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Debate Updates: Trump Refuses To Say If He’ll Accept Election Results

BuzzFeed News reporters Ruby Cramer, Adrian Carrasquillo, Darren Sands, Rosie Gray, McKay Coppins, Tarini Parti, and Bim Adewunmi are at the debate in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Originally posted on
Updated on

Here's What Happened:

  • This insane campaign for president has never been more ugly, and tonight Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump faced off in their final debate at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, moderated by Fox News' Chris Wallace.
  • The candidates skipped the traditional handshake at the open and close of the third debate and clashed on a wide range of issues from Supreme Court justices to Syria.
  • On the topic of the Supreme Court, Trump said he would appoint judges who would overturn Roe v. Wade — the landmark ruling legalizing abortion. Clinton said she would select judges who would uphold the ruling.
  • The candidates angrily accused each other of being "puppets" of the Russian government during a heated exchange about WikiLeaks.
  • Responding to how he would address border security, Trump said, "We have some bad hombres here and we're going to get 'em out." Clinton blasted the idea of "rounding up people who are undocumented."
  • Asked to explain his claims of a "rigged" election, Trump refused to say he would accept the results of the presidential election. "I'll look at it at the time," he said. Clinton declared it "horrifying."
  • Trump also denied the recent sexual assault allegations made by women, saying, "I didn't even apologize to my wife, who's sitting right here, because I didn't do anything wrong."

Missed The Debate? Watch It Here:

Updates

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Kellyanne Conway: Trump "will respect the election results," but everybody waits to see what they are first

Trump campaign manager: He's said he'll respect the election results, but everybody waits to see what they are. https://t.co/5Bmo7CAcRI

In multiple interviews with morning news programs on Thursday, Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway responded to Trump's refusal to say whether he'd respect the results of the election if he lost.

“I will tell you at the time,” Trump said during Wednesday night's debate. “I will keep you in suspense.”

Conway said the candidate "respects the principles of democracy, it’s just that he can’t say what’s going to happen if the election is very tight," she said on ABC's Good Morning America.

"We just don't know what will happen," she added.

"Everybody, including Al Gore in 2000, waits to see what those election results are," she said on CNN's New Day.

–Julia Reinstein

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LAS VEGAS — A new ad by pro-Clinton Super PAC Priorities USA hits Donald Trump on his claim he is "the least racist person." The ad is part of a multi-million dollar ad buy in three states a spokesperson said.

The title of the ad — "Least Racist" —is from an interview Trump gave to CNN's Don Lemon during the Republican primary. Lemon asked Trump directly if he was racist, or bigoted in any way.

"I am the least racist person that you have ever met," Trump said. The ad, which highlights how Trump has responded harshly to protesters at his rallies, including encouraging violence, will play in Ohio, North Carolina and Florida.

Priorities USA strategist Jeff Johnson said in a statement. that Trump's assertion that he's 'the least racist person' is "laughable and insulting,"

Read the full story here.

–Darren Sands

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Tim Kaine: Trump saying he would not accept election results "most shocking moment of the night"

Jason Connolly / AFP / Getty Images

Democratic vice presidential nominee Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA)

Tim Kaine called Donald Trump's suggestion during the debate that he might not necessarily accept the results of the election, "the most shocking moment of the night."

The vice presidential nominee said Thursday the acceptance of an election in the U.S. and the peaceful transfer of power is "a pillar of our nation's democracy."

"We should not have somebody running for president who is trying to pull the pillar down, as Donald Trump was basically trying to do last night," Kaine said in an interview with The Today Show.

Today's Matt Lauer went on to ask Kaine which Trump do you believe — the Trump that three weeks ago during the first presidential debate said he would accept the election results or last night's Trump?

"I think last night's Donald Trump was the real Donald Trump. It was on display for everybody," Kaine said.

On CNN, Kaine was asked if the Clinton campaign was worried that Trump supporters might take matters into their own hands, possibly with violence, if Trump doesn't accept the results of the election.

"We do have a concern. But we also have confidence in the American public," Kaine said.

–Mike Hayes

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During the final debate on Wednesday night, moderator Chris Wallace tried to get some clarity on the candidates' positions on Syria, and on Aleppo in particular. The city has born the brunt of a brutal strategy waged by the government of Bashar al-Assad that has seen untold numbers killed and maimed as he seeks to regain control.

During the last debate, Trump said "Aleppo has basically fallen," which is not true.

"Let's turn to Aleppo, Mr. Trump," Wallace said on Wednesday night, before trying to raise the point that the city had not in fact fallen.

Trump resisted, saying repeatedly: "Have you seen it? Have you seen it? Have you seen what's happening to Aleppo?"

And it went on from there. Read his full answer here.

—Miriam Elder

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"I never met Putin. This is not my best friend," Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump said in one of the more memorable lines in the third and final debate on Wednesday.

That response raised a few eyebrows, both for Trump's general favorable stance towards Russian President Vladimir Putin and this tweet from 2013 in particular:

Do you think Putin will be going to The Miss Universe Pageant in November in Moscow - if so, will he become my new best friend?

And then the memes came rushing in:

Trump: I don't even know Putin. He's not my best friend, I've never even met the guy! Putin:

For more of the meme reaction, go here.

—Hayes Brown

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At the last presidential debate on Wednesday, Donald Trump closed out the evening by calling Hillary Clinton "such a nasty woman."

