and I don’t think that would be smart to do. In fact, Chris, I think that would be a big red flag waving for ISIS to reconstitute itself.

The goal here is to take back Mosul—it’s going to be a hard fight, I’ve got no illusions about that—and then continue to press into Syria to begin to take back and move on Raqqa, which is the ISIS headquarters. I am hopeful that the hard work that American military advisers have done will pay off and that we will see a real—a really successful military operation. But we know we’ve got lots of work to do. Syria will remain a hotbed of terrorism as long as the civil war, aided and abetted by the Iranians and the Russians, continue.

So, I have said, “Look, we need to keep our eye on ISIS.” That’s why I want to have an intelligence surge that protects us here at home, why we have to go after them from the air, on the ground, online, why we have to make sure here at home we don’t let terrorists buy weapons. If you’re too dangerous to fly, you’re too dangerous to buy a gun.

And I’m going to continue to push for a no-fly zone and safe havens within Syria not only to help protect the Syrians and prevent the constant outflow of refugees, but to, frankly, gain some leverage on both the Syrian government and the Russians so that perhaps we can have the kind of serious negotiation necessary to bring the conflict to an end and go forward on a political track.

CHRIS WALLACE: Mr. Trump, same question. If we are able to push ISIS out of Mosul and out of Iraq, will—would you be willing to put U.S. troops in there to prevent their return or something else?

DONALD TRUMP: Let me tell you, Mosul is so sad. We had Mosul. But when she left, when she took everybody out, we lost Mosul. Now we’re fighting again to get Mosul. The problem with Mosul and what they wanted to do is they wanted to get the leaders of ISIS, who they felt were in Mosul.

About three months ago, I started reading that they want to get the leaders, and they’re going to attack Mosul. Whatever happened to the element of surprise? OK? We announce we’re going after Mosul. I’ve been reading about going after Mosul now for about—how long is it, Hillary? Three months? These people have all left. They’ve all left. The element of surprise. Douglas MacArthur, George Patton, spinning in their graves when they see the stupidity of our country. So we’re now fighting for Mosul—that we had. All she had to do was stay there. Now we’re going in to get it.

But you know who the big winner in Mosul is going to be after we eventually get it? And the only reason they did it is because she’s running for the office of president, and they want to look tough. They want to look good. He violated the red line in the sand, and he made so many mistakes, made all mistakes. That’s why we have the great migration. But she wanted to look good for the election. So they’re going in. But who’s going to get Mosul, really? We’ll take Mosul eventually. By the way, if you look at what’s happening, much tougher than they thought. Much, much tougher. Much more dangerous. Going to be more deaths than they thought.

But the leaders that we wanted to get are all gone, because they’re smart. They say, “What do we need this for?” So Mosul is going to be a wonderful thing. And Iran should write us a letter of thank you, just like the really stupid—the stupidest deal of all time, a deal that’s going to give Iran absolutely nuclear weapons. Iran should write us yet another letter saying, “Thank you very much,” because Iran—as I said many years ago, Iran is taking over Iraq, something they’ve wanted to do forever, but we’ve made it so easy for them.

So we’re now going to take Mosul. And do you know who’s going to be the beneficiary? Iran. Boy, are they making—I mean, they are outsmarting—look, you’re not there. You might be involved in that decision. But you were there when you took everybody out of Mosul and out of Iraq. You shouldn’t have been in Iraq, but you did vote for it. You shouldn’t have been in Iraq, but once you were in Iraq, you should have never left the way.

CHRIS WALLACE: Sir, your two minutes are up.

DONALD TRUMP: The point is, the big winner is going to be Iran.

HILLARY CLINTON: Well, you know, once again, Donald is implying that he didn’t support the invasion of Iraq. I said it was a mistake. I’ve said that years ago. He has consistently denied what is—


HILLARY CLINTON: —a very clear fact that—


HILLARY CLINTON: —before the invasion, he supported it. And, you know, I just want everybody to go google it. Google “Donald Trump Iraq,” and you will see the dozens of sources which verify that he was for the invasion of Iraq.


HILLARY CLINTON: And you can actually hear the audio of him saying that. Now, why does that matter? Well, it matters because he has not told the truth about that position. I guess he believes it makes him look better now to contrast with me because I did vote for it.

But what’s really important here is to understand all the interplay. Mosul is a Sunni city. Mosul is on the border of Syria. And, yes, we do need to go after Baghdadi, and—just like we went after bin Laden, while you were doing Celebrity Apprentice, and we brought him to justice. We need to go after the leadership. But we need to get rid of them, get rid of their fighters, their estimated several thousand fighters in Mosul. They’ve been digging underground. They’ve been prepared to defend. It’s going to be tough fighting. But I think we can take back Mosul, and then we can move on into Syria and take back Raqqa.

This is what we have to do. I’m—I’m just amazed that he seems to think that the Iraqi government and our allies and everybody else launched the attack on Mosul to help me in this election, but that’s how Donald thinks, you know? He always—


HILLARY CLINTON: —is looking for some conspiracy.

DONALD TRUMP: Chris, we don’t gain anything.

HILLARY CLINTON: He has all his conspiracy theories and—

DONALD TRUMP: Iran is taking over Iraq.

CHRIS WALLACE: Secretary Clinton, it’s—

HILLARY CLINTON: —his conspiracy theories, which he’s—

DONALD TRUMP: Iran is taking over Iraq. We don’t gain anything.

CHRIS WALLACE: Secretary Clinton?

HILLARY CLINTON: —been spewing out for quite some time.

DONALD TRUMP: We would have gained, if they did it by surprise.

CHRIS WALLACE: Wait, wait, wait, wait. Secretary Clinton, it’s an open discussion. Let—

HILLARY CLINTON: And he says he—


HILLARY CLINTON: He says he’s now—

DONALD TRUMP: We could have gained, if they did it by surprise. They did not do it that way.

HILLARY CLINTON: —unshackled. I think he’s—

CHRIS WALLACE: Secretary, please let Mr. Trump speak. Go ahead.

HILLARY CLINTON: —unfit, and he proves it every time he talks.

DONALD TRUMP: No, you are the one that’s unfit. You know, WikiLeaks just actually came out—John Podesta said some horrible things about you, and, boy, was he right. He said some beauties. And, you know, Bernie Sanders, he said you have bad judgment. You do.

And if you think that going into Mosul, after we let the world know we’re going in, and all of the people that we really wanted, the leaders, they’re all gone—if you think that was good, then you do. Now, John Podesta said you have terrible instincts. Bernie Sanders said you have bad judgment. I agree with both.

HILLARY CLINTON: Well, you should ask Bernie Sanders who he’s supporting for president. And he has said—

DONALD TRUMP: Which is a big mistake.

HILLARY CLINTON: —as he has campaigned for me around the country, you are the most dangerous person to run for president in the modern history of America. I think he’s right.

CHRIS WALLACE: Let’s turn to Aleppo. Mr. Trump, in the last debate, you were both asked about the situation in the Syrian city of Aleppo. And I want to follow up on that, because you said several things in that debate which were not true, sir. You said that Aleppo has basically fallen. In fact, there—in fact, there are—

DONALD TRUMP: It’s a catastrophe. I mean—

CHRIS WALLACE: It is a catastrophe, but there—

DONALD TRUMP: —it’s a mess.

CHRIS WALLACE: There are a quarter of a—

DONALD TRUMP: Have you seen it? Have you seen it?


DONALD TRUMP: Have you seen what’s happened to Aleppo?

CHRIS WALLACE: Sir, if I may finish my question—

DONALD TRUMP: OK, so it hasn’t fallen. Take a look at it.

CHRIS WALLACE: Well, there are a quarter of a million people still living there and being slaughtered. You also—

DONALD TRUMP: That’s right. And they are being slaughtered.


DONALD TRUMP: Because of bad decisions.

CHRIS WALLACE: If I may just finish here. And you also said that ISIS—that Syria and Russia are busy fighting ISIS. In fact, they have been the ones who have been bombing and shelling eastern Aleppo, and they just announced a humanitarian pause, in effect, admitting that they have been bombing and shelling Aleppo. Would you like to clear that up, sir?

