PHOTOS: Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, final round
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.