And, as one might expect, it didn't go quite as he'd probably intended. People everywhere decided it was time to reclaim the "nasty woman" within us all.

Follow along here.

—Julia Reinstein

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He was mostly right about Hillary and the wall, though!

For fact check of the Republican nominee's statements during the third and final debate, BuzzFeed News compiled a go-to list here.

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"His slogan is 'Make America Great Again.' I wonder when he thought America was great"

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Asked about tackling the nation's trillion-dollar debt, with Chris Wallace noting that entitlements account for 60% of all federal spending and that experts have said Medicare funding will soon run out, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton offered competing proposals for how to tackle the issue.

Trump said his plan will cut taxes, grow the economy, and repeal Obamacare.

"If we don't repeal and replace, it's probably going to die of its own weight, but Obamacare has to go," Trump said. "The premiums are going up 60, 70, 80%. Next year, they're going to go up over 100%, 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."

Clinton said she would increase funding for Social Security as part of her "commitment to raise taxes on the wealthy."

"I will not cut benefits," she added.

Clinton then criticized Trump's plan, saying it would "result in a $20 trillion additional national debt," which would "have dire consequences for Social Security and Medicare."

In addition, she said repealing Obamacare would make the problem worse, because the Affordable Care Act "extended the solvency of the Medicare trust fund."

—Emma Loop

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Another Trump accuser plans to go public tomorrow

Attorney Gloria Allred says she will hold a press conference Thursday with another woman who accuses Donald Trump of inappropriate sexual conduct.

This news conference, to be held at 11 a.m. in New York City, will be the first time the woman speaks out about her allegations against the Republican nominee.

Allred, who is representing another woman who has accused Trump of sexual misconduct, will also respond to his claims that the allegations are not true.

—Mary Ann Georgantopoulos

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In their closing remarks Wednesday, Hillary Clinton vowed to work for all Americans if she became president, while Donald Trump said he was the only person who could make America strong again.

Clinton said America needed the skill, talent, and commitment of people from across party lines.

"I will stand up for families against powerful interests, against corporations," she said. "I will do everything I can to make sure you have good jobs with rising incomes, that your kids have good education from preschool to college."

Trump said he would focus on fixing a "depleted" military, taking care of veterans, making sure police were respected, and bringing safety to the inner cities.

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

—Claudia Koerner

Here's Clinton's final statement in the debate.

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Here's Trump's final statement in the debate.

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As Hillary Clinton was giving an answer toward the end of the debate, Donald Trump literally turned to his microphone and called her a "nasty woman."

Earlier in the debate, Trump insisted nobody respects women more than him.

—Jason Wells

Watch here:

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Puppets somehow got dragged into the debate because 2016 isn’t even real

“We would very much like to be excluded from this narrative.” Puppet Spokesperson #debatenight

At the final presidential debate on Wednesday, things got heated when Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton both accused each other of being "puppets."

The moment occurred when Clinton said Putin would "rather have a puppet as president of the United States."

"You're the puppet," Trump retorted.

People immediately rushed to the defense of puppets, who were for some reason dragged into this dumpster fire of a debate.

Read more here.

—Julia Reinstein

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Trump says Assad is "much tougher and smarter than" Clinton

Donald Trump seemed to praise Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, saying he's "much tougher and much smarter than" Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.

Trump talked about the situation in Aleppo, saying that by fighting Assad, the United States has made him tougher.

"If they ever did overthrow Assad, and he's a bad guy, you might end up with as bad as Assad, but you may very well end up with worse than Assad," Trump said. "If she did nothing, we would be in a much better shape."

Moderator Chris Wallace also challenged Trump on comments he made during the second presidential debate that the Syrian city of Aleppo has fallen.

"Have you seen it?" Trump interrupted.

"Aleppo is a disaster, it's a humanitarian disaster," he said. "It's fallen from any standpoint. What do you need, a signed document?"

Mary Ann Georgantopoulos

Watch here:

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Donald Trump refused to commit himself to accepting the election results if he loses the presidential race.

"I will tell you at the time," Trump said, adding: "I will keep you in suspense."

The response came after Trump was asked if he would accept the results of the Nov. 8 election since he has been repeatedly alleging, at rallies and in interviews, that the system is rigged against him.

"I will look at it at the time. I'm not looking at anything now. I will look at it at the time," he initially said.

He then went on a now familiar tirade against what he sees as a "corrupt" and "dishonest" media, before saying Hillary Clinton should not be able to run for president because "she is guilty of a very, very serious crime" — a reference to her use of private email server as secretary of state.

Clinton responded by saying she was "horrified" by Trump's refusal to accept the results of a presidential election, whatever they may be.

"We have had free and fair elections," she said. "We have 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."

Read more about his refusal here.

—Talal Ansari

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Both candidates tried to use Bernie Sanders' words against the other

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Pay-to-play at the Clinton foundation?

Asked about whether she was involved in a pay-to-play scheme with donors to the Clinton Foundation, Hillary Clinton said: "Everything I did as secretary of state was in furtherance of our country's interest and our values."

"But I am happy, in fact I am thrilled, to talk about the Clinton Foundation," she said, "because it is a world-renowned charity, and I'm so proud of the work that it does."

Wallace stopped Clinton to remind her of the question, and Trump interrupted, calling the Clinton Foundation a "criminal enterprise."

