The Latest: Clinton says Trump looks to blame somebody else

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LAS VEGAS (AP) — Here is The Latest news from the third and final presidential debate between Republican Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, less than three weeks before the Nov. 8 election (all times EDT):

1:10 a.m.

Hillary Clinton says Donald Trump's unwillingness to say he'd accept the results of the election is part of his effort to "blame somebody else for his campaign."

She says that whenever his political fortunes fall Trump blames "the system."

She says: "One of the hallmarks has always been that we accept the outcome of our elections. Somebody wins and somebody loses."

Clinton also says she "just didn't pay any attention" to Trump's comment during the debate that she was a "nasty woman."

Clinton is speaking to reporters on her campaign plane after the final presidential debate.


12:15 a.m.

Hillary Clinton is celebrating her debate performance and urging a largely Hispanic crowd of supporters to get to the polls.

Clinton says she "tried to stand up" to Donald Trump at the final presidential debate. She is pledging to overhaul the country's immigration system.

She says, "I want you to know that our family will support your family."

Clinton also says half of all undocumented immigrants pay some federal income taxes.

She says, "You pay more to support this country than Donald Trump pays."

Clinton and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, are speaking to more than 5,000 people at an outdoor rally in North Las Vegas.


12:05 a.m.

Democrats are blasting Trump's "rigged election" rhetoric and his refusal to say he'll concede if his defeat is apparent on election night.

Donna Brazile, who is the interim chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, says Trump "made a mockery of our democracy."

Brazile, who is black, says Trump's words are particularly offensive to her as a child of the civil rights movement.

She says, "We are an example for the world, and to have a leading presidential candidate undermine our democracy, I think, is shameful."

The Rev. Jesse Jackson says Trump's campaign is "spreading propaganda" with its allegations of "widespread" voter fraud.

Jackson says Trump is "willing to topple the whole process if he doesn't win," adding that presidential candidates should "think in terms of respecting the process."


11:15 p.m.

The Republican National Committee will accept the results of the general election even if Donald Trump doesn't.

That's according to RNC spokesman Sean Spicer. He says, "We're going to respect the will of the people."

The answer was in response to Trump's refusal during the debate to say whether he would concede if he loses the general election. He said, "I'll keep you in suspense."

He has been railing against the U.S. election system as "rigged" for weeks.

Spicer addressed Trump's explosive comment after the debate. He says it likely won't be an issue because Trump will win.

When pressed, Spicer said, "I cannot speak for what he thinks."


11:10 p.m.

Republican senators are saying Donald Trump should accept the results of the presidential election.

The statements came after Trump refused to promise he'd accept defeat on Nov. 8 if Americans choose Hillary Clinton as president.

Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina says "Mr. Trump is doing the party and the country a great disservice" by suggesting the election is rigged.

Sen. Jeff Flake of Arixona says Trump's statements are "beyond the pale."

Both senators have long been critical of Trump.


10:45 p.m.

Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton began the last debate without a handshake — and they ended it without one too.

After both candidates' final answers, Hillary Clinton stepped forward and shook hands with moderator Chris Wallace of Fox News. Trump stayed behind his podium and watched, as Clinton then stood on stage and waved to people in the audience.

Trump didn't leave the podium until Clinton was too far away for a handshake, stepping off the stage and into the crowd.


10:42 p.m.

Hillary Clinton says she's reaching out to all Americans: Republicans, Democrats and independents.

The Democratic presidential nominee made the declaration as part of her closing statement.

She says she has made children and families her "life's work" and adds, "That's what my mission will be in the presidency."

She is promising to "stand up for families against corporations."


10:41 p.m.

Donald Trump is painting a dire picture of America as he makes his closing pitch to voters.

Trump says the military is "depleted," veterans aren't taken care of and inner cities are a "disaster."

He says people living in inner cities get "shot walking to the grocery store" and have "no education" and "no jobs."

Trump asserts he is much better poised to fix the problems than Hillary Clinton.


10:40 p.m.

Donald Trump says Hillary Clinton is "such a nasty woman."

Trump made the remark while Clinton was talking in the last presidential debate Wednesday about preserving Social Security and Medicare. She says her plan to save both programs would raise Social Security taxes on the wealthy, including her and Trump, "assuming he can't figure out how to get out of it."

As she continued talking Trump interjected, "Such a nasty woman."

Clinton did not react to the comment and instead completed her statement on her plans for Social Security and Medicare.


