Given the heated back-and-forths, it was easy to miss some crucial acknowledgments on issues the candidates hadn’t actually confirmed before Sunday’s debate.
Post reporters, offering live analysis during the debate, heard key admissions from each side.
First, Hillary Clinton appeared to confirm the paid speech excerpts released by WikiLeaks Friday were real
The Post’s Rosalind Herman writes:
Hillary Clinton’s campaign has spent the weekend refusing to confirm whether hacked emails released by WikiLeaks on Friday were real. That’s a serious question because the Russians, thought likely behind the hack of Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta, are known to sometimes release fake or doctored documents.But asked about one key email released by Wikileaks—an email in which Clinton’s staff discussed excerpts from some of the paid speeches she has refused to make public—Clinton did not deny it was authentic. In her answer, she seemed to confirm that, in fact, that critical email was indeed accurate.Instead, she focused on the context for one speech excerpt that Republicans have been highlighting since Friday, in which she told the National Multi-Housing Council in April 2013 that politicians have to have “both a private position and a public position.”Clinton explained that in the speech, she was talking about lessons she had learned from the movie Lincoln, from director Steven Spielberg. Donald Trump immediately scoffed—“now she’s blaming the lie on the late great Abraham Lincoln.”But the email released by WikiLeaks shows that, indeed, she was talking about what she had learned from the movie–albeit a lesson that perhaps not all voters would find tasteful.
Later, Trump confirmed he claimed nearly $1 billion loss on his taxes
The Post’s Jim Tankersley writes:
In a quick back-and-forth with moderator Anderson Cooper, Donald Trump just confirmed what the New York Times first reported earlier this month: that he took a $916 million loss on his taxes and used the full amount to defray taxes in future years.Trump did not detail exactly what those losses represented. Earlier in the debate, he said he has paid hundreds of millions of dollars in federal taxes in his life, and he continued to maintain that he will release his tax returns in full when they are no longer under audit.Throughout his answer, he sought to turn aspects of his tax strategies against Hillary Clinton, claiming she favored the breaks he received – in part to appease political patrons.“Of course I do. Of course I do,” Trump said, when Cooper asked if he had claimed the full loss on his taxes. “And so do all of her donors, or most of her donors.”Later, he added: “A lot of my write-off was depreciation and other things that Hillary as a senator allowed.”Clinton was unimpressed. “Well,” she said, to begin her response, “here we go again.”