He also suggested Clinton was hypocritical for supporting human rights and having a charity that accepts hefty donations from the government of countries, such as Saudi Arabia and Qatar, that mistreat women.

"These are people who push gays off of buildings," Trump said. "These are people who kill women and treat women horribly, and yet you take their money. So I would like to ask you right now, why don't you give back the money that you have taken from certain countries that treat certain groups of people so horribly?"

Trump also criticized Clinton for an alleged pay-to-play scheme related to funding for the Haiti earthquake, saying people in Little Haiti, a community in Miami, Florida, "hate the Clintons" as a result.

Clinton responded that her family's foundation spends 90% of donation money on helping those in need. "I'm very proud of that," she said.

She then criticized the Trump Foundation and a decision to spend its money on a large portrait of Trump.

"I mean who does that?" she asked. "It just was astonishing."

As for Haiti, Clinton said the Clinton Foundation raised $30 million to help the country after the 2011 earthquake.

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Clinton made fun of Trump for saying the Emmys were rigged because he kept losing out

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Clinton says she would continue to support effort to take Mosul from ISIS

Hillary Clinton described how she would continue to support the effort to retake Mosul, while Donald Trump focused on the "stupidity" of US military actions in the area.

Clinton said she would continue to have the US military support and advise Iraqi forces, but she would not send American troops into Iraq as an occupying force.

"I think that would be a big red flag waving for ISIS to reconstitute itself," she said.

Trump blamed the current situation in Mosul on Clinton and also criticized her Senate vote in support of the Iraq War.

"We had Mosul, but when she left, when she took everybody out, we lost Mosul, and now we're fighting for Mosul," Trump said.

Clinton said her vote in support of the Iraq war was a mistake that she had apologized for. Trump, on the other hand, continued to lie that he never supported invading Iraq, she said. In a 2002 interview with Howard Stern, Trump said "yeah, I guess so" when asked if he supported invading Iraq.

"He has consistently denied what is a clear fact," Clinton said. "You can actually hear audio of him saying it. Now why does that matter? Because he's not telling the truth about that position."
—Claudia Koerner

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Donald Trump repeated his claim that ISIS is in 32 countries around the world. That number comes from an analysis from the Long War Journal, run by the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, which determined that the group has supporters in 32 countries.

That is a broad definition of ISIS's presence in countries — the group is actively fighting in a much smaller number. The Congressional Research Service in June found that ISIS is operating mainly in Iraq and Syria, with affiliates and allies in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Libya, Nigeria, Afghanistan, and Yemen.

—Hayes Brown

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"It's not just about women. He never apologizes or says he's sorry for anything."

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The debate crowd literally LOLd when Trump said "nobody has more respect for women" than him

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LOL — Clinton zinged Trump on his "very beautiful hotel"

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At the start of the third and final presidential debate, people were shocked at how relatively calmly Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton were conducting themselves.

That was until Trump started answering a question about border security. And said this: "We have some bad hombres here and we're going to get them out."

"We have some bad, bad people that have to go out," he said. "We're going to get them out, we're going to secure the border, and once the border is secure 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 them out," he concluded.

A literal second later, the country collectively screamed — at their televisions, to the internet, out loud.

Read more about the collective trolling here.

—Tanya Chen

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Hillary Clinton said Donald Trump responded to accusations of sexual assault by saying he "could not possibly have done those things to those women because they were not attractive enough."

Trump repeatedly insisted that he did not say that.

However, on two occasions, Trump seemed to clearly invoke his accuser's appearance as a defense against the allegations, though his campaign denied it later.

About one accuser he said: "Believe me, she would not be my first choice."

About another, he said to supporters at a rally: "Take a look at her, look at her words, you tell me what you think. I don't think so."

—Paul McLeod

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Clinton went all in attacking Trump for his comments on women: "Donald thinks belittling women makes him bigger"

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Trump says sexual assault accusers were either after fame or put up to it by Clinton campaign

Donald Trump denied the accusations made by nine women who claimed the Republican nominee made unwanted sexual advances on them, and falsely said that "those stories have been largely debunked."

Trump said the women were after fame or were put up to it by the Clinton campaign.

"I believe that she got these people to step forward," Trump said. "If it wasn't, they get their 10 minutes of fame … it was all fiction."

Clinton fired back at Trump, slamming comments he made about the women such as saying, "That wouldn't be my first choice," during a rally last week.

"So we now know what Donald thinks and what he says," she said. "That's who Donald is."

Trump ultimately changed the subject, accusing the Clinton campaign of inciting violence at his campaign rallies, alluding to a video produced by James O'Keefe.

Mary Ann Georgantopoulos

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Trump denied making fun of a disabled reporter.

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(Here's video of him doing just that.)

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Donald Trump refused to say that he would accept the results of the presidential election.

"I'll look at it at the time," he told the debate moderator.

He went on to cite rampant voting fraud, despite there being no evidence of it being a widespread issue.

"If you look at your voter rolls, you will see millions of people that are registered to vote, that shouldn't be reg to vote," he said.

Asked to explain his claims of a rigged election, Trump pointed to Hillary Clinton, saying she should have never been allowed to run for the president based on her use of private email server while secretary of state.

When pressed on whether he would keep with tradition in accepting the results of the Nov. 8 election, Trump would respond: "I'll keep you in suspense."

Clinton's response: "That's horrifying."