10:37 p.m.

Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton agree: There'll be no "grand bargain" on entitlements.

Both presidential candidates reject the idea of a bipartisan deal to raise taxes and cut benefits to avoid running out of money to fund Social Security and Medicaid in coming decades.

Trump says he will make the economy grow and repeal President Obama's health care law.

Clinton says she'll raise taxes on the wealthy to help fund Social Security. But she says she wants to expand benefits rather than cut them.


10:35 p.m.

Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are sparring over who has the better plan to shrink the national debt and spur the U.S. economy.

Trump is pushing back against a report from the nonpartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget that said his proposed economic policies would grow the national debt. Trump says he would hire experts, and not "political hacks," to negotiate more favorable trade deals.

Trump says under his administration Americans would have more jobs that pay better.

Clinton says Trump's economic plans are geared toward helping the rich while she is focused on helping the middle class, a difference she attributes to Trump's privileged upbringing. Clinton says she takes shrinking the national debt seriously, and none of her new proposals would add to it.


10:33 p.m.

Hillary Clinton says imposing a no-fly zone over Syria can save lives on the ground while speeding the end of the fighting in that country.

She acknowledges in the third and final debate with Donald Trump that enforcing a no-fly zone "would take a lot of negotiation."

Clinton says she thinks "we could strike a deal" and make it clear to Russian and Syrian leaders that "this was the best for people on the ground."

Donald Trump is responding that Clinton would allow potential terrorists into the United States as refugees from Syria.

Clinton counters that she wouldn't allow refugees to immigrate without being properly vetted, but says she also wouldn't close U.S. borders to women and children fleeing war.


10:30 p.m.

Donald Trump is again asserting that U.S. involvement in the war-torn city of Aleppo, Syria, is not a worthwhile cause.

Aleppo is the center of the years-long Syrian civil war between President Bashar Assad and rebel forces. Russia is backing Assad.

Trump says Aleppo is a "humanitarian nightmare" but suggests that keeping Assad in power may be better than replacing him, because Assad and Russia both oppose the Islamic State group.

Trump says the United States would be in better shape if it had "done nothing" in Syria.

The United States has protested Russia's bombardment of Aleppo. It says civilians are being slaughtered to prop up Assad's regime.


10:26 p.m.

Donald Trump is once again denying that he supported the invasion of Iraq.

Trump said "Wrong" in Wednesday's final presidential debate when Hillary Clinton said he supported the invasion in 2002.

Trump actually offered lukewarm support for invading Iraq before the war began. He's repeatedly and erroneously claimed to have come out against the war before it started, telling Howard Stern in September 2002: "Yeah I guess so," when asked if he would back an invasion.

Clinton says in the debate that anyone questioning what Trump's position was could simply google it and find "dozens of sources" showing he was for it.

Clinton says," He has not told the truth on that position."


10:25 p.m.

Hillary Clinton says she's "encouraged" by the Iraqi-led offensive to retake the city of Mosul.

Donald Trump says it's only an issue because the Obama administration — and Clinton while at the State Department — pulled troops from Iraq in the first place.

Clinton outlined her military plan to take out the Islamic State group. She said coalition forces should push the fight into the group's Syrian headquarters after Mosul is retaken. She also called for an "intelligence surge" online and on the ground focused on the Islamic State.

Trump is not detailing his plan. He says, "What ever happened to the element of surprise?"


10:22 p.m.

Donald Trump tried to lighten a serious moment in the debate as Hillary Clinton listed other times he claimed something was "rigged" just because he wasn't winning.

She noted there was even a time he chided the Emmy Awards for not recognizing his reality series "Celebrity Apprentice" three years in a row.

As Clinton was making that point, Trump began smiling and shrugging. He interjected, "Should have gotten it."

The audience laughed a bit, as Clinton continued. "This is a mindset," she said.

Clinton added that his comments about not necessarily accepting the election results are a dangerous departure from the nation's democratic traditions.


10:19 p.m.

Hillary Clinton calls Donald Trump's refusal to promise to accept results of the presidential election "horrifying."

She said Trump has a history of calling things rigged, including the Republican primary, the court system handling a case against Trump University and the Emmys.

Clinton says the U.S. has a tradition of accepting election outcomes, and any general election candidate must be expected to do that.


10:15 p.m.

Donald Trump is again refusing to promise that he'd accept defeat on Nov. 8 if Americans choose Hillary Clinton as the 45th president.

