President Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden met in the first of three scheduled debates, this one at Cleveland’s Case Western Reserve University and moderated by Chris Wallace of Fox News. The topics addressed were the Supreme Court, as Trump nominee Amy Coney Barrett meets with Republican senators, the covid-19 outbreak; the economy; race; the candidates’ records; the climate; and the integrity of the election.

Trump frequently interrupted both Biden and Wallace, taking swipes at Biden’s son, going over his allotted time and ignoring other rules. Trump, when asked about whether he would condemn white supremacists, failed to fully do so, telling the Proud Boys group, “Stand back and standby.” He also continued to cast unwarranted doubt on mail ballots.

Here’s what to know about the race

10:24 p.m.
Headshot of Jose Del Real
Jose Del Real: Trump’s accusation that Biden is beholden to Black Lives Matter protesters who want to “abolish the police” combined several misleading claims. Not only has Biden rejected calls to defund police departments — to the frustration of activists on the left — but polling shows the majority of Black Americans do not want decreased police presence in their communities. Sixty-one percent of Black adults in the United States said they would like police presence to stay the same, according to a Gallup poll released in August, while 20 percent said they would actually like to see police spend more time in their communities. Just 19 percent said they would like to see police spend less time in their neighborhoods.
Jose Del Real, Reporter, National Political Enterprise
10:21 p.m.
Headshot of Matt Viser
Matt Viser: At a time when Republicans have suggested that Democrats criticizing Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett are doing so because of her Catholic faith, religion came up only once during the first 70 minutes of the debate. It was Biden who raised it, looking toward Trump and saying, “This guy and his friends look down their nose at Irish Catholics like me who grew up in Scranton."
Matt Viser, National political reporter
10:16 p.m.
Headshot of Ashley Parker
Ashley Parker: Trump has repeatedly proved that he cannot bring himself to fully condemn white supremacists. Most memorably, this is what got him in trouble after Charlottesville. And tonight, asked to condemn the Proud Boys — a far-right neo-fascist group — Trump only said, “Stand back and stand by.” Stand by sounds more like a call to action than a condemnation.
Ashley Parker, White House reporter
10:15 p.m.
Headshot of Paul Sonne
Paul Sonne: Trump’s allegation that Hunter Biden received $3.5 million from the Russian tycoon Yelena Baturina, who was married to the late Moscow mayor, comes from a report that Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) and Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) released earlier this month. The report alleged that in 2014, Baturina wired $3.5 million to the Delaware-registered firm Rosemont Seneca Thornton and claimed the firm was co-founded by Hunter Biden. In a statement, George Mesires, a lawyer for Hunter Biden, called the allegation false. Mesires said Hunter Biden neither co-founded nor had any interest in the firm. The implication was that the transaction was a deal done by Hunter Biden’s onetime business partner, Devon Archer, who is listed as the manager who founded the firm on corporate filings.
Paul Sonne, National security reporter focusing on the U.S. military
10:13 p.m.
Headshot of Eugene Scott
Eugene Scott: Trump said there was widespread division during the Obama administration. But most Americans say that Trump is a divisive figure because of his rhetoric and how he portrays those outside of his base. More than half of those surveyed by Yahoo News/YouGov in June said the president is divisive because he believes it will cause him to win the election.
Eugene Scott, National political reporter on The Washington Post's breaking news team
9:59 p.m.
Headshot of Matt Viser
Matt Viser: The split screen of the two candidates showcases the vast difference between Trump’s and Biden’s public personas. Trump is often scowling, his lips pursed as he glances with a side-eye toward Biden. The former vice president is frequently smiling and laughing, even when Trump is insulting his crowd sizes or his intelligence, and at times has a baffled and befuddled look on his face. While Trump is often looking directly at Biden, several times Biden has looked directly at the camera to address viewers rather than Trump.
Matt Viser, National political reporter
9:47 p.m.
Headshot of Eugene Scott
Eugene Scott: Early in the debate, Trump attacked Biden’s intelligence, criticizing him for his poor performance in college. But according to his niece, Trump was accepted to the University of Pennsylvania after paying someone to take the SAT for him. The Post previously reported that Trump was admitted to the Wharton School of Business after connecting with a longtime friend of Trump’s older brother who was an admissions officer at the school at the time.
Eugene Scott, National political reporter on The Washington Post's breaking news team
9:47 p.m.
Headshot of Amy Goldstein
Amy Goldstein: Two key members of Trump’s administration have said that much of the public may not have access to a coronavirus vaccine until next summer. When asked if he agreed, Trump clung to his insistence that they are wrong. He said he has spoken directly with pharmaceutical executives, and he characterized as political the forecasts of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the head of Operation Warp Speed, the administration’s program to deliver an effective vaccine to curb the pandemic.
Amy Goldstein, Reporter covering health-care policy and other social policy issues
9:47 p.m.
Headshot of Robert Barnes
Robert Barnes: We didn’t learn very much about either candidate’s plan for the Supreme Court. But Biden again refused to be drawn into debate about increasing the size of the court, something liberals will push hard if Barrett is confirmed and Biden is elected.
Robert Barnes, Reporter covering the U.S. Supreme Court
9:33 p.m.
Headshot of Matt Viser
Matt Viser: Biden has served with more U.S. senators than almost anyone in history, engaging in Senate floor debates, two vice-presidential debates and a scrum of Democratic presidential debates over three presidential primaries. But Biden has never faced anyone like Trump, who is interrupting again and again, putting Biden at the point of exasperation.
Matt Viser, National political reporter
9:25 p.m.
Headshot of Amy Goldstein
Amy Goldstein: Asked why he hasn’t produced a full-fledged plan to replace the Affordable Care Act, Trump sidestepped the question, referring to recent executive orders he has signed on drug prices — one pegging the price of drugs for people on Medicare to that in certain other countries. These are more intentions than policies that have gone into effect.
Amy Goldstein, Reporter covering health-care policy and other social policy issues
9:20 p.m.
Headshot of Robert Barnes
Robert Barnes: Trump is reluctant to say that Judge Amy Coney Barrett would overturn Roe v. Wade, arguing that no one knows how she would vote. But offering nominees who would overturn Roe is the pledge he made regarding Supreme Court nominations in 2016.
Robert Barnes, Reporter covering the U.S. Supreme Court