—Jason Wells

Watch his comments here:

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SAN FRANCISCO — The chance that the upcoming US elections could be hacked or rigged in some mass way to favor one candidate over another is "far-fetched," "nonsensical," and "overblown," election experts and US officials told BuzzFeed News.

"Election officials are in the midst of an election and there are deep concerns that unfounded and unsubstantiated claims are creating a panic among voters," said Kay Stimson, a spokeswoman for the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS). "A lot of what is being said is overblown, inaccurate, or misleading."

Coming amid concerns over Russian hacking, there have been reports in recent weeks that a foreign government might try to hack the upcoming vote, as well as claims by Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump that the vote would be "rigged."

Here are five questions that BuzzFeed News asked experts, ranging from the secretaries of state who receive the results on Election Day to independent commissions that help secure the voting system, to get to the heart of how easy or difficult it would be to rig an election.
—Sheera Frenkel

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Trump: "The one thing you have over me is experience, but it's bad experience."

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Clinton and Trump presented dueling economic plans — investing in the middle class versus dramatic tax cuts — as well as dueling versions of their own work experience over the last decades.

Clinton described her plan to grow the economy: give middle-class families more opportunities, invest in infrastructure and clean energy, and make state colleges debt-free for families earning less than $100,000 a year.

"It was a terrible recession. Now we've dug ourselves out of it," Clinton said. "We're standing, but we're not running."

Trump, on the other hand, said he would lower taxes for individuals and businesses and also renegotiate trade deals.

"Her plan is going to raise taxes and even double your taxes," Trump said. "Her tax plan is a disaster."

Clinton hit back that her plan was economically sound, while Trump's "trickle down" would be ineffective and add to the national debt.

"I will not raise taxes on anyone making $250,000 or less," Clinton said. "I also will not add a penny to the debt."

She said that while Trump complains of jobs moving overseas under Democratic administrations, he himself had used Chinese steel to build his hotels, snubbing American product.

"He goes around with crocodile tears about how terrible it is, but he has given jobs to Chinese steel workers, not American steel workers," Clinton said.

In response, Trump accused Clinton of being ineffective in her 30 years in public service. She could have prevented businessmen like him from turning to foreign labor, he said.

"Make it impossible for me to do that," he said. "I wouldn't mind."

As for experience, Clinton described her involvement in preventing segregation in schools, supporting women's rights, and bringing Osama bin Laden to justice — while Trump was involved in lawsuits, denigrating women, and starring on reality TV, she said.

"I'm happy to compare my 30 years of experience, what I've done for this country, trying to help any way I could," she said.

Trump pointed to his business.

"I built a phenomenal company," he said. "If we could run our country the way I run my company, we would have a country we'd be so proud of."

— Claudia Koerner

Dueling economic plans take center stage

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Fact check: Trump saying the border with Mexico is not secure is partially true

Calling for stronger borders, Donald Trump asserted during the debate that the U.S. border with Mexico is not secure. "They are coming in illegally. Drugs are pouring in through the border. We have no country if we have no border," Trump said.

This claim is partially true. The Associated Press reported that immigration authorities caught just over half of the people who illegally entered the US from Mexico last year. The information came from an unreleased Department of Homeland Security report.

At the same time, enforcement along the US–Mexico border has never been higher. There are currently about 21,000 agents patrolling more than 6,000 miles of the nation's borders.
—Adolfo Flores

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Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump both accused each other of being puppets for the Russian government during a heated exchange about WikiLeaks at Wednesday's presidential debate.

The exchange came while Clinton was responding to a question about open borders. After saying that she wants a global energy market, Clinton slammed WikiLeaks for getting information from Russian hackers.

"What's really important about WikiLeaks is that the Russian government has engaged in espionage against Americans," Clinton said, adding that the Russians then gave that information to WikiLeaks "for the purpose of putting it on the internet."

Read more here.

—Jim Dalrymple II

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In one of the more heated exchanges of the debate, Donald Trump said he supported deporting illegal immigrants in the US, especially those convicted of violent crimes, and stopping the flow of drugs into the country.

"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," Trump said.

"We have some bad hombres here and we're going to get them out," he added.

Trump said Hillary Clinton's plan to give amnesty to illegal immigrants "is a disaster and very unfair to all of the people waiting in line for many, many years."

He also accused Clinton of wanting "open borders" and said that goes against what border patrol officers want.

Clinton repeatedly responded by saying she didn't want open borders; rather, she wants secure borders. She also criticized Trump's plan to build a wall along the border in the southern US, saying that he "didn't even raise it" during a recent meeting with the Mexican president.

"He choked," Clinton said.

The idea of "rounding up people who are undocumented," she added, 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."

Clinton said her plan would also focus resources on deporting dangerous convicted criminals, but that her platform would also bring "undocumented immigrants out from the shadows, putting them into the formal economy … Because then employers can't exploit them and undercut Americans' wages."

"Donald knows a lot about this," Clinton added, accusing him of taking advantage of undocumented workers.

—Emma Loop

Watch the exchange here:

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Clinton: "Let me translate that if I can, Chris." Trump: "You can't."

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Trump and Clinton clash over who would be Putin's puppet

Hillary said the people behind the recent email hacks released by WikiLeaks went all the way to the highest echelons of the Russian government, when she was asked about her support for "open borders," a line that came from the hacked emails.

Clinton briefly responded to the actual question by saying she was talking about energy, and electricity, crossing borders. She then quickly began talking about the Russian government and their alleged "espionage" of the US presidential election.