The Republican nominee says he'll "look at it at the time." He was responding to moderator Chris Wallace's specific questions about whether he would honor the American tradition of the presidential loser conceding to the president-elect.

When Wallace pressed him again, Trump responded again that he'd "keep you in suspense."

Trump has argued that the national media is trying to rig the election. He is again stating without any evidence that "millions" of registered voters "shouldn't be registered."

And he suggests Clinton would be an illegitimate president because of her use of a private email server when secretary of state. He says she "never should have been allowed to run."


10:10 p.m.

Donald Trump is saying his foundation is a benefit to society.

Trump was responding to attacks from Hillary Clinton over his foundation spending money on a portrait of himself. He said it is a small, personal foundation that he donates to.

The Washington Post has reported that Trump hasn't donated to his foundation for years. It also cited records showing Trump used foundation money to settle a legal dispute against his club, Mar-a-Lago.

Trump denied his foundation has done this.


10:08 p.m.

Donald Trump says the Clinton Foundation is a "criminal enterprise" and is calling on Hillary Clinton to have the foundation return money it's received from countries with repressive human rights regimes. There is no evidence the Clinton Foundation has broken any laws.

Trump also says the Clinton Foundation's work in Haiti was a "disgrace."

Clinton says she is "thrilled" to discuss the foundation's work, and says it is a world-renowned charity that has helped millions of people. She also says there was no improper connection between the foundation's donors and those awarded contracts to help rebuild Haiti after it suffered a devastating earthquake.


10:05 p.m.

Donald Trump is suggesting that accusations of his inappropriate behavior with women over the years were started by Hillary Clinton and her "sleazy campaign."

Asked about the many women who have come forward to accuse Trump, the Republican presidential nominee called the accusations "fiction" and blamed Clinton. But he then quickly pivoted.

Trump accused Clinton of deleting her emails while serving as secretary of state to hide potentially disclosing classified information, saying "she's lied hundreds of times to the people, to Congress and to the FBI."

Clinton responded that when Trump "is pushed" on any major issue, he immediately unleashes denials that are bullying and beside the point. Trump responded, "Wrong."


10:04 p.m.

Donald Trump says Hillary Clinton and President Barack Obama paid people to incite violence ahead of his planned rally in Chicago earlier this year.

There's no clear evidence of that.

Trump was referencing secretly record, selectively edited video footage released this week by conservative activist James O'Keefe. Among the footage was a woman who says she was at the Chicago event in March, which Trump canceled because of safety concerns.

The woman, identified as Zulema Rodriguez, has attended several Trump events as a protester. Rodriguez said on the O'Keefe recordings that she was paid to be in Chicago. Federally filed finance reports show she was paid about $1,600 by the campaign at the end of February, before the Chicago rally.


10:03 p.m.

Hillary Clinton says Donald Trump "thinks belittling women makes him bigger." And she's accusing him of going after women's "dignity" and "self-worth."

Clinton is making the case against Trump's treatment of women, saying, "I don't think there's a woman anywhere who doesn't know what that feels like."

Clinton's comments come in response to allegations from several women that Trump groped or kissed them without consent. He's denying the charges. But Clinton is noting that he brushed off the remarks by belittling several of the women's appearances.

Trump is denying he suggested some of the women weren't attractive enough to win his attention. But he said of one recently, "believe me, she would not be my first choice."


10 p.m.

Donald Trump says claims by women who say he groped them have been largely debunked, even though they have not.

Trump is also claiming in Wednesday's debate that he thinks Hillary Clinton's campaign is behind the women coming forward, even though there is no evidence of that, either. Trump says, "I believe she got these people to step forward." He calls the women's stories "lies and fiction." He says, "I don't know those people."

Clinton says, "Donald thinks belittling women makes him bigger." She says Trump attacks women's dignity and self-worth and says: "That's who Donald is. I think it's up to us to demonstrate who we are."


9:57 p.m.

Donald Trump says Hillary Clinton may have more experience than he does, "but it's bad experience."

He says, "The problem is, you talk, but you don't get anything done, Hillary."

Clinton is responding by comparing her record over the decades to Trump's.

She notes that on the day she was in the White House's situation room during the raid that killed Osama bin Laden, Trump was hosting the NBC show "Celebrity Apprentice." She says, "I'm happy to compare my 30 years of experience" to Trump's.


9:55 p.m.

Donald Trump is back to his usual bluster on the debate stage.

