Clinton’s Claim on a Trade Deal
TRUMP: You called it the gold standard of trade deals.CLINTON: Well, Donald, I know you live in your own reality, but that is not the facts.
The back and forth over Mrs. Clinton’s support for trade agreements came early in the debate and was considered one of Mr. Trump’s strongest moments. In fact-checking segments, CNN, Fox News and MSNBC hosts and guests generally agreed with Mr. Trump’s claim that Mrs. Clinton had called the Trans-Pacific Partnership accord “the gold standard” before she came out against it.
Secret, and Not Secret, Plans to Fight the Islamic State
TRUMP: She tells you how to fight ISIS on her website. I don’t think General Douglas MacArthur would like that too much.CLINTON: Well, at least I have a plan to fight ISIS.
The conservative-leaning Fox News highlighted Mr. Trump’s attacks on Mrs. Clinton over her plan to fight the Islamic State. The two other networks played the clip fewer times. In one of those, CNN commentators gave a favorable review to Mr. Trump. But during at least one MSNBC program, the clip was followed by laughter at Mr. Trump’s hyperbole that Mrs. Clinton had been fighting ISIS for her “entire adult life.”
Tax Returns vs. Deleted Emails
CLINTON: Maybe he doesn’t want the American people, all of you watching tonight, to know that he’s paid nothing in federal taxes.
You know, I made a mistake using a private email.
At one point in the debate, Mr. Trump said he would release his tax returns when Mrs. Clinton released her emails. CNN and MSNBC both ran more clips on the exchange in which Mrs. Clinton alleged that Mr. Trump had not paid federal income taxes and he said that made him “smart.” Fox News and CNN emphasized Mrs. Clinton’s admission that she made a mistake by using a private email server.
Who Hacked the D.N.C.
TRUMP: I don’t think anybody knows it was Russia that broke into the D.N.C. She’s saying Russia, Russia, Russia, but I don’t — maybe it was. I mean, it could be Russia, but it could also be China. It could also be lots of other people. It also could be somebody sitting on their bed that weighs 400 pounds, OK?
Mr. Trump’s comment that the hacking of the Democratic National Committee could have been committed by China — or by a 400-pound person sitting on their bed — elicited amusement on MSNBC, which spent more time than the other networks on Mr. Trump’s response to a question about cyber attacks. In at least one clip, a guest noted that U.S. intelligence officials have high confidence that Russia is behind the attacks.
Miss Universe and Trump’s Restraint
CLINTON: He called this woman “Miss Piggy.” Then he called her “Miss Housekeeping,” because she was Latina. Donald, she has a name.TRUMP: I was going to say something extremely rough to Hillary, to her family, and I said to myself, “I can’t do it. I just can’t do it.”
CNN and MSNBC more frequently played the clip of Mrs. Clinton telling the story of the former Miss Universe, Alicia Machado, whom Mr. Trump had disparaged. Fox and MSNBC both discussed Trump’s “rough” statement, but with different angles. Some Fox guests praised Mr. Trump’s restraint in not raising Bill Clinton’s infidelities, while there was debate on MSNBC over whether or not Mr. Clinton’s personal life was fair game in future debates.