"This has come from the highest levels of the Russian government," Clinton said. "Clearly from Putin himself, in an effort, as 17 of our intelligence agencies have confirmed, to influence our election."

Clinton then called on Trump to publically condemn the Russian government and asked that he "reject Russian espionage against Americans," Clinton said.

In response, Trump pointed out that Clinton avoided the original question about open borders.

"That was a great pivot off the fact that she wants open borders. OK? How did we get on to Putin?" Trump said.

Trump reiterated a line he has said in previous debates, that he does not know Putin, but believes that a good relationship between US and Russia would be a good thing, and would help defeat ISIS.

"Look, Putin — from everything I see, has no respect for this person," Trump said, referring to Clinton.

"That's because he'd rather have a puppet as president of the United States," Clinton retorted.

"You're the puppet," Trump interjected.

Talal Ansari

Watch the exchange here:

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Clinton says Trump's economic policies will cause mayhem

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Donald Trump said, falsely, during the debate that the allegations brought by nine women that he engaged in inappropriate sexual conduct have been "largely debunked."

He also claimed to not know any of the women, including a former contestant on his reality show The Apprentice, and blamed the allegations on an orchestrated smear campaign by Hillary Clinton.

"They want either fame, or her campaign did it, and I think it's her campaign," Trump said.

—Jason Wells

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Fact check: Trump says the US has deported "millions and millions" under Obama

Donald Trump claimed during the debate that "President Obama has deported millions and millions of people," adding that Democrats don't want to talk about this.

While "millions and millions" might be an exaggeration, Trump is basically right: The United States has deported over 2.5 million people under Obama. This is more than any other president.

—Paul McLeod

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Clinton said Trump's plans to round up undocumented people and deport them "would rip our country apart"

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Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton clashed on their opposing opinions on abortion rights during their final debate Wednesday after the Republican nominee said current law allows doctors to "rip the baby out of the womb."

Asked about their stance on abortion, Trump stressed that he is "pro-life" and would nominate like-minded justices for the Supreme Court to make sure the issue of abortion is decided at the state level.

"I am pro-life and I will be appointing pro-life justices," Trump said. "It would go back to the states."

He also criticized late-term abortions, saying they allow for procedures that "rip the baby out of the womb" up to a day before birth.

"You can take the baby and rip the baby out of the womb on the ninth month," Trump said.

Read more here.

—Adolfo Flores

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Fact check: Trump saying Clinton wanted a type of border barrier is partly true

During Wednesday's debate, Donald Trump said Hillary Clinton also wants to erect a huge wall along the US–Mexico border, as Trump has famously been calling for since the early days of his campaign.

"Hillary Clinton wanted the wall. Hillary Clinton fought for the wall. In 2006 or thereabouts," Trump said. "Now, she never gets anything done, so naturally the wall wasn't built, but Hillary Clinton wanted the wall."

The statement was partly true, because Clinton did vote for the Secure Fence Act of 2006, which approved the construction of about 700 miles of fence along the border. But that fence is was much cheaper than the wall Trump is calling for.

Clinton also pointed out the difference in her response during the debate.

"I voted for border security and there are some limited places where that was appropriate — there also is necessarily going to be a technology and how best to deploy that," Clinton said.
—Adolfo Flores

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Abortions in the final days of pregnancy?

The candidates disagreed sharply over abortion at the top of Wednesday's debate, with Donald Trump claiming that Hillary Clinton supports abortion in the last month — and even final days — of a full-term pregnancy.

Only about 1.2% of the 1 million abortions performed each year in the U.S. are so-called "late-term" — performed after the 20th week of pregnancy. And most of those are done before the 24th week.

—Dan Vergano

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Trump said there's "no quote" showing him advocating for nuclear competition in Asia. Here's a quote from him advocating for nuclear competition in Asia:

Trump's pretty clear on nukes and Japan in this interview https://t.co/EbUzRMdtcI

Donald Trump said "you won't find that quote" when Hillary Clinton said that she was quoting him claiming that more countries should develop nuclear weapons. But we found quotes very much like that. In an interview with the New York Times in March, however, he said, "Well I think maybe it's not so bad to have Japan — if Japan had that nuclear threat, I'm not sure that would be a bad thing for us."

And in a CNN Republican
primary debate in March when presented with whether Saudi Arabia and other countries gaining nuclear weapons worried him, he said, "It's going to happen, anyway. It's going to happen anyway. It's only a question of time. They're going to start having them or we have to get rid of them entirely. But you have so many countries already, China, Pakistan, you have so many countries, Russia, you have so many countries right now that have them."
—Hayes Brown

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Once again, Donald Trump falsely claimed during Wednesday's debate that US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) endorsed him for president, but it was the union and not the federal agency who endorsed him.

Trump has made the false statement many times since September when the National Immigration and Customs Enforcement Council endorsed him. The union represents 7,600 ICE officers, agents, and employees working for the federal agency.

In a statement posted on Trump's site, the union said it supported the Republican after he asked for a meeting.

"In his immigration policy, he has outlined core policies needed to restore immigration security," the union said.

—Adolfo Flores

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Trump and Clinton clash over abortion rights

Hillary Clinton shot back at Donald Trump and accused him of "scare rhetoric" after he said her stance on abortion would allow to "take the baby and rip the baby out of the womb."

The two candidates clashed on the issue of abortion and how their stances will affect future Supreme Court nominations.