The GOP nominee had largely held his tongue during the first half-hour of Wednesday's final debate, speaking only when called on and not interrupting.

But Trump appears to be sliding back to his usual bluster as he and Hillary Clinton discuss Russia and nuclear weapons.

"Wrong!" he declared at one point, interrupting Clinton.

Later, Clinton said she would "translate" Trump's plan to reform the tax code.

Trump interjected, "You can't."


9:54 p.m.

Donald Trump is making a misleading charge that Hillary Clinton will double "your taxes."

Clinton's tax plan would only raise taxes on the wealthiest 1 percent. Even then it would only add 4 percent to the top rate, not double it. She would require people making more than $1 million annually to pay at least 30 percent in federal taxes. She'd also limit some tax deductions.

So the only people whose taxes could be doubled are those making a large amount of money and paying very little in taxes.

Trump has proposed a large across-the-board tax cut. Analysts say he'd actually raise taxes on some single parents because of the structure of the plan.


9:52 p.m.

Hillary Clinton is continuing to defend Democratic economic priorities as the way to help the most Americans.

She insists her tax-and-spending priorities would "not add a penny to the debt," because she would raise taxes on top-income earners while investing in programs she says will benefit middle-class Americans and grow the economy.

She says her philosophy is to "invest from the middle out and the ground up, not the top down." She says Republican Donald Trump proposes tax plans tilted toward the wealthiest Americans.

Clinton is also defending President Barack Obama's economic record.


9:50 p.m.

Donald Trump says his plan to boost the economy is to make the United States' rich allies pay more for military support and to renegotiate trade deals. Trump also says he would cut taxes "massively."

Trump is naming several allies he says could afford to pay the U.S. for its spending on defense.

He says, "Saudi Arabia, nothing but money. We protect Saudi Arabia, why aren't they paying?"

The Republican presidential nominee is also criticizing current trade deals, saying he would renegotiate them to get better terms for the U.S. or leave them.

Trump says NAFTA, signed by former President Bill Clinton, was one of the "worst deals ever" and was causing U.S. jobs to flee to Mexico and other countries.


9:48 p.m.

Hillary Clinton says she will grow the American economy by focusing on the middle class and building the largest job-creation program since World War II.

Asked to detail her economic strategy, Clinton says she wants to create new clean energy jobs that will also help the environment.

She pledges to raise the national minimum wage and declares that women should get "equal pay for the work we do," meaning reducing the wage gap with their male counterparts.

Clinton also calls for more early education and technical training in high schools, and to reduce student debt — all of which will be difficult without major public spending increases.


9:46 p.m.

Donald Trump says he "of course" condemns Russia or any other country interfering in the U.S. elections.

Still, he says he doesn't necessarily believe Russia hacked emails from Hillary Clinton's campaign. U.S. intelligence officials believe Russia is behind the hacks.

Trump says Russian President Vladimir Putin is not "my best friend," but says the Russian leader has "outsmarted" Clinton repeatedly. Democrats have slammed Trump for calling Putin a stronger leader than President Barack Obama.

Trump is alleging Clinton has allowed Russia to expand its nuclear weapons.

Clinton, in response, says Trump is "cavalier" about nuclear weapons, pointing to his past statements suggesting more countries should have nuclear power.

The two have repeatedly sparred over Russia's role in the world, with Democrats alleging Trump would strengthen Moscow and Trump saying Clinton is too weak to take on Putin.


9:45 p.m.

Donald Trump is disagreeing with U.S. intelligence officials who have concluded that Russia has hacked political emails.

Hillary Clinton notes that some of Donald Trump's foreign policies line up with Russia's and that he's called for Russian hackers to find her emails. She contends that Russia hacked her campaign's emails to help Trump. The emails were recently released through the web site WikiLeaks.

Trump says Clinton has no idea if Russia or someone else was behind the hacks. Clinton counters that 17 U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded that Russia is the culprit.


9:44 p.m.

Donald Trump says Hillary Clinton supports open borders for immigration and he's quoting from hacked emails released by WikiLeaks to prove it.

Trump is quoting part of the speech that was kept secret before the hacked emails were released. Clinton said in a private speech that her "dream is a hemispheric common market, with open trade and open borders."

Clinton correctly points out that she went on to say that vision includes "energy that is as green and sustainable as we can get it, powering growth and opportunity for every person in the hemisphere."

She says she was talking about open borders for energy, not immigration.