DONALD TRUMP: Well, Aleppo is a disaster. It’s a humanitarian nightmare. But it has fallen from the—from any standpoint. I mean, what do you need? A signed document? Take a look at Aleppo. It is so sad when you see what’s happened.

And a lot of this is because of Hillary Clinton, because what’s happened is, by fighting Assad, who turned out to be a lot tougher than she thought—and now she’s going to say, “Oh, he loves Assad.” She’s just—he’s just much tougher and much smarter than her and Obama. And everyone thought he was gone two years ago, three years ago. He lined—he aligned with Russia. He now also aligned with Iran, who we made very powerful. We gave them $150 billion back. We give them $1.7 billion in cash. I mean cash, bundles of cash as big as this stage. We gave them $1.7 billion.

Now, they have lined—he has aligned with Russia and with Iran. They don’t want ISIS, but they have other things, because we’re backing—we’re backing rebels. We don’t know who the rebels are. We’re giving them lots of money, lots of everything. We don’t know who the rebels are. And when and if—and it’s not going to happen, because you have Russia and you have Iran now. But if they ever did overthrow Assad, you might end up with—as bad as Assad is, and he’s a bad guy, but you may very well end up with worse than Assad.

If she did nothing, we’d be in much better shape. And this is what’s caused the great migration, where she’s taking in tens of thousands of Syrian refugees, who probably in many cases—not probably, who are definitely—


DONALD TRUMP: —in many cases, ISIS-aligned, and we now have them in our country. And wait ’til you see—this is going to be the great Trojan horse. And wait ’til you see what happens in the coming years. Lots of luck, Hillary. Thanks a lot for doing a great job.

CHRIS WALLACE: Secretary Clinton, you have talked about—and in the last debate and again today—that you would impose a no-fly zone to try to protect the people of Aleppo and to stop the killing there. President Obama has refused to do that because he fears it’s going to draw us closer or deeper into the conflict. And General Joseph Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, says you impose a no-fly zone, chances are you’re going to get into a war—his words—with Syria and Russia. So the question I have is: If you impose a no-fly zone—first of all, how do you respond to their concerns? Secondly, if you impose a no-fly zone and a Russian plane violates that, does President Clinton shoot that plane down?

HILLARY CLINTON: Well, Chris, first of all, I think a no-fly zone could save lives and could hasten the end of the conflict. I am well aware of the really legitimate concerns that you have expressed from both the president and the general. This would not be done just on the first day. This would take a lot of negotiation. And it would also take making it clear to the Russians and the Syrians that our purpose here was to provide safe zones on the ground. We’ve had millions of people leave Syria and those millions of people inside Syria who have been dislocated. So I think we could strike a deal and make it very clear to the Russians and the Syrians that this was something that we believed was in the best interests of the people on the ground in Syria, it would help us with our fight against ISIS.

But I want to respond to what Donald said about refugees. He’s made these claims repeatedly. I am not going to let anyone into this country who is not vetted, who we do not have confidence in. But I am not going to slam the door on women and children. That picture of that little four-year-old boy in Aleppo with the blood coming down his face while he sat in an ambulance is haunting. And so, we are going to do very careful, thorough vetting. That does not solve our internal challenges with ISIS and our need to stop radicalization, to work with American Muslim communities, who are on the front lines, to identify and prevent attacks. In fact, the killer of the dozens of people at the nightclub in Orlando, the Pulse nightclub, was born in Queens, the same place Donald was born. So, let’s be clear about what the threat is and how we are best going to be able to meet it. And, yes, some of that threat emanates from over in Syria and Iraq, and we’ve got to keep fighting, and I will defeat ISIS, and some of it is we have to up our game and be much smarter here at home.

CHRIS WALLACE: Folks, I want to get into our final segment.

DONALD TRUMP: But I just have to—

CHRIS WALLACE: Real quick.

DONALD TRUMP: It’s so ridiculous what she—she will defeat ISIS. We should have never let ISIS happen in the first place. And right now, they’re in 32 countries.


DONALD TRUMP: You should have never—wait one second. They had a ceasefire three weeks ago. A ceasefire—United States, Russia, Syria. And during the ceasefire, Russia took over vast swatches of land, and then they said we don’t want the ceasefire anymore. We are so outplayed on missiles, on ceasefires. They are outplayed. Now, she wasn’t there. I assume she had nothing to do with it. But our country is so outplayed—


DONALD TRUMP: —by Putin and Assad and—by the way, and by Iran. Nobody can believe how stupid our leadership is.


CHRIS WALLACE: Mr. Trump, Secretary Clinton—no, we need to move on to our final segment, and that is the national debt, which has not been discussed until tonight. Our national debt, as a share of the economy, our GDP, is now 77 percent. That’s the highest since just after World War II. But the nonpartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget says, Secretary Clinton, under your plan, debt would rise to 86 percent of GDP over the next 10 years. Mr. Trump, under your plan, they say it would rise to 105 percent of GDP over the next 10 years. The question is: Why are both of you ignoring this problem? Mr. Trump, you go first.

DONALD TRUMP: Well, I say they’re wrong, because I’m going to create tremendous jobs. And we’re bringing GDP from, really, 1 percent, which is what it is now—and if she got in, it will be less than zero—but we’re bringing it from 1 percent up to 4 percent. And I actually think we can go higher than 4 percent. I think you can go to 5 or 6 percent. And if we do, you don’t have to bother asking your question, because we have a tremendous machine. We will have created a tremendous economic machine once again. To do that, we’re taking back jobs. We’re not going to let our companies be raided by other countries, where we lose all our jobs—we don’t make our product anymore. It’s very sad. But I’m going to create a—the kind of a country that we were from the standpoint of industry. We used to be there. We’ve given it up. We’ve become very, very sloppy.

We’ve had people that are political hacks making the biggest deals in the world, bigger than companies. You take these big companies, these trade deals are far bigger than these companies, and yet we don’t use our great leaders, many of whom back me and many of whom back Hillary, I must say. But we don’t use those people. Those are the people—these are the greatest negotiators in the world. We have the greatest businesspeople in the world. We have to use them to negotiate our trade deals. We use political hacks. We use people that get the position because they gave—they made a campaign contribution. And they’re dealing with China and people that are very much smarter than they are. So we have to use our great people.

But, that being said, we will create an economic machine the likes of which we haven’t seen in many decades. And people, Chris, will again go back to work, and they’ll make a lot of money. And we’ll have companies that will grow and expand and start from new.

CHRIS WALLACE: Secretary Clinton?

HILLARY CLINTON: Well, first, when I hear Donald talk like that and know that his slogan is “Make America Great Again,” I wonder when he thought America was great. And before he rushes and says, “You know, before you and President Obama were there,” I think it’s important to recognize that he has been criticizing our government for decades. You know, back in 1987, he took out a $100,000 ad in The New York Times, during the time when President Reagan was president, and basically said exactly what he just said now, that we were the laughingstock of the world. He was criticizing President Reagan. This is the way Donald thinks about himself, puts himself into, you know, the middle and says, you know, “I alone can fix it,” as he said on the convention stage.

But if you look at the debt, which is the issue you asked about, Chris, I pay for everything I’m proposing. I do not add a penny to the national debt. I take that very seriously, because I do think it’s one of the issues we’ve got to come to grips with. So, when I talk about how we’re going to pay for education, how we’re going to invest in infrastructure, how we’re going to get the cost of prescription drugs down, and a lot of the other issues that people talk to me about all the time, I’ve made it very clear we are going where the money is. We are going to ask the wealthy and corporations to pay their fair share.

And there is no evidence whatsoever that that will slow down or diminish our growth. In fact, I think just the opposite. We’ll have what economists call middle-out growth. We’ve got to get back to rebuilding the middle class, the families of America. That’s where growth will come from. That’s why I want to invest in you. I want to invest in your family. And I think that’s the smartest way to grow the economy, to make the economy fairer. And we just have a big disagreement about this. It may be because of our experiences. You know, he started off with his dad as a millionaire.

DONALD TRUMP: Yeah, yeah, we’ve heard—we’ve heard this before, Hillary.