Trump did not directly answer Chris Wallace's question if he would like to see the court overturn Roe v. Wade, instead saying that it will happen naturally.

"If we put two, three more justices that will happen," Trump said. "That will happen automatically."

Clinton maintained she is pro–abortion rights, saying the government should not be making health care decisions for women.

"Donald said he's in favor of defunding Planned Parenthood," Clinton said. "I will defend Planned Parenthood, I will defend Roe v. Wade, and I will defend women's rights to make their own health care decisions."

Mary Ann Georgantopoulos

"I don't think the United States government should be stepping in and making those most personal of decisions," Hillary Clinton said of Roe v. Wade.

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During a CNN interview leading up to the final presidential debate, Rudy Giuliani defended Donald Trump against recent accusations of sexual assault.

"I know men who are touchy-feely," Giuliani said, "I know men who sometimes seem to act inappropriately in the way they touch or handle women. I don't like it, but Donald Trump is not one of them."

In that same interview, Giuliani touched CNN anchor Erin Burnett on the arm multiple times.

Read more here.

—Julia Reinstein

Watch the clip here:

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Trump and Clinton spar over Second Amendment rights

Donald Trump said he would appoint Supreme Court justices who would protect the Second Amendment, disparaging Hillary Clinton as being anti–gun rights.

"We need a Supreme Court, in my opinion, that is going to uphold the Second Amendment, and all amendments, but the Second Amendment is under siege," Trump said.

Clinton said she supported individual gun ownership and the Second Amendment but called for "sensible" regulations that would reduce the 33,000 gun deaths in the US each year. In particular, she said she supported background checks as well as closing the so-called online and gun show loopholes.

"I see no conflict between saving people's lives and defending the Second Amendment," Clinton said.

Trump also praised the Supreme Court's decision in District of Columbia vs. Heller, which overturned a ban on DC residents owning handguns as well as regulations requiring firearms be kept unloaded or with a trigger lock.

"Justice Scalia was so involved, and it was a well-crafted decision," Trump said.

Clinton agreed she was upset about the court's decision.

"I was upset because unfortunately, dozens of toddlers injure themselves and even kill people with guns," she said. "Not everyone who has loaded guns in their homes takes appropriate precautions."

— Claudia Koerner

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Responding to how he would address border security, Donald Trump said the US would first have to deport "bad hombres" before building a wall along the border with Mexico.

"We have some bad hombres here and we're going to get them out," he said.

Trump gained traction in the primary when he accused Mexico of sending rapists, drug dealers, and violent criminals across the border as part of an unchecked wave of illegal immigration.

—Jason Wells

Watch his comments here:

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Hillary Clinton: "The Supreme Court should represent all of us"

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This news anchor couldn't stop laughing when two guests started SCREAMING about Trump

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Chris Hayes is all of us in 2016.

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15 tweets about the final debate that will make you laugh and then cry softly

As America prepares for the third and final presidential debate, take a moment to feel the collective groan with these tweets.

—Stephanie McNeal

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No, the Trump Hotel in Las Vegas does not have “Hillary for Prison 2016” on it

A lot of people are sharing an image on Twitter showing the Trump Hotel in Las Vegas with the phrase "Hillary for prison 2016" lit up on the outside.

Here's the thing: It's fake.

The original, unaltered image is the first result when you google "Las Vegas Trump Hotel", and someone has just worked some Photoshop ~magic~ to do the rest.

Read more here.

—Brad Esposito

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Mike Pence claims on CNN that "voter fraud is real"

In a pre-debate interview with CNN, Republican vice presidential candidate Mike Pence said "voter fraud is real," and urged people "to be vigilant," as he responded to a question about Trump's claims that the electoral process is rigged against him.

"Donald Trump is simply calling on voters to be involved in electoral process. Voter fraud is real, and we're dealing with it in the state of Indiana," Pence said, possibly referring to claims by Indiana's Republican secretary of state of voter fraud.

Pence's response came after CNN's Dana Bash pressed the VP candidate on Trump's claims, saying that there was no evidence of widespread voter fraud in the country.

Earlier in the interview, Wolf Blitzer asked Pence about his thoughts on the varied guests Trump has invited to the debate tonight. The list includes Obama's half-brother Malik Obama; singer Wayne Newton; Patricia Smith, mother of a State Department employee who was killed in Benghazi; and Leslie Millwee, a woman that has accused former President Bill Clinton of sexual assault.

Pence quickly used the opportunity to focus on Smith, the loss of her son in Benghazi, and his belief that Hillary Clinton mismanaged the attack on the US consulate in Libya.

"In that moment of crisis in Benghazi, leadership failed," Pence said, while also accusing Clinton of lying to the American people in addition to Smith.

Talal Ansari

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Danney Williams, who says he is Bill Clinton's biological son, held a press conference in Las Vegas and gave an ultimatum to the former president: Take a paternity test or face a lawsuit.

Williams, who said he has not been in touch with the Trump campaign and is not supporting either candidate, said he is holding the press conference just over an hour before the final presidential debate in hopes of getting Bill Clinton's attention.

Daily Beast reporter Olivia Nuzzi pushed back on his claims that he has long tried to get his story out into the public, asking Williams why he repeatedly ignored her requests for an interview last year.

"It was hard on me to just get up and leave and do these interviews," he said. "I must have looked over it."