9:42 p.m.

What is this that the presidential candidates have been talking about?

Oh, it's policy!

So far in this third debate, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are debating their very different approaches to some of the country's stickiest issues: gun rights, abortion and immigration.

That's a striking turnabout from how the previous two debates have unfolded in their earliest moments. Last time the two met, in St. Louis, the debate moderators began by asking about the increasingly negative tone of the campaign, focusing on a 2005 video of Trump making predatory comments about women.

This time, right off the top in Las Vegas, it was all policy.

There are signs the issues focus may not last: Clinton and Trump have begun sniping at each other about ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin.


9:40 p.m.

Hillary Clinton says Donald Trump "choked" during a meeting with the Mexican president when he failed to bring up his own plan to build a border wall and make Mexico pay for it.

Clinton says she voted for border security and believes the U.S. is a country of laws, but also a nation of immigrants.

She said she's against ripping families apart, noting that there are an estimated 11 million unauthorized immigrants in the country who have 4 million American-citizen children.

She is portraying Trump's deportation plan as a logistical nightmare, saying it would force a "massive law enforcement presence" and require shipping people from the country in trains and buses.

She says she would push for an immigration reform plan within her first 100 days of office.


9:37 p.m.

Hillary Clinton is accusing Donald Trump of employing immigrants in the country illegally.

The Democratic presidential nominee charges that her Republican opponent "exploit(ed) undocumented workers."

Trump is not refuting the charge. He is repeating his promise to deport millions of immigrants in the country illegally if elected. He notes that President Barack Obama has also deported millions of immigrants.

Trump hired a contracting firm that employed immigrants in the country to help build Trump Tower in New York. He settled a related court case out of court.


9:35 p.m.

Donald Trump is highlighting his hard-line immigration strategy as a way to get "bad hombres" out of the United States.

The Republican presidential hopeful reaffirms he would build a wall on the Mexican border and deport "some bad, bad people in this country," then figure out who could be readmitted. He blames some "bad hombres here" for drug epidemics around the country, and he promises "we're going to get 'em out."

Trump's proposal for a wall at the U.S.-Mexico border helped fuel his rise to the Republican Party nomination.

He is misrepresenting Hillary Clinton's immigration policy. He says she supports "open borders" and "amnesty" for people already here illegally.

Clinton supports a more lenient policy than Trump. But she still supports a comprehensive immigration overhaul that would include requiring people here illegally to pay back taxes and other penalties.


9:32 p.m.

A much more disciplined and restrained Donald Trump is on stage at the third and final presidential debate in Las Vegas.

Trump spent much of the first two debates constantly interrupting rival Hillary Clinton and drawing attention to himself as she spoke with his pacing and animated facial expressions.

This time, Trump is largely waiting to speak until he's asked questions and declining to interrupt — even when Clinton accused him of calling for women to be punished if abortions are outlawed.

While Trump did say that during a town hall event, he later issued a statement clarifying that was not his stance.


9:28 p.m.

Hillary Clinton is adamant that government should stay out of women's health issues.

Clinton is pushing back forcefully in responding to Donald Trump's criticism of Clinton's support for women to be able to have late-term abortions.

"This is one of the worst possible choices that any woman and her family has to make, and I do not believe the government should be making it," Clinton said.

Clinton notes that she has traveled to countries where governments have forced women to have abortions or to have children.


9:27 p.m.

Hillary Clinton says she supports a woman's right to undergo a late-term abortion, saying "the United States government shouldn't be stepping in" on "the most-personal" of decisions.

Clinton says current federal law protects "partial-birth" abortion and she would keep it that way as president. She says she has met women undergoing the "heartbreaking" procedure for health reasons.

Donald Trump says, "I think it's terrible." He is likening partial-birth abortions to allowing women to "rip the baby out of the womb" in the ninth month or even on the last day of pregnancy.


9:25 p.m.

Donald Trump says he thinks Roe v. Wade will "automatically" be overturned if he is elected because he will appoint justices who oppose abortion rights.

Trump says he is against abortion rights but did not give a straight answer on whether he personally thinks the landmark abortion case should be overturned. He is saying he will appoint justices who would likely do so.

Trump says it would then be up to states to decide whether abortion should remain legal and what restrictions should be placed on it.

Hillary Clinton says she'll strongly defend Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood.


9:20 p.m.

Hillary Clinton is criticizing one of the Supreme Court's biggest recent decisions.

