The most important quotes of the first presidential debate

"Mr Trump, for five years you perpetuated a false claim of the nation's first black President wasn't a natural born citizen", Mr Holt said.

Trump blamed the birther controversy on longtime Clinton ally Sidney Blumenthal and Clinton's 2008 campaign manager and said he had done a "good job" because he pressed Obama to release his birth certificate in 2011.

The exchange occurred when moderator Lester Holt questioned Trump on what exactly the Republican candidate meant when the he said Clinton lacked the "presidential look."

But after Trump's disastrous night in the spotlight, the rest of us can't say we haven't been warned. I don't think top down works in America.

Even if ISIS originated in 1999, Clinton, clearly, enjoyed 24 years of adulthood before the group even existed for her to fight.

And then, Trump said, "As far as my tax returns..." and didn't return to the email issue again.

He told the audience: "She doesn't have the look, she doesn't have the stamina".

Clark said the race had tightened recently, which made the importance of the debate more significant for Clinton.

"At the end of the day", said Ashcraft, "it comes down to who you feel safest with running the country- who makes you feel safe when you check that box". But Trump's campaign is pushing back, accusing Clinton's team of trying to put its thumb on the scale by enlisting the media to do Clinton's job for her. She said one reason he has refused is that he may well have paid nothing in federal taxes. But Clinton, if she gets too into the weeds, risks coming off as too stoic and not relatable.

Hillary Clinton took charge by doing what she knows best - attacking - and Donald Trump got stuck in the mud.

Mr Trump also repeatedly insisted that he opposed the Iraq War before the 2003 United States and UK invasion, despite telling radio host Howard Stern in September 2002 that he supported it.

But here's what Clinton's camp needs to keep this in mind: Trump does a lot of things that are conventionally "wrong" that don't hurt him.

Rejecting claims that he supported the invasion of Iraq, Trump contended that he has better judgment than his Democratic rival. "I was against the war".

"Well he approved NAFTA", Trump interrupted once more", which is the single worst trade deal ever approved in this country".

Mr Trump, who declared his "temperament" to be his winning trait at one point in the debate, was criticised by some viewers for using the platform to spruik his new hotel.

  • Salvatore Jensen