While he did not provide a time frame, Williams said he will file a lawsuit if Bill Clinton does not agree to a paternity test.

"All I wanted is to know where I come from," he said. "I feel like he should make it right."
—Mary Ann Georgantopoulos

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Donald Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway conceded Wednesday that the campaign has stumbled in recent weeks under an onslaught of negative coverage about allegations of Trump's unwanted sexual advances and his feud with GOP leaders.

Appearing on Fox News personality Brian Kilmeade's radio show on the eve of the final presidential debate in Las Vegas, Conway was pressed about Trump's drop in the polls.

"We have taken a little bit of a hit," Conway admitted. "We've got a lot of negative coverage, and Hillary Clinton's campaign is leading with scarcity as a strategy."

Conway implored Trump to stay on the issues during Wednesday's debate: "The issue set still favors him. If he can focus on the issue sets, on showing the real contrast with her on the big issues of the day…then he wins."

Read more here.

—Nathaniel Meyersohn

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As cable news networks have faced criticism for their fever-pitch coverage of Donald Trump, Chris Wallace at Fox News Sunday has been having a bit of a moment. His show delivers news. He's cross-examined all the presidential candidates but one (Hillary Clinton). The debates he moderates with Megyn Kelly and Bret Baier are considered the strongest, most interesting, highest-rated of the election cycle. And he hasn't made any concessions to Trump.

The Republican frontrunner has an unusual effect on institutions like political and media organizations. Because he is so different from the accepted political routine, Trump often exposes hypocrisies, exacerbates quiet tensions, and reveals the existence of principles.

Wallace sat down with BuzzFeed News earlier this year to discuss television news, Trump, and the continued importance of the Sunday shows.

Read more here.

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BuzzFeed Founder and CEO Jonah Peretti confirms he tweeted this after Ivanka Trump said she was surprised by her father's lewd language:

Surprised Ivanka would be shocked by lewd language. I met her once & she casually said: "I've never seen a mulatto… https://t.co/NgJERlY4dP

Reached by phone, Peretti said he wrote the tweet in an airport lounge in Burbank, California, after having read a BuzzFeed News report about the daughter of the Republican presidential nominee reacting to a 2005 tape of him making lewd remarks about grabbing women’s genitals.

Peretti said the encounter with Ivanka occurred at a Manhattan dive bar called Tropical 128 about 8 to 10 years ago with roughly five other people present, including his wife, Andrea Harner. Peretti said he and Ivanka have a mutual friend who invited her to the bar that evening.

“She was saying how she first said she had never seen an uncircumcised cock and then she said, ‘I’ve never seen a mulatto cock. There’s lots of cocks I’ve never seen,’ or something like that,” Peretti said.

Read more about the encounter here.

—David Mack

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Ivanka Trump on Wednesday called her father's comments about women that were caught on a leaked Access Hollywood tape "crude" and "a bit jarring," but said they were not consistent with the man she knows.

"That's not language consistent with any conversation I've ever had with him, certainly, or any conversation I've overheard," she said at Fortune's Most Powerful Women Summit. "So it was a bit jarring for me to hear."

Read the full story here.

—Jason Wells

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Ecuador's government acknowledged that the reason it "temporarily restricted" WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange's internet access at its embassy in London was because his site published documents from Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign.

In a statement, Ecuador's Foreign Ministry said the government of Ecuador did not "interfere in external electoral processes."

"The government of Ecuador respects the principle of non-intervention in the internal affairs of other states. It does not interfere in external electoral processes, nor does it favor any particular candidate," read the statement.

Read the full story here.

—Karla Zabludovsky

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Hillary Clinton's campaign chairman, John Podesta, included Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and Apple CEO Tim Cook in a list of possible vice presidential candidates, according to an email released Tuesday by WikiLeaks.

Check out the story here.

—Blake Montgomery

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GRAND JUNCTION, Colorado — Michelle Obama is starring in a new campaign ad hitting the airwaves in Florida this week in a small buy aimed at convincing undecided voters along the critical I-4 corridor to go out and vote — for Donald Trump.

In recent weeks the first lady has emerged as one of Clinton's most effective surrogates, and is extremely popular with much of the population. But the pro-Trump super PAC has isolated a clip they see as a critique of the Clintons during the nasty 2008 primary fight between the two.

The $400,000 ad campaign by the Make America Number 1 super PAC, titled "Can't Run Her House," is designed to not-so-subtly hit Clinton both for her husband's extramarital affairs and for how Clinton herself handled them.

Read the full story here.

—John Stanton

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Hacked emails show that members of Hillary Clinton's campaign were "distressed" and "dumbfounded" by a 2015 decision by recently ousted Democratic National Committee chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz to hire a convention CEO without consulting them first.

"We can't be seen as trying to reverse this," Clinton wrote in an email dated March 27, 2015.

Wasserman Schultz, according to the emails, had hired Rev. Leah D. Daughtry to run the convention.

Campaign manager Robby Mook agreed.

"My issue is less about who it is but more that we're being told to raise the money and we weren't even consulted when we asked," he wrote.

The emails were posted this week by WikiLeaks, and appear to demonstrate the influence the Clinton campaign sought to wield over the DNC, even before Clinton had formally announced her candidacy.

Mook went on to say, "Madame Secretary, I'm not going to call anyone or say anything until you have your conversation with DWS, but this concerns me a lot."

