PHOTOS: Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, final round

  • Attendees enter and exit the media center at the University of Las Vegas ahead of the last presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump in Las Vegas on Oct. 19, 2016.
  • The media prepares for the final presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump at the University of Las Vegas on Oct. 19, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nev.
  • The media center at the University of Las Vegas is pictured ahead of the last presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump in Las Vegas on Oct. 19, 2016.
  • The podiums on the debate stage are pictured prior to the start of the third presidential debate at the Thomas & Mack Center on Oct. 19, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nev.
  • The final preparations are underway prior to the start of the third presidential debate at the Thomas & Mack Center on Oct. 19, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nev.
  • Mark Cuban speaks to reporters about Donald Trump ahead of the final presidential debate at the Thomas & Mack Center on Oct. 19, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nev.
  • Brian Fallon, national press secretary for Hillary Clinton speaks to reporters ahead of the final presidential debate at the Thomas & Mack Center on Oct. 19, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nev.
  • Former president Bill Clinton and his daughter Chelsea Clinton arrive for the third presidential debate between Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Oct. 19, 2016, in Las Vegas., Nev.
  • Melania Trump sits with Republican vice presidential candidate Gov. Mike Pence, R-Ind., during the third presidential debate between Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Oct. 19, 2016, in Las Vegas, Nev.
  • U.S. Senate Minority Leader Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) speaks with guests before the start of the third U.S. presidential debate at the Thomas & Mack Center on Oct. 19, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nev. 
  • Former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani speaks with guests ahead of the third presidential debate between Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Oct. 19, 2016, in Las Vegas., Nev. 
  • Republican vice-presidential candidate Gov. Mike Pence, center, listens during the final presidential debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton at University of Nevada in Las Vegas, on Oct. 19, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nev.
  • The crowd watches the third presidential debate between Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Oct. 19, 2016, in Las Vegas., Nev. 
  • Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump takes the stage during the third presidential debate at UNLV in Las Vegas, Nev., on Oct. 19, 2016. 
  • Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump take the stage for the final presidential debate at University of Nevada in Las Vegas, Nev., Oct. 19, 2016.
  • Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump takes the stage during the third presidential debate at UNLV in Las Vegas, Nev., on Oct. 19, 2016. 
  • Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton is pictured on stage during the third presidential debate at UNLV in Las Vegas, Nev., on Oct. 19, 2016. 
  • Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump take the stage for the final presidential debate at University of Nevada in Las Vegas, Nev., Oct. 19, 2016.
  • Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton is pictured on the screen during the final presidential debate in Las Vegas on Oct. 19, 2016.
  • Kellyanne Conway, campaign manager for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, talks to reporters in the spin room after the third presidential debate at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Oct. 19, 2016, in Las Vegas, Nev.

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Updated

LAS VEGAS— In the week leading up to the third and final presidential debate, news of leaks around both the Republican and Democratic nominees dominated headlines and, judging by the tone of the two previous debates, analysts expected this last showdown to be explosive. It was, but Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton managed to fit a little policy talk in between attacks surrounding scandals.

The debate, hosted by Fox News at the University of Nevada, was subdued to start, with mediator Chris Wallace setting the tone, but it didn’t last long. The two talked Russia, Mosul and nuclear weapons. Trump continued to deny the sexual assault allegations made against him, saying, “I didn’t even apologize to my wife, because I didn’t do anything.” Clinton, for her part, redirected questions about statements she’d made in paid speeches, to Wikileaks and evidence that the Russian government is hacking emails to influence the outcome of the election.

“The most important question of this evening,” she added, is if Trump “rejects Russian espionage against Americans.” Trump refused to concede that the hacks had been perpetrated by Russia.

Perhaps the most troubling moment for an already frenzied GOP came when Trump was asked if he would accept the outcome of the Nov. 8 election, no matter who wins. The nominee wouldn’t answer the question, saying, “I’ll leave you in suspense.”

The Republican Party is struggling to save the races for down ballot leaders at the polls, and fears Trump’s rhetoric could be stoking the running theme of a rigged election among his supporters. 

These photographs were shot on assignment by Mark Peterson for MSNBC Photography as part of his on-going body of work, Political Theatre” which looks at the landscape of the American political system, published by Steidl 2016.

For more feature photography, go to msnbc.com/photography

 

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