HILLARY CLINTON: I started off with my dad as a small-business man. And—

DONALD TRUMP: We’ve heard this before.

HILLARY CLINTON: But I think it’s—

CHRIS WALLACE: Secretary Clinton?

HILLARY CLINTON: You know, it’s a difference that affects how we see the world and what we want to do with the economy.


DONALD TRUMP: Thank you, Hillary. Could I just respond?

CHRIS WALLACE: Well, no, sir, because we’re running out of time.

DONALD TRUMP: Because I did disagree with Ronald Reagan very strongly on trade. I disagreed with him. We should have been much tougher on trade even then. I’ve been waiting for years. Nobody does it right.


DONALD TRUMP: And frankly, now we’re going to do it right.

CHRIS WALLACE: All right. The one last area I want to get into with you in this debate is the fact that the biggest driver of our debt is entitlements, which is 60 percent of all federal spending. Now, the Committee for Federal—a Responsible Federal Budget has looked at both of your plans, and they say neither of you has a serious plan that is going to solve the fact that Medicare is going to run out of money in the 2020s, Social Security is going to run out of money in the 2030s, and at that time, recipients are going to take huge cuts in their benefits. So, in effect, the final question I want to ask you in this regard is—and let me start with you, Mr. Trump: Would President Trump make a deal to save Medicare and Social Security that included both tax increases and benefit cuts—in effect, a grand bargain on entitlements?

DONALD TRUMP: I’m cutting taxes. We’re going to grow the economy. It’s going to grow at a record rate of growth.

CHRIS WALLACE: That’s not going to help on entitlements.

DONALD TRUMP: No, it’s going to totally help you. And one thing we have to do: repeal and replace the disaster known as Obamacare. It’s destroying our country. It’s destroying our businesses, our small business and our big businesses. We have to repeal and replace Obamacare. You take a look at the kind of numbers that that will cost us in the year '17, it is a disaster. If we don't repeal and replace—now, it’s probably going to die of its own weight. But Obamacare has to go. It’s—the premiums are going up 60, 70, 80 percent. Next year they’re going to go up over 100 percent. And I’m really glad that the premiums have started—at least the people see what’s happening, because she wants to keep Obamacare, and she wants to make it even worse. And it can’t get any worse—bad healthcare at the most expensive price. We have to repeal and replace Obamacare.

CHRIS WALLACE: And, Secretary Clinton, same question, because at this point Social Security and Medicare are going to run out, the trust funds are going to run out of money. Will you, as president, entertain—will you consider a grand bargain, a deal that includes both tax increases and benefit cuts, to try to save both programs?

HILLARY CLINTON: Well, Chris, I am on record as saying that we need to put more money in the Social Security Trust Fund. That’s part of my commitment to raise taxes on the wealthy. My Social Security payroll contribution will go up, as will Donald’s, assuming he can’t figure out how to get out of it. But what we want to do is to replenish the Social Security Trust Fund—

DONALD TRUMP: Such a nasty woman.

HILLARY CLINTON: —by making sure that we have sufficient resources. And that will come from either raising the cap and/or finding other ways to get more money into it. I will not cut benefits. I want to enhance benefits for low-income workers and for women who have been disadvantaged by the current Social Security system.

But what Donald is proposing with these massive tax cuts will result in a $20 trillion additional national debt. That will have dire consequences for Social Security and Medicare.

And I’ll say something about the Affordable Care Act, which he wants to repeal. The Affordable Care Act extended the solvency of the Medicare Trust Fund. So, if he repeals it, our Medicare problem gets worse. What we need to do is go after—

DONALD TRUMP: Your husband disagrees with you.

HILLARY CLINTON: —the long-term healthcare drivers. We’ve got to get costs down, increase value, emphasize wellness. I have a plan for doing that. And I think that we will be able to get entitlement spending under control by—


HILLARY CLINTON: —with more resources and harder decisions.

CHRIS WALLACE: This is—this is the final time, probably to both of your delight, that you’re going to be on the stage together in this campaign. I would like to end it on a positive note. You had not agreed to closing statements, but it seems to me, in a funny way, that might make it more interesting, because you haven’t prepared closing statements. So I’d like you each to take—and we’re going to put a clock up—a minute, as the final question in the final debate, to tell the American people why they should elect you to be the next president. This is another new mini-segment. Secretary Clinton, it’s your turn to go first.

HILLARY CLINTON: Well, I would like to say to everyone watching tonight that I’m reaching out to all Americans—Democrats, Republicans and independents—because we need everybody to help make our country what it should be, to grow the economy, to make it fairer, to make it work for everyone. We need your talents, your skills, your commitment, your energy, your ambition.

You know, I’ve been privileged to see the presidency up close. And I know the awesome responsibility of protecting our country and the incredible opportunity of working to try to make life better for all of you. I have made the cause of children and families really my life’s work. That’s what my mission will be in the presidency. I will stand up for families against powerful interests, against corporations. I will do everything that I can to make sure that you have good jobs, with rising incomes, that your kids have good educations from preschool through college. I hope you will give me a chance to serve as your president.

CHRIS WALLACE: Secretary Clinton, thank you. Mr. Trump?

DONALD TRUMP: She’s raising the money from the people she wants to control. Doesn’t work that way.

But when I started this campaign, I started it very strongly. It’s called “Make America Great Again.” We’re going to make America great. We have a depleted military. It has to be helped, has to be fixed. We have the greatest people on Earth in our military. We don’t take care of our veterans. We take care of illegal immigrants, people that come into the country illegally, better than we take care of our vets. That can’t happen.

Our policemen and women are disrespected. We need law and order, but we need justice, too. Our inner cities are a disaster. You get shot walking to the store. They have no education. They have no jobs. I will do more for African Americans and Latinos than she can ever do in 10 lifetimes. All she’s done is talk to the African Americans and to the Latinos. But they get the vote, and then they come back. They say, “We’ll see you in four years.”

We are going to make America strong again, and we are going to make America great again, and it has to start now. We cannot take four more years of Barack Obama, and that’s what you get when you get her.

CHRIS WALLACE: Thank you both. Secretary Clinton—hold on just a moment, folks. Secretary Clinton, Mr. Trump, I want to thank you both for participating in all three of these debates. That brings to an end this year’s debates sponsored by the Commission on Presidential Debates. We want to thank the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and its students for having us. Now the decision is up to you. While millions have already voted, Election Day, November 8th, is just 20 days away. One thing everyone here can agree on: We hope you will go vote. It is one of the honors and obligations of living in this great country. Thank you, and good night.

AMY GOODMAN: And that does it for the final presidential debate of the 2016 campaign, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton facing off at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. The debate was moderated by Chris Wallace of Fox News. I’m Amy Goodman, with Nermeen Shaikh. This is Democracy Now!, “War, Peace and the Presidency.”

NERMEEN SHAIKH: And to talk more about the debate, we’re joined now by a number of guests. Alicia Garza is co-founder of Black Lives Matter and special projects director for the National Domestic Workers Alliance. Zaid Jilani, in Washington, D.C., is a staff reporter at The Intercept. Bhaskar Sunkara is editor and publisher of Jacobin magazine. He’s also the editor of the new book, The ABCs of Socialism. Phyllis Bennis is a fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies. She’s the author of Understanding ISIS and the New Global War on Terror. May Boeve, executive director of 350 Action, the political arm of the climate organization 350.org. And Megan Ming Francis is with us in New York, an assistant professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Washington. Her most recent book is Civil Rights and the Making of the Modern American State.

I want to welcome you all back to Democracy Now! Bhaskar Sunkara, let’s start with you. Your general impressions of the debate?

BHASKAR SUNKARA: Well, I don’t know about everyone else, but I found that pretty soul-crushing. I’m waiting for the elections to be—to be over. But, you know, I do think one of the—the awkwardness that kept coming out—you saw it in Hillary Clinton’s last response, when she said—she pledged, you know, seemingly earnestly, to not cut benefits—is that every four years the Democrats have to pretend to be something that they’re not. They have to put forward a face that says that they’re the party of not Rahm Emanuel and Andrew Cuomo, but the party of, you know, Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders. And I think her populism, in general, has fit very awkwardly, not just with—you know, not just with the confidence or delivery or anything like that, but actually with, you know, the policy, because we don’t have to go back pretty far at all to see, you know, her support for welfare reform and a lot of these other things. And, of course, some of these things happened in the first Clinton term, when she was not an elected official, but Obama, Barack Obama, had this nice quote from 2008, when he went something like, you know, Clinton wants to run on every part of—Hillary Clinton wants to run on every part of Bill Clinton’s record that people like from the '90s, and say she had nothing to do with the things that people, you know, didn't like.