He added that senior members of the campaign "may need to sit down with Debbie to make clear how we want things to change/improve before we are willing to consider playing ball with them."

Read the full story here.

Emma Loop

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Puerto Ricans, who largely support Hillary Clinton, are becoming a key group in the swing state of Florida. They do not support Trump, but many activists continue to press the Clinton campaign to ramp up up efforts in Central Florida.

Despite the rising number of registered Puerto Rican voters — which will likely have lasting implications on Florida's political landscape for the next few elections — it remains unclear how many will actually vote in this election.

The Clinton campaign says that it has made concerted efforts to engage Puerto Rican communities in Orange, Osceola, and Seminole counties in Central Florida. Often times, they mirror the campaign styles from the island itself, holding block parties at lechoneras (Puerto Rican restaurants) and hosting caravanas (musical processions).

Still, organizers want more.

"I've heard some activists say they wish activity were earlier and more intense," Federico de Jesús, Obama's 2008 Hispanic media director, told BuzzFeed News.

"A lot have taken matters into their own hands but I think it can't hurt that Hillary talks more about these issues," he added.

Read the full story here.

Adrian Carrasquillo

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Trump supporters at a Colorado Springs rally on Tuesday told BuzzFeed News that while they find Melania Trump elegant, supporting, composed, and strong, they do not know very much about her.

Apart from famously plagiarizing Michelle Obama in her speech at the Republican National Convention, Melania, a 46-year-old former model from Slovenia, has largely stayed out of the limelight.

But just before Trump's Colorado rally, the Trump campaign appeared to expand her role when she appeared on CNN for a sit-down interview with Anderson Cooper.

In the talk, she defended her husband's lewd comments about sexually assaulting women as "boy talk," adding that she often says, "I have two boys at home — I have my young son and I have my husband."

At the rally Tuesday, female Trump supporters had varying opinions about Melania's potential role as first lady of the United States.

Some likened her to Princess Diana, saying she is "what every girl wants to be: popular, beautiful, smart, well-off, and a good person."

Others said that they did not necessarily need Melania to occupy the same role in the White House as Michelle Obama, and lauding her for her decision to prioritize motherhood.

Read the full story here.

Jessica Testa

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Democratic operative fired, another resigns in wake of undercover videos

Project Veritas / Via youtube.com

Bob Creamer, head of Mobilize, an organization hired by the Democratic National Committee.

A Democratic official resigned, and another was fired, on Tuesday after a conservative activist released a video that suggested Democrats had hired agitators to instigate violence at Trump rallies.

"I mean honestly, it is not hard to get some of these assholes to pop off," Scott Foval, the national field director of Americans United for Change, a subcontractor hired by the Democratic National Committee, says in the recording.

"You can message to draw them [Trump supporters] out and draw them to punch you," Foval added.

Another official in the video, Robert Creamer, can be heard explaining his role of organizing counter-protests and events at Trump rally locations.

A Democratic National Committee official told BuzzFeed News that Creamer said on Tuesday he would "step aside" from his work in the presidential race.

The DNC also criticized the source of the video, which was uploaded by James O'Keefe of Project Veritas.

Read the full story here.

Salvador Hernandez

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LAS VEGAS — On April 18, about two weeks before the end of the Republican primary, Hillary Clinton issued a grave warning to a small group of Democratic volunteers.

"It's not just Donald Trump or Ted Cruz. What they are saying is what most of the Republican elected officials believe."

The rebuke was one of the last that Clinton would aim at the GOP writ large. Later that spring, the Democratic nominee set out on a new and unprecedented effort to decouple Trump from the rest of his own party, casting the billionaire as "even more extreme than the rank-and-file Republican." Clinton dedicated the summer and early fall to courting bipartisan support and building a case against Trump that had little to do with the GOP, its policies, rhetoric, or any of its candidates running in House and Senate races.

The campaign didn't "want to link the House and Senate Republicans to Trump" or "connect Trump and the Republican Party," according to hacked emails from May of this year between the Democratic National Committee and Clinton strategists.

Five months later, aides signaled, the message was about to change all over again.

Read the full story here.

–Ruby Cramer and Nathaniel Meyersohn

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Donald Trump's treatment of women drew new scrutiny this month after the release of a 2005 Access Hollywood tape showed him bragging about kissing women, grabbing them "by the pussy," and attempting to have sex with a married woman.

In response to the tape, Trump — who had cultivated a playboy image for years through parties, his modeling agency, and his ownership of the Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants — said it was all just "locker room talk."

"I have great respect for women," Trump said in the second presidential debate. "Nobody has more respect for women than I do."

Anderson Cooper, the debate's moderator, pressed the Republican on if he had ever physically groped or kissed women without consent.

"No, I have not," Trump said.

These are the women who say that's a lie.

Read the full story here.

–Claudia Koerner and Talal Ansari

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President Barack Obama advised Donald Trump on Tuesday to stop whining about voter fraud ahead of the elections.

Trump has urged his supporters to monitor certain areas on election day to prevent what he believes could be a rigged election.

"I have ever seen in my lifetime or in modern political history any presidential candidate trying to discredit the elections and the election process before the votes take place," Obama said, during a press conference in the Rose Garden with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi.

"Every expert, regardless of political party, regardless of ideology, conservative or liberal, who has ever examined these issues in serious ways will tell you instances of significant voter fraud are not to be found," Obama said.

Read the full story here.

–Tamerra Griffin