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5 Unbelievable Moments From the First Presidential Debate

It was an…interesting Presidential debate, to say the least. The first 2016 Presidential debate was filled with mudslinging and accusations, statements of fact and some outright lies. Here’s a glance at five standout moments from the debate.

1. Hillary skewers the “Trumped-up trickle down” economy

Hillary Clinton deemed Donald Trump’s economic plan the “Trumped-up trickle down” plan, stating that Trumps’s plan to lower taxes is the worst trickle-down system ever, and that trickle-down economics has proven to be ineffective. Trump combated this by saying that lowering taxes, especially for the wealthiest, will help to create jobs in the United States—he even claimed to have the biggest tax cuts since Ronald Reagan was president. Either way, Clinton got in some good wordplay here.

2. Everybody’s talking about the fact-checker

Clinton, towards the beginning of the debate, stated that she knew Trump would lower himself to claims and charges against her. As a result, she stated that the front page of her website would be turned into a fact-checker where Americans who were tuning into the debate could go and see if what Trump said was actually true. Trump, of course, said he wanted to stick to the facts, too. But he strayed in a few ways, saying he’d never claimed global warming was a Chinese creation and that Clinton started the birther conspiracy.

3. Hillary gets blamed for everything

Throughout the debate, Trump consistently blamed Clinton for numerous thorny issues she could never have singlehandedly created, such as economic problems and the rise of ISIS. Clinton replied that she had a feeling that she would be blamed for everything by the end of the debate, to which Trump replied “Why not?” It was a pretty surreal moment that just didn’t make a lot of sense.

4. Are emails a fair trade for tax returns?

When moderator Lester Holt asked Trump about why he has yet to release his tax returns, Trump stated that he was advised by lawyers to not release them while he was under an audit, despite the fact that the IRS has stated that it’s perfectly fine to release tax returns while under an audit. Trump, instead, made a deal that if Clinton releases all of her deleted emails, he will go against the advice of his lawyers and release his tax returns. He also claimed that Clinton had 33,000 emails to release, while The New York Times has put the number of unreleased emails at just under 15,000. Still a lot of emails—but he keeps exaggerating.

5. Trump won’t stop saying he was against the Iraq War

Trump continued to claim that he was against the Iraq War from its outset, even though this claim has been proven wrong time and time again. He continued to argue that Clinton and President Obama created a vacuum in the Middle East where terrorist groups could thrive, and also blamed Obama and Clinton for removing troops from Iraq prematurely. Clinton negated his argument about the removal of troops stating that it was President Bush, not Obama, who agreed to the terms of removal for the troops in 2011.

Now we know we have something to look forward to in the second presidential debate!

Emily Veith was previously the Branded Content Copywriter at Her Campus, where she works to create fun and engaging native editorial and social content. Emily has also authored political articles for Restless Magazine and numerous inspirational and empowering pieces for Project Wednesday. When she isn't writing, she can be found flying off to her next adventure, attempting new recipes, listening to one of her infinite playlists on Spotify, or cuddling with her dogs. You can follow her on Instagram and Twitter @emilycveith.
Katherine Mirani is the News Editor for Her Campus. She graduated from Northwestern University's journalism school in 2015. Before joining Her Campus full time, she worked on investigative stories for Medill Watchdog and the Scripps News Washington Bureau. When not obsessing over journalism, Katherine enjoys pasta, ridiculous action movies, #longreads, and her cockatiel, Oreo.
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