AMY GOODMAN: So, I wanted to turn back to a clip, a moment in the debate that goes to what happens on Election Day. This is the moderator, Chris Wallace of Fox News.

CHRIS WALLACE: Mr. Trump, I want to ask you about one last question in this topic. You have been warning at rallies recently that this election is rigged and that Hillary Clinton is in the process of trying to steal it from you. Your running mate, Governor Pence, pledged on Sunday that he and you—his words—”will absolutely accept the result of this election.” Today, your daughter Ivanka said the same thing. I want to ask you here on the stage tonight: Do you make the same commitment that you will absolutely—sir, that you will absolutely accept the result of this election?

DONALD TRUMP: I will look at it at the time. I’m not looking at anything now. I’ll look at it at the time. What I’ve seen—what I’ve seen is so bad. First of all, the media is so so dishonest and so corrupt, and the pile-on is so amazing. The New York Times actually wrote an article about it, that they don’t even care. It’s so dishonest. And they’ve poisoned the minds of the voters. But unfortunately for them, I think the voters are seeing through it. I think they’re going to see through it. We’ll find out on November 8th, but I think they’re going to see through it.

CHRIS WALLACE: But, sir, there’s a—

DONALD TRUMP: If you look—excuse me, Chris—if you look at your voter rolls, you will see millions of people that are registered to vote—millions—this isn’t coming from me; this is coming from Pew report and other places—millions of people that are registered to vote that shouldn’t be registered to vote.

So, let me just give you one other thing. So I talk about the corrupt media. I talk about the millions of people. Tell you one other thing: She shouldn’t be allowed to run. It’s crook—she’s—she’s guilty of a very, very serious crime. She should not be allowed to run. And just in that respect, I say it’s rigged, because she should never—


DONALD TRUMP: Chris, she should never have been allowed to run for the presidency based on what she did with emails and so many other things.

CHRIS WALLACE: But, sir, there is a tradition in this country—in fact, one of the prides of this country is the peaceful transition of power and that no matter how hard-fought a campaign is, that at the end of the campaign, that the loser concedes to the winner—not saying that you’re necessarily going to be the loser or the winner, but that the loser concedes to the winner and that the country comes together, in part for the good of the country. Are you saying you’re not prepared now to commit to that principle?

DONALD TRUMP: What I’m saying is that I will tell you at the time. I’ll keep you in suspense.

AMY GOODMAN: “I will keep you in suspense,” said Donald Trump, about whether or not he would concede the election, if, in fact, he didn’t win it. I want to turn to Zaid Jilani right now, who’s with The Intercept, a staff reporter there. Zaid, your response?

ZAID JILANI: Well, you know, it’s really interesting. I think we’ve seen reports for months that Trump’s sort of exit strategy here may be to start some sort of right-wing TV network or online streaming network, similar to what we saw with, you know, Sarah Palin or, to some extent, Glenn Beck. And I think this might be part of building that narrative, right? If you want—if you know you can’t win the election, but you want to have a group of people willing to pay money to sort of hear your political rhetoric, I think that’s part of the victimization narrative that he’s building right now, because, honestly, if you—if you were to put out a narrative that the election is rigged prior to the election even taking place, that should depress your voter total. I mean, that should be one of the effects of it. So it seems like—to me, like less of a campaign strategy and more of a way for him to build up a consumer base. I mean, this is a man who has, time and time again, done sort of complicated rigging schemes of his own, in terms of his financial products and in terms of things that he’s sold to people. And I think right now he’s selling a narrative to people so that later he can capitalize on it after—after he loses this election.

AMY GOODMAN: Now, he did reference the WikiLeaks documents. He did reference the private server of Hillary Clinton. You have been delving deeply into this. Talk about the significance—


AMY GOODMAN: —of what has been revealed, as it is revealed each and every day in these last weeks of the election.

ZAID JILANI: Yes, Amy. And I think a lot of the documents—you know, I encourage people to go TheIntercept.com and read a lot of our reporting on the documents. Of course, you can read the raw dump on the WikiLeaks website.

And I think a lot of what those documents reveal is sort of the internal wrangling within the Clinton campaign about various issues and showing how the positions that Clinton espoused in public were not often the same positions that she espoused, let’s say, before donors. We saw for the first time speech transcripts from her paid speech circuit, where she made millions of dollars talking to banks, trade associations and, mostly, private corporations. And we saw a number of positions emerge from her that we certainly didn’t see on the trail. She said things like saying that—for example, that she thinks that banks should primarily be regulating themselves or that they should be leading the sort of the reforms rather than regulators. She praised the Simpson-Bowles package, which would—which was a commission package that would cut Social Security and also lower the corporate—the statutory corporate tax rate. She made a number of remarks praising Wal-Mart, repeatedly praising Wal-Mart’s impact on poor communities, saying that it uplifted people, sort of condemning India for trying to mandate Wal-Mart to locally source a lot of its products and pulling out of—eventually being forced to pull out of the country.

And, in general, I think we saw a face of Clinton that she tends to show to those who are very wealthy or those who are major donors, but maybe not the public. And I think the main takeaway there is not necessarily that’s the real Hillary Clinton. It’s not necessarily that she was telling the truth about her views at that point. It’s more that she tells different things to different people because she’s a very conventional politician. And I think that should show a lot of folks that, you know, she needs to be held accountable, just as much as any other politician, that you can’t think just because she said certain things facing Bernie Sanders in an unusually competitive Democratic primary, that that’s really her point of view. I think that you have to look at the full picture and that you have to understand that politicians have to have their feet constantly held to the fire, because we do see things like this. We do see them constantly shifting their positions and their orientations. And, unfortunately, in a system where the very wealthy have a tremendous amount of impact on the political system, I think that, you know, these folks, unfortunately, will hold a lot of influence over what she does and during her presidency.

NERMEEN SHAIKH: Well, during the debate, when that was raised, though, she once again—Clinton once again accused Russia of being complicit in these WikiLeaks releases, and also said that—that Trump is, of course, benefiting from what Russia is doing. So, could you respond to that?

ZAID JILANI: Yeah, well, you know, the DHS, along with their intelligence agencies, has put out statements saying that they believe that there were Russian-oriented hacks against Democrats, and apparently there were some against Republicans, too, although we haven’t seen the leaks yet. And so, that’s sort of still unclear, you know, whether that happens to be true, and not only who hacked, but also who leaked, because it’s very typical for governments to hack each other and to hack political parties. I mean, that’s nonstop. It happened in 2012, happened in other elections. But the leaks are somewhat unusual, and I think that’s an interesting story.

But fundamentally, I think the issue is that the information is true. No one has found anything in the WikiLeaks dumps of the emails that’s been false or, you know, where the information isn’t verified. So I think that people have to owe up to that information. I mean, just imagine a thought experiment where the CIA hacked, let’s say, the Saudi royal family—right?—and we saw a lot of their private information. I’m sure that they would blame the CIA attack on American conspiracy, so on and so forth. That’s certainly interesting. It’s something that should be noted. I mean, that is an important point. But the information itself is certainly—is certainly something that they have to owe up to, they have to be able to debate and discuss with people, especially in a political system where we don’t have a lot of transparency. We weren’t able to see paid speeches that she gave to all these private interest groups until now. And I think that’s an unfortunate feature of the transparency of our system.