Clinton disagrees with the 2008 Heller decision that found the Second Amendment protects an individual's right to bear arms for self-defense.

Clinton says she supports the Second Amendment but thinks the court prevented a reasonable attempt to make guns safer. It struck down the District of Columbia's requirements for a trigger lock on all guns.

Republican Donald Trump says this is one of the reasons supporters of the Second Amendment don't trust Clinton.


9:15 p.m.

Donald Trump is opening the final presidential debate by promising to appoint justices to the Supreme Court who will uphold Second Amendment gun rights, saying it is "under such trauma."

The first question in Wednesday's debate focused on what kind of justices Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton would appoint to the high court.

Trump says he would appoint judges who are "pro-life," have a "conservative bent" and will protect gun ownership rights.

Trump says, "The Supreme Court is what it's all about." He says it's "imperative that we have the right justices."

Trump has released the name of 20 potential nominees to the Supreme Court and has emphasized the high number of potential appointments the next president may make.

Trump also says the Constitution should be interpreted "the way the founders wanted it."


9:10 p.m.

Hillary Clinton says she supports a Supreme Court that stands "on the side of the American people" and not the "powerful corporations and the wealthy."

The Democrat's comments were part of her first response in Wednesday night's third and final debate.

The former secretary of state specifically said the nation's high court should not reverse its decisions on abortion rights and same-sex marriage. Clinton said it should, however, reverse its Citizens United decision that allows "dark" money into politics.

She added that the Senate has a responsibility to act on a president's Supreme Court pick.


9:05 p.m.

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have kicked off their third and final debate without shaking hands, continuing a break from decorum that began at their last showdown in St. Louis.

The two stepped onto the stage in Las Vegas from opposite sides, each briefly waving to the audience before immediately moving behind their podiums.

The less-than-civil tone extended to the candidates' families. They, too, entered separately, unlike at the previous two debates, and did not cross paths or shake hands.

At the second debate, Bill Clinton and Melania Trump greeted each other before taking their seats. But that night Trump's campaign had tried to parade three women who'd accused Clinton of sexual misconduct past him — a plan the nonpartisan debate commission nixed just before it could be carried out.


8:17 p.m.

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are preparing to face off on the debate stage for the final time.

But before the showdown, Trump has issued an invitation to his Facebook page to join his team live at 8:30 p.m. EDT. Before the last debate, Trump appeared on the same platform with three women who have accused rival Hillary Clinton's husband, Bill Clinton, of sexual assault. The former president has denied the accusations. Trump then sat the women in the debate hall.

At Wednesday's final debate, Trump was expected to bring a woman who has accused Bill Clinton of sexual harassment, the mother of a man who was killed in the attack on the U.S. compound in Benghazi and President Barack Obama's half-brother.

Clinton guests include CEO Mark Cuban, basketball star Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta.

For now, at least, Clinton has a significant lead in most polls. Trump's team says he's planning to be aggressive on the debate stage.


8:02 p.m.

Billionaire businessman and leading Donald Trump critic Mark Cuban is making the rounds at the third presidential debate in Las Vegas, and Hillary Clinton's campaign insists their high-profile guest is not here to troll the Republican nominee.

Clinton's communications chief Jen Palmieri called Cuban "a very accomplished, serious business leader in our country." And she touted him as "one of our most effective advocates" who "makes a really strong case for why Hillary Clinton will be a great president."

Palmieri says Clinton has no regrets about inviting Cuban to the first debate, and says it has nothing to do with Trump's invitation list for the second debate. Trump invited three women who have accused former president Bill Clinton of sexual harassment and other misdeeds. His guests in Las Vegas include President Barack Obama's half-brother.

Palmieri says "however Donald Trump chooses to react is his choice," and she argues that the Trump campaign "telegraphed well in advance of the debates" their intention to take a "nasty turn" in the campaign.


7:58 p.m.

Donald Trump's spokesman says Hillary Clinton will have an opportunity during the debate to apologize to the mother of a man who was killed in the 2012 attack on a U.S. compound in Benghazi.

Trump spokesman Jason Miller says the Republican nominee will press the issue whether the debate moderator asks about it or not. Miller made the comments Wednesday in an interview shortly before the debate.

Trump's campaign confirmed that its guests inside the debate hall would include Pat Smith, whose son was an IT consultant killed in the deadly Benghazi attacks. Smith has accused Clinton, who was secretary of state at the time, of lying to her about what sparked the violence.

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