LAS VEGAS (WATE) – Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton went toe to toe in the final presidential debate on Wednesday, less than three weeks ahead of the general election.
The two did not shake hands at the beginning of the debate, moderated by Fox News anchor Chris Wallace, but merely walked to their individual podiums.
Puppet became one of the biggest trending words on social media after Trump and Clinton duked it out during the third presidential debate.
While talking about issues with Russia influencing the election, Hillary said Vladimir Putin is influencing the election by “leaking” information.
“He’d rather have a puppet as president as president of the United States,” said Clinton about Putin.
“No puppet, No puppet. No you’re the puppet,” fired back Trump.
“Puppet” was mentioned more than 50,000 times in the less than five minutes after the exchange. The comments even spurred several memes, with the Trump campaign leading punches.
Trump handed over his Twitter handle to his “team of deplorables” during the debates, which promptly tweeted a meme of “Hillary the Wall Street puppet.”
Of course others, couldn’t resist poking fun at Trump.
Trump highlighted his hard-line immigration strategy, again pointing to the wall he has said numerous times he wants to build between the United States and Mexico, saying he wants to deport “some bad hombres” from the country.
“One of my first acts will be to get all of the drug lords, we have some bad, bad people in this country this have to go out. We’ll get them out. We’re going to secure the border and once the border is secured at a later date we’ll make a determination as to the rest. But we have some bad hombres here and we’re going to get them out,” said Trump.
Clinton accused Trump of “choking” during a meeting with the Mexican president when he failed to bring up his plan to build a border wall and make Mexico pay for it.
“He choked, then got into a Twitter war because the Mexican president said, we’re not paying for that wall,” said Clinton.
The topic was immigration and the wall Trump has said numerous times he wants to build between the United States and Mexico.
Trump claimed that “Hillary Clinton wanted the wall.”
“Hillary Clinton fought for the wall in 2006 or thereabouts. She never gets anything done, so naturally it wasn’t built, but Hillary Clinton wanted the wall,” said Trump.
“I voted for border security,” said Clinton. “And the wall,” interjected Trump.
Clinton supported the 2006 Secure Fence Act, which authorized the construction of hundreds of miles of fencing along the U.S.-Mexico border, which was built.
During a discussion of an email posted by Wikileaks saying Clinton supported open borders, which Clinton said applied to energy and not immigration, the subject turned to those hacked political emails and who was responsible for obtaining them.
Clinton contended that Russia hacked her campaign’s emails to help Trump. Trump interjected saying she had “no idea” if it was Russia or someone else. Clinton countered that 17 U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded that Russia was responsible for the recent hacks.
The Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the Department of Homeland Security said in a recent statement that “only Russia’s senior-most officials could have authorized these activities.”
After Trump said he would keep every in suspense on whether he’ll concede if he loses, Clinton said she was appalled by Trump’s rigged election rhetoric, saying that is now how democracy works.
“Every time Donald thinks things are not going in his direction, he claims whatever it is is rigged against him,” said Clinton. “The FBI completed a year long investigation into my emails, they concluded there was no case and he said the FBI was rigged. He lost the Iowa caucaus, he lost the Wisconsin primary and he said the Republican primary was rigged against him. Then, Trump University gets sued for fraud and racquetering and he claims the court system and the federal judge is rigged against him. There was even a time when he didn’t get an Emmy for his TV program three years in a row and he started tweeting that the Emmys were rigged.”
“I should have gotten it,” interjected Trump.
“This is the mindset of how Donald thinks and it’s funny, but it’s also really troubling,” said Clinton.
In 2004 when the breakout first season of “The Apprentice” lost Best Reality-Competition Series to “The Amazing Race” Trump said “He got screwed out of an Emmy” on his reality show.
“Everybody thought I was gonna win it. In fact, when they announced the winner, I stood up before the winner was announced. And I started walking for the Emmy. And then they announced the most boring show on television, ‘The Amazing Race,’” said Trump.
Of course, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who wan an Emmy for best Oustanding Comedy Series in 2015 for her show, VEEP, and is an avid Clinton supporter couldn’t help but weigh in saying she didn’t think the Emmys were rigged.
Clinton and Trump may have debated over Roe v. Wade, but the debate really started heating up when the two candidates debated on which foundation was better.
Trump said Haiti hates the Clinton Foundation because what has happened in Haiti is a “disgrace.” Clinton said the Clinton Foundation has one of highest ratings from the watch dog foundations and spends 90 percent of the money that is donated on helping other people.
“I’d be happy to compare what we do with the Trump Foundation, which took money from other people and bought a six foot portrait of Donald,” said Clinton. “I mean who does that?”
Trump said his foundation spends 100 percent of the money donated on charities.
When asked on whether some of the money was used to settle his lawsuit, Trump said, “the money went to fisher house where they build housing for veterans and disabled.”
Trump’s foundation, which for years has been funded by money the billionaire businessman raises from others rather than his own cash, has come under increasing scrutiny following reports by the Post, AP and others.
In May, the Washington Post reported that most of the $6 million Trump said he raised for veterans groups at a highly publicized January event wasn’t distributed until the newspaper began asking questions. After his campaign released a list of groups receiving about $5.6 million, about half of the 30 reached by AP said they’d received checks around the time of Trump’s May 24 Washington Post interview. They found four charities that said they never received money even though the Trump Foundation reported making donations to them.
Finally, moderator Chris Wallace said he wanted to end the debate on a “positive note” and gave both candidates one minute to deliver their final plea to voters on what would be the last time the two would share a stage before the general election.
Clinton delivered her remarks first.
“Well, I would like to say to everyone watching tonight, that I’m reaching out to all Americans — Democrats, Republicans and Independents — because we need everybody to help make our country what it should be to grow the economy, to make it fairer, to make it work for everyone,” she said. “I will stand up for families against powerful interests, against corporations. I will do everything that I can to make sure that you have good jobs with rising incomes, that your kids have good educations from preschool through college. I hope you will give me a chance to serve as your president.”
“When I started this campaign, I started it very strongly. It’s called Make America Great Again. We’re going to make America great. We have a depleted military. It has to be helped. It has to be fixed,” Trump said. “We are going to make America strong again. And we are going to make America great again. And it has to start now. We cannot take four more years of Barack Obama. And that’s what you get when you get [Clinton].”
The two then shook hands with Wallace, but not with each other.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.