And the last point I’d like to make is that Clinton herself has been an advocate of mass surveillance, not only of Americans, but of people abroad. And she, you know, bitterly attacked Edward Snowden for exposing a lot of that surveillance. And now to see her turn around and talk about her own email security and, you know, her campaign and so on and so forth, it strikes me as a little bit—you know, like there’s a double standard here, that if she does feel like these hacks are so wrong, you know, it would be great to see her come out against mass surveillance of Americans, against the NSA’s mass surveillance particularly of foreigners, innocent foreigners, not people in government, but people—just their social media accounts in countries like Pakistan, where the NSA just hoovers up tons and tons of information. I mean, I don’t think that she should try to establish one set of norms and standards for her own information, her campaign’s information, and have a different one for millions of people around the world that we surveil. So, you know, I think that’s something that she should address if she feels that strongly about it.

AMY GOODMAN: Well, Zaid, you were one of the people who were referenced in these documents, in an email from John Podesta, the chair of Hillary Clinton’s campaign. You and your colleague Lee Fang of The Intercept are referred to as “freaks.” Explain why.

ZAID JILANI: Well, it wasn’t—it was an email to Podesta. It wasn’t email from Podesta. So, an individual named Neera Tanden, who’s very close to Hillary Clinton, has worked with her on and off since the '90s, has worked for the Clintons, and basically she had made an email referencing my colleague Lee Fang, who I worked with at ThinkProgress, with her, at the Center for American Progress, as well as my old boss, Faiz Shakir. And, you know, Lee and Faiz are great individuals. They are just great living testimonies to how great journalism could be, how it can hold powerful people accountable. And I think Tanden, at another point in these emails, had said something like she's a loyal soldier to Hillary Clinton. And I think, because she is that loyal soldier to Hillary Clinton, she sort of viewed myself, Faiz and Lee as somewhat disloyal to Hillary Clinton. But, I mean, my personal view on journalism is that, you know, our job is to expose information so that people are held to account, so that everyone has—you know, everyone is able to make decisions in an informed democracy and that, you know, the politicians aren’t doing things in secret. And I don’t necessarily think of that in a partisan manner, as trying to help one politician or another. I just think it’s good for our democracy. And I think Tanden has a different view on that.

And with respect to the name calling, you know, I don’t—that’s a personal thing. I don’t really get into it. And people obviously say—they say things over email that they wouldn’t say in public, and maybe she was, you know, angry at that moment or something. I just think we had different political views and—or different views on the role of journalism in our democracy, so…

AMY GOODMAN: You know, I wanted to bring Phyllis Bennis into this conversation, a fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies. Lindsey Graham tweeted, the senator from South Carolina, “Like most Americans I have confidence in our democracy and election system. During [this] debate Mr. Trump is doing the party and country a great disservice by continuing to suggest the outcome of this election is out of his hands and 'rigged' against him. If he loses, it will not be because the system is 'rigged' but because he failed as a candidate.” Your response to Donald Trump saying he will leave the country in suspense as to whether he would concede the election if he lost, Phyllis?

PHYLLIS BENNIS: You know, Amy, this was a shocking thing to hear, for sure. But I think the broader lesson from tonight’s debate across the board was to show to us, for anybody who still doubts it, the importance of social movements. At the end of the day, we’re seeing the flaws, the failures, the inadequacies of a system here. And it’s come to the fore sharply with this candidacy, where we hear things, the incredible sort of threats that were being made, the misogyny from one candidate. You know, there were some shocking things in—not surprising, perhaps, but shocking nonetheless, throughout the evening’s debate. But I think there were also issues about what wasn’t challenged. There were questions that were answered with falsehoods that weren’t challenged by the moderator. And I think that, you know, at the end of the day, what we come back to is that it’s only through social mobilization of movements that we’re going to be able to hold anyone accountable. I think that one of the things we’re seeing is that Donald Trump was actually trying to—to rebuild or to strengthen the movement that has emerged around his candidacy. Where he talked about keeping you in suspense, you know, he’s essentially signaling to his supporters that—that it may or may not be a valid election, and leaving to them what decision that might be. So I think that, you know, one of the lessons here is that, as we look at these two candidates, we also have to look at the movements that they have inspired, both movements supporting them and, in the case of both of them, in many ways, movements opposing them, because ultimately that’s where we will be able to see a very different approach.

When it comes to the issues around the foreign hot spots, which did not turn out to be about global warming, as it should have been, but there were hot spots obviously talked about—in Mosul, in Aleppo. These are scenes of horrific violence and horrific humanitarian crisis, as we see. And yet there was no stepping back to say, “Here’s a strategy for how we should be dealing with these crises.” You know, the United States has been at war with terrorism for 15 years. And terrorism is doing just fine. Terrorism is thriving through that process of the U.S. wars against it. So, the question has to be raised: What would you do differently than going to war? Because we’ve seen the failures of war as an answer to terrorism. It failed in Afghanistan. It failed in Iraq. It failed in Yemen. It failed in Libya. It’s failing in Syria now. It’s failing again in Iraq. So, it’s—you know, it’s failing also in Somalia and in other places. So the question becomes the old Einstein saying: You know, the definition of “crazy” is doing the same thing over and over again and thinking you’re going to get a different result. This was a scenario in which the need for a different policy in Iraq, a policy that deals with—a policy that deals with the whole question of who is—what kind of an opposition to ISIS can happen, what kind of opposition to the bombing can happen that would succeed, what kind of a policy would work, when we know that the military policies have failed—we did not hear anyone ask that question. We didn’t hear—when Secretary Clinton raised her issue about a—the need for a no-fly zone, she said, “Well, I recognize that there are some challenges, but we can talk to the Russians, and they’ll agree.” And why do we think that’s the case? You know, this is—you know, this is a major military escalation that she was proposing, one that threatens the possibility of a serious conflict directly between the U.S. and Russia.

AMY GOODMAN: Let’s go—let’s go for a minute to the part of the debate where they were discussing just what you are, Phyllis. Again, it starts with the Fox moderator, Chris Wallace.

CHRIS WALLACE: I would like to ask you this direct question. The top national security officials of this country do believe that Russia has been behind these hacks. Even if you don’t know for sure whether they are, do you condemn any interference by Russia in the American election?

DONALD TRUMP: By Russia or anybody else.

CHRIS WALLACE: You condemn their interference?

DONALD TRUMP: Of course I condemn. Of course I—I don’t know Putin. I have no idea.

CHRIS WALLACE: I’m not asking you that. I’m asking do you condemn?

DONALD TRUMP: I never met Putin. This is not my best friend. But if the United States got along with Russia, wouldn’t be so bad.

AMY GOODMAN: So that’s Donald Trump talking about Russia. Phyllis Bennis?

PHYLLIS BENNIS: Well, it was perhaps the most rational thing that we heard in that part of the debate, was that it wouldn’t be so bad if the U.S. and Russia were working together. Diplomacy trumps war every time. The victories, if we look at the victories that President Obama will be able to claim for his legacy, are the victories where he relied on diplomacy rather than war, like in Iran on the nuclear deal, like in Cuba in moving towards the normalization of relations. So, I think the question of dealing with every country, whether it’s Russia, whether it’s Syria, whether it’s any country in the world, on the basis of diplomatic rather than military basis is crucial. Part of the reason for the failure of last week’s effort at a negotiated partial ceasefire for a moment in Syria—the failure of it was partly because it was not a ceasefire aimed at ending the war, it was a ceasefire aimed at gaining better collaboration between the U.S. and Russia to bomb together. Countries that bomb together stay together—I don’t think that really works in the real world.

NERMEEN SHAIKH: And, Megan Ming Francis, your response to the debate and what you felt was missing?

MEGAN MING FRANCIS: Oh, this debate, I felt like, was a bit more crazy. I’m thankful that it’s over. I keep on—I felt like it’s—each debate that I’ve watched—and I’ve watched all three now—just when I think that it can’t get any more—at least in terms of the rhetoric, any more dangerous and/or disappointing, it does, especially from the side of Trump. In terms of what I found deeply concerning, especially in that first hour, was the discussion around abortion rights, around women, as well as the discussion around border security and immigration.

AMY GOODMAN: Let’s go back to the debate, so you can address exactly—


AMY GOODMAN: This is moderator Chris Wallace.

CHRIS WALLACE: But what I’m asking you, sir, is: Do you want to see the court overturn—you’ve just said you want to see the court protect the Second Amendment. Do you want to see the court overturn Roe v. Wade?

DONALD TRUMP: Well, if we put another two or perhaps three justices on, that’s really what’s going to be—that will happen. And that’ll happen automatically, in my opinion, because I am putting pro-life justices on the court. I will say this: It will go back to the states, and the states will then make a determination.

HILLARY CLINTON: I do not think the United States government should be stepping in and making those most personal of decisions. So, you can regulate, if you are doing so with the life and the health of the mother taken into account.

CHRIS WALLACE: Mr. Trump, your reaction, and particularly on this issue of late-term, partial birth abortion?

DONALD TRUMP: Well, I think it’s terrible. If you go with what Hillary is saying, in the ninth month, you can take the baby and rip the baby out of the womb of the mother just prior to the birth of the baby.

AMY GOODMAN: So, Professor Megan Ming Francis of the University of Washington, your response?

MEGAN MING FRANCIS: This is crazy. OK, so there’s two things here that I think we need to talk about. One, this notion about—he continues, right? So, a lot of his rhetoric is oftentimes around race and fear. But here we see there’s this fear about the ripping of the fetus from a woman’s womb at like the very last day. So, one, in terms of facts, 89 percent of abortions happen within the first six weeks, 1.3 percent of abortions happen after 21 weeks. So, I think that’s very important to think about in terms of the way in which he’s phrasing that.

The other issue that I—this is, I think, feel like, basic civil liberties, intro 101. Roe v. Wade is not going to be overturned. The Supreme Court has basically affirmed that decision in Planned Parenthood v. Casey in 1992. What the Supreme Court has said—and this is where states move—is that they can—states can impose restrictions as long as they don’t create an undue burden on the woman, right? And so, that’s kind of the bigger—the bigger discussion that needs to be had about what types of restrictions can different states pass. We, of course, know, in this big new case in 2016, Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, right, in terms of abortion restrictions in the state of Texas, the Supreme Court is going to strike that down again. And so, in terms of if he appoints three new justices, will they overturn Roe, no. In terms of is there—is there—

AMY GOODMAN: Well, why wouldn’t they, if a case came up?

MEGAN MING FRANCIS: In part because—I mean, there’s—I think, hypothetically, they could. In terms of—

AMY GOODMAN: And he clearly would like them to.

MEGAN MING FRANCIS: Yes, he clearly would like them to, right? Or at least allow states to pass what are seen by many people to be huge burdens on women receiving abortions, right, whether that’s about that they have to look at a picture of the fetus before they have an abortion, right? In terms of—so there’s all these different types of restrictions that states can pass, that I think he would be perfectly OK with.

AMY GOODMAN: Let’s go to Alicia Garza on this issue of Donald Trump saying if he were president, he would choose anti-choice Supreme Court justices and, hopefully, that Roe v. Wade would be overturned under a Trump presidency. Alicia Garza, again, co-founder of Black Lives Matter and special projects director for the National Domestic Workers Alliance, welcome to Democracy Now! Your thoughts?

ALICIA GARZA: Thanks for having me.

You know, it’s hard for me to take him seriously, to be honest with you. He essentially says that he single-handedly is going to change the course of this country’s future. He continues to use really egregious, less than factual stories that stoke fear, that stoke anxiety, and that defy logic and reason. And so, whether it was, you know, the conversation around abortion, or whether it’s the conversation around immigration reform, or even if it’s this conversation that he continues to bring up around law and order but then says that he’s going to be the best friend to African Americans that we’ve ever had, I mean, honestly, it’s hard to take him seriously.

The thing that just strikes me is that he is speaking to a set of audiences that are scared. They’re terrified about the future of this country. They feel disenfranchised. They feel left out. They feel like they’re being left out of decision making. And that’s not going to go away after Trump. Thank goodness Trump will go away, but, unfortunately, that level of anxiety, that level of fear, that level of distrust will not go away.

AMY GOODMAN: Wait, you said that Donald Trump—

ALICIA GARZA: And so, we’ve got to really pay attention to that.

AMY GOODMAN: You said Donald Trump will go away? Are you sure? We just heard this discussion about he will leave the country in suspense as to what he will do, if he lost the election.

ALICIA GARZA: You know, he keeps saying he’s got these surprises, that somehow never materialize. Donald Trump, in my estimation, is not going to win the presidency. And if he does, then we’ve got a lot of reckoning to do. But the thing that I’m more concerned about, quite frankly, again, is the millions of people that he has galvanized, who feel like they’re on the outside. And that is something that both parties are going to have to address. And quite frankly, it’s something that all of us are going to have to pay attention to.

NERMEEN SHAIKH: And what would you have liked, Alicia, for the candidates to be asked, I mean, including Donald Trump with, as you described, some of his more outrageous positions and postures? What should he have been asked? What should they both have been asked to address?

ALICIA GARZA: I mean, I think they addressed many of the major issues that are facing our country, but, quite frankly, over these last three debates, I have still been wanting to see more conversation around criminal justice reform. I want to see more conversation about what it’s going to take to preserve the quality of life of black people in this country, who are being systematically murdered, incarcerated, and otherwise marginalized and disenfranchised. I wanted to hear more from each of the candidates about how these movements that have emerged over the last few years have influenced their thinking around how they want to bring America into its future.

And quite frankly, just talking about gun control doesn’t cut it. We have an epidemic in this country of police murders and police violence, and neither candidate is addressing it, because, clearly, it’s not politically expedient to address it. But what’s at stake here is the lives of our families. What’s at stake are mothers who are losing their children at astronomical rates. And also what’s at stake are the attacks that are coming in more form recently against folks who have disabilities or other illnesses. These are things that we need to pay attention to. It’s not just a crisis of whether a toddler gets a hold of a loaded gun. Quite frankly, every 28 hours in this country, a black person is murdered by police, vigilantes or security guards. And if it’s not by police, then it’s by policies that strip black people of our right to dignity, to respect and to living a full and good life.

We have black people throughout the South that are being denied medical care and being denied insurance. Donald Trump talked about how ineffective Obamacare was. And, in fact, we should stop calling it that, right? It’s he Affordable Care Act. He talked about how ineffective it is, but, quite frankly, he didn’t address the fact that thousands of black people lack access to that very healthcare because Republican governors and Republican senators refuse—refuse—to take funding to expand Medicaid programs.

Things like that are things that black folks across the country are looking to hear, and we’re not hearing it. And I’m hoping that in this last 20 days both candidates get a little less tone deaf, stop using us as bait, and instead address the issues that we care about.

AMY GOODMAN: Well, there was one mention of climate change. Let’s go back to the debate.

HILLARY CLINTON: I want us to have the biggest jobs program since World War II, jobs in infrastructure and advanced manufacturing—I think we can compete with high-wage countries, and I believe we should—new jobs in clean energy, not only to fight climate change, which is a serious problem, but to create new opportunities and new businesses.

AMY GOODMAN: That was one of, I think, three mentions over the four debates of climate change. May Boeve is with us, executive director of 350 Action, the political arm of the climate organization 350.org. And it didn’t come out of a question on climate change.

MAY BOEVE: Right, and we all deserve so much better than the political conversation that has been had in this debate and in all of the debates. And the debates are obscuring serious issues, like climate change and like so many other problems that we’re facing in this country and around the world. And it’s true, the question was not asked. It was brought up in the context of a question about jobs.

But there’s something important in the answer, which is that Clinton is speaking to progressives. She’s speaking to the progressive movement. The way that we’ve been trying to build a much bigger movement that’s focused on the economy, the climate crisis, injustices of all kinds, and weaving those movements together, that was what that answer was trying to speak to. She tied it to debt-free college. She tied it to Bernie Sanders. She tied it to having the wealthy pay for these things. So, those are clues. And she’s going to need progressives to win, and she’s going to need us to govern. And so, that’s important, and we’re going to keep pushing. And as many of the guests have said tonight, it is all about the movements.

But one thing that was, I think, shocking and scary here is that we know that to get the climate policy that we need, we need a functional democracy. And questioning the very idea that that can work is as big of a threat to climate change as any number of other issues. So, that was shocking, and we’re paying extra close attention to that. And I think Donald Trump’s disastrousness just reached another level tonight. So, I hope that we take heart in the fact that we are going to have to work hard over the next 20 days to not just make sure that he doesn’t win, but, again, as we’ve heard tonight, the Trumpism ideology and the movement, we have to be building power, and we have to be fighting back more strongly.

AMY GOODMAN: Assume for a moment that the polls are right. Now, the polls really poll people who have voted before. And the people that Donald Trump attracts, a lot of them haven’t voted before. So that is why they could be very wrong, as Hillary Clinton gains and gains in these last days. I mean, we’ve seen it before all over the country, where someone who is predicted to lose, you know, won even by a landslide. If Hillary Clinton were to win—you’re a leader of the climate justice movement—what would you do?

MAY BOEVE: Well, first of all, we can’t take anything for granted, as you’re saying. And just the point about elections, we’re seeing this around the world. The polls are not being very helpful in the elections. In the U.K., in Colombia, we’re seeing totally different results than what the polls predict. So, I think we have to be very real about the work that lies ahead on that point.

On Election Day, if Hillary Clinton wins, it’s pretty clear what we need to do. We need to keep doing what we’ve been doing. And the movement-building work over the past year that we’ve been in this election cycle has expanded to include electoral work, but it hasn’t stopped including nonviolent direct action, all the community organizing that we’re all doing, the mass marches and the mobilizations. So, that’s been happening while this election has been going on. We’re just not hearing about it as much, other than on Democracy Now! But that’s going to accelerate, I think, on November 9th, because we know that we can move Hillary Clinton. We have to move her a lot farther. But I think there’s deep commitment to that.

AMY GOODMAN: How do you know you can move her?

MAY BOEVE: We’ve seen shifts in the primary on key positions around pipelines, around drilling on public lands, and, again, small victories, but hard-won by activists. And I think it will be like what Roosevelt said: “Make me do it. You elect me, and then make me do the things you need me to do.” And that’s why that answer on clean energy jobs, I think, was significant. I think it’s a clue, or we’ll take it as a clue. And challenge accepted.

AMY GOODMAN: Didn’t Clinton say to bankers—and this came out in the WikiLeaks emails—when talking about the anti-fracking movement and the people who are pushing this forward, people like you—she was speaking to the building trades council—she said people like you should “get a life.”

MAY BOEVE: Right. Well, challenge accepted there, too. And we’ll keep at it. And that life includes organizing and activism, so all right.

NERMEEN SHAIKH: Well, one of the issues that was addressed in one of the six key points that the debate was supposed to address was immigration. So, Trump first warned against Syrians and radical Islamist extremists flooding into the country as—you know, as he was defending his position on the wall and criticizing Clinton’s so-called open borders, which, of course, it’s not, but he said that that’s what she was going to do. So—and one of the things that he said, in defending his own positions and criticizing hers, is that she herself had wanted to build a wall in 2006, but she failed to do so. So, was that true? And what was Clinton planning to do in 2006?

BHASKAR SUNKARA: Well, I mean, this is a conflation that Trump always does, is a conflation between, you know, Clinton is in the Senate, therefore she’s an omnipotent, you know, dictator and can do whatever she wants with a wand. But she did, in fact, vote in 2006 for the Secure Fence Act. And that would have created 700 miles of fencing along the Mexican border. It would have cost $7 billion. So, it is true that, yes, you know, Clinton has made certain evolutions, but she’s been pushing politics and a pushing center-left politics in a rightward direction for a long time. And, yes, I do believe there has been an evolution, but that evolution we’ve seen because of pressure from Sanders and other people. So, you know, I take the last, you know, 20 years with more—you know, more confidence and more predictive than I do the next—the last few months.

And I’m really, really worried that we’re going to allow Trump to just change the terrain of debate in such a way that, you know, maybe American politics starts to resemble something like French politics, where you a National Front that’s quasi-fascist, very, very far-right, that can’t win a presidential election, you know, that can only get maybe 40—40 percent of the vote or something like that, but changes the terms of debate and polarizes things between an antiestablishment right, like the National Front, and an establishment center. That’s why I think that even though I believe we’d be all much, much better off if Hillary Clinton was president, not Donald Trump, I think it’s important to start right now building an opposition to Clintonism from the left, just so that we don’t have the situation where everyone disenchanted and upset with our political system have nowhere to turn but the populist right. That’s my real fear, going forward.

AMY GOODMAN: I want to let people know that Jill Stein is going to be joining us soon on Skype, Jill Stein, the Green Party presidential candidate, to respond to this debate. You are listening to, watching, reading soon—we’ll be transcribing this online at democracynow.org, “War, Peace and the Presidency,” our special three-and-a-half-hour special on this last of the three presidential debates, 19 days away from the election of 2016. Our guests have been Zaid Jilani, who is with The Intercept; Alicia Garza is still with us, one of the founders of the Black Lives Matter movement; Phyllis Bennis of the Institute for Policy Studies; Bhaskar Sunkara, who is the editor of Jacobin; Professor Megan Ming Francis of the University of Washington; and May Boeve, who is head of 350 Action.

One of the questions came into us from Twitter just now: “Do you support the ongoing MSM [mainstream media] self-imposed blackout on reporting on apartheid and Israel’s inhumane treatment of Palestinians?” I want to ask this to Phyllis Bennis, but first to Alicia Garza, because in the Black Lives Matter movement’s many-point plan, you address the issue of Palestinians.

ALICIA GARZA: Yeah. I mean, I think what’s important for folks to understand here is that there is lots of common cause between African Americans and Palestinians, and that is not a new relationship. That’s a relationship that has been forged over decades as a result of very similar feeling conditions that folks are existing in. And so, I think that it’s important that we open up these conversations to really address the concerns and the issues that are important to all of us. I think that what’s happening in Palestine and I think what we’ve seen through the Movement for Black Lives policy platform, certainly, is that there is a desire for social movements to connect to movements around the world and to support movements who are struggling and fighting for self-determination, as many of the movements here are, as well.

AMY GOODMAN: And, Phyllis Bennis, you’re a longtime observer and activist around the issue of Israel-Palestine. I don’t think there’s been a time recently where it’s been talked about less than in these last few months. Talk about the situation on the ground and what you think has to happen right now. We actually just recently had Ann Wright on Democracy Now!, the colonel, the former American diplomat, who attempted to get to Gaza to challenge the naval blockade there with a group of women from around the world. They were taken into custody at Ashdod, the Israeli Navy, and she was sent back to this country.

PHYLLIS BENNIS: You know, I think it’s very important to keep in mind both the situation on the ground and the situation of the discourse here in the United States. What Alicia was just talking about is crucially important, the rising focus of the Movement for Black Lives on this connection, as Alicia said, a long-standing connection, but one that is getting new attention with the black community in the United States looking at the question of Palestine and the links of solidarity with Palestinians, something that emerged so sharply and so powerfully at the time of the uprising in Ferguson, when Palestinian activists were tweeting instructions for the—for their comrades and colleagues in Ferguson about how to deal with tear gas, because the tear gas used by the Israeli military against Palestinians is made in the United States. It’s the same tear gas. So they had a lot of experience with it. And that kind of immediacy made it rise to a new level.

But what we’re seeing is a scenario where we have an extraordinary shift in the public discourse on this question in the last five years, 10 years, really 15 years, where things that had never made it before to public discourse is now talked about quite normally. The question of Israeli apartheid was anathema a decade ago. Now it’s even talked about by top Israeli officials, who say—they differ on the timing: We say it’s already there; they say that if we don’t do something different, we’re going to face apartheid. So we have this massive shift in the discourse; a significant shift, not quite there, but a significant shift in the media coverage; only a tiny shift in some political discourse. The decision of 60 members of Congress to skip the speech of the Israeli prime minister this past year would never have happened before. But on the ground, the situation gets worse. So, it’s this dichotomy, the new challenge that we face to transform that discourse shift into a real policy shift, where we don’t see—instead of ending U.S. military aid to the 23rd wealthiest country to use for its consistent violations of international law and human rights, we see the Obama administration escalating the annual amount of aid, so that Israel will now start each year with almost $4 billion, with $3.8 billion a year of military aid coming from our tax money to support its military, without any restrictions on how it makes—how it uses that money, what weapons in the U.S. it’s able to buy.

So, we’re having a moment when, as we saw in all of these debates, the question of Israel, the relationship of Israel and the United States, did not come up. It didn’t come up again tonight. But we do see that there has been this extraordinary shift in the public discourse. The fact that it was addressed as, for Bernie Sanders’ campaign, the main foreign policy issue that he took up, that was then reflected in the debate over the Democratic Party platform. It didn’t end up well; the platform was as bad or perhaps worse than in 2012. But the fact that it was made an item that had to be fought for was very, very different. So I think there’s something to recognize the power of social movements here, but also recognize how far we still have to go, similar to the situation that we’re facing with—with refugees.

We heard tonight this claim from Donald Trump that Hillary Clinton had let in, as he said, tens of thousands of refugees from Syria who were all tied to ISIS. Wrong on all fronts. The fact that the U.S. government was proud of allowing in only 10,000 Syrian refugees in an entire year, in a period where for months Germany was taking in 20,000 a day during the height of the refugee crisis, was one more example. We don’t have a refugee crisis here; we have a racism crisis here. And the kind of Islamophobia, the ISIS bashing that we were hearing from Trump about these refugees, what that says about how far we have to go, the kinds of movements that we need to build, linking the antiwar work with the refugee support work in this country to transform how refugees are treated, so that they are welcomed, not grudgingly accepted—”Well, OK, if we have to take just 10,000 in a whole year, I guess we can”—but to say we welcome people. Young people should be demanding the right to go to school with Syrians. You know, we weren’t hearing any challenge to this sort of mainstream assumption that the refugees are inevitably dangerous, possibly violent, need to be vetted more than any other country in the world even imagines vetting. We heard no challenge to that tonight, and I don’t think we can assume that we will hear leadership from the candidates. It’s going to have to come from our movements.

AMY GOODMAN: Candidates. We are joined right now by Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein. Dr. Stein, welcome back to Democracy Now! Can you respond to the debate that you just watched for an hour and a half, the last presidential debate—you were excluded from all three of them—this one at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas?

DR. JILL STEIN: You know, what a—what a distressing, you know, hour and a half to sit through: Donald Trump’s psychosis and Hillary Clinton’s distortions of her record and what the future would look like. And the picture they paint of unbridled militarism, which is already robbing us blind, taking up more than half of our discretionary budget, almost half of your income taxes, only making the world a more dangerous place, you know, that’s terrifying enough. Add to that, you know, what they want to do with the economy. Donald Trump is all about more—more trickle-up. Actually, it’s not trickle-down: He wants more tax breaks. But, you know, Hillary is also not being clear with us about where we’re going and what her track record is. Hillary laid the groundwork for the financial crash of 2008—not Hillary alone, of course, but she was certainly supporting the policies of Bill Clinton that not only sent our jobs overseas, but which also laid the groundwork for Wall Street deregulation and, in fact, you know, enacted Wall Street deregulation, not to mention the anti-immigrant legislation, the anti-African-American legislation that opened the floodgates to this racist war on drugs and the endless expansion of mass incarceration, particularly of people of color. It’s a very dystopic future.

And, you know, I think it’s really important for us, as Americans, to look at what we’re facing. You know, this is a race to the bottom. We have to exit this—this incredible spiral downward. The sooner we exit this, the better. Those who would say that you have to vote for the lesser evil now, you know, it’s really important to look at the track record for that, because the lesser evil simply paves the way to the greater evil, because people just stop coming out to vote for a lesser evil politician and a lesser evil party that’s throwing you under the bus. The base doesn’t come out, so the Congress flips from being blue to being red, as the Democratic Party has thoroughly established itself in a lesser evil party. So, when is it going to get better? You know, if we don’t stand up and fight now, when exactly are we going to stand up and fight?

And what is really important to remember is that there are actually enough people right now, 43 million young people locked in debt, that if that word alone got out, we have the numbers. That is a plurality. That’s a winning plurality, let alone 27 million Latinos who have had it, who understand that the Republicans are the party of hate and fear and the Democrats are the party of deportation, detention and night raids and imprisonment of children and families in these horrific private prisons.

So, you know, we have a very bleak reality. And for people—you know, everybody knows that Donald Trump is, you know, terrifying and dangerous. But to think that we are secure with Hillary Clinton in the White House, where Hillary Clinton is telling us right now that she wants to start a war with Russia over Syria, creating a no-fly zone, which means, folks, get ready. It’s going to be very hard not to slide—excuse me—into World War III here with Hillary at the helm, starting off her four years, or whatever her term is—starting off with declaring war against Russia by enacting a no-fly zone.

We need a weapons embargo to the Middle East. We need to put a freeze on the bank accounts of our supposed allies who are continuing to fund terrorist enterprises. We got this mess going. We can shut it down. We need a new offensive in the Middle East. It’s called a peace offensive. We’re not going to hear that from either of the corporate-sponsored political parties who are rolling in dough from the weapons industry, from the fossil fuel giants, from the war profiteers, from the big banks. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. In the words of Alice Walker, the biggest way people give up power is by not knowing we have it to start with.

AMY GOODMAN: Let me ask you the question that was put to Donald Trump and to Hillary Clinton around whether you will accept the results of the November election, Dr. Jill Stein.

DR. JILL STEIN: Well, put it this way: If there’s evidence of fraud, we would certainly challenge that in court. And in the Green Party, you know, we have sort of led the charge in pursuing election fraud. So, we wouldn’t be—we wouldn’t hesitate to do that, you know, to the extent that it’s possible.

However, let me just tell you, there’s no question about there being a rigged election here, not in the terms that Donald Trump is saying. But, you know—and, actually, the media has been enormously rigged on his behalf: $4 billion of free prime-time media. Hillary had over $2 billion. Bernie Sanders had under half a billion. And, of course, I’ve had practically zero. So, you know, between that and the rigged debates, which the League of Women Voters themselves called a fraud being perpetrated on the American voter, the silencing of opposition voices through the fear campaigns and the smear campaigns, we don’t create a better democracy out of our wounded democracy by silencing opposition voices. We could move to a ranked choice voting system in the blink of an eye. That could be done right now on an emergency basis, so that we actually liberate voters to vote their values. They can rank their choices. If your first choice loses, your vote is automatically reassigned to your second choice, but the Democrats won’t pass it. My campaign had filed this bill in the Democratic Legislature of Massachusetts, you know, 16 years ago. They won’t let it out of committee—

AMY GOODMAN: Let me ask you—

DR. JILL STEIN: —because they rely on fear, because they know they can’t—

AMY GOODMAN: Let me something—ask you something very quickly, before the end of the show, Jill.


AMY GOODMAN: And that is, 5 percent of the vote nationally is a very important threshold. Can you talk about what would happen, what the Green Party needs to reach and how much money they would get in matching funds from the government?

DR. JILL STEIN: Thank you, Amy. Five percent would be an absolute game changer. And the polls suggest we are something under that, but not by far. And, in fact, the polls do not tap unlikely voters, which is our base. That is millennials. That is people of color and Latinos—really, disenfranchised voters. That’s who will be coming out to vote for us. So, we may be actually very close to that 5 percent threshold. We could even be beyond it. So, you know, it’s really important for people to stand up—

AMY GOODMAN: But if you get it, what happens?

DR. JILL STEIN: If we get that 5 percent, we not only have ballot access then in most states, so that when we begin the election campaign, not only in the next presidential but on all the down-ballot races, as well, we don’t have to first fight for ballot status, which has taken us like the first year of the campaign. It means we can hit the ground running. It also means that we are then—we receive $10 million as a legitimate major party. With $10 million, we can really [inaudible]—

AMY GOODMAN: Well, we have to leave it there. We have to leave it there. I want to thank you for joining us, Dr. Jill Stein, as well as all of our guests. That does it for our special. I’m Amy Goodman, with Nermeen Shaikh. This is Democracy Now!, democracynow.org, “War, Peace and the Presidency.” Thanks so much for joining us.

Non-commercial news needs your support

We rely on contributions from our viewers and listeners to do our work.
Please do your part today.
Make a donation