What to Expect at the Third and Final Presidential Debate
What to Expect at the Third and Final Presidential Debate

The third debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton is set to take place at the University of Nevada in Las Vegas on Wednesday, Oct. 19, and is the last time that voters will get to see the two candidates face off on stage together. 

Fox News Sunday anchor Chris Wallace will moderate the third debate, which has a similar format as the first debate, with the event split into six 15-minute segments covering a variety of topics. Trump and Clinton will each have two minutes to respond to the question and two minutes to respond to each other. Wallace will use extra time for discussion. 

The six discussion topics that have been announced will be immigration, entitlements and debt, the Supreme Court, the economy, foreign policy, and each candidate’s fitness to serve as president.

Each candidate has also announced that they will be stocking the room with politically motivated guests in keeping with the second debate when Trump invited three of Bill Clinton’s sexual assault accusers. 

Trump is bringing President Barack Obama’s half-brother, Trump supporter Malik Obama, as his debate guest along with Patricia Smith, the mother of Benghazi victim Sean Smith, who has accused the former secretary of state of “murdering” her son.

Clinton is bringing billionaire and frequent Trump critic Mark Cuban and Hewlett Packard Enterprise CEO Meg Whitman, one of the former secretary of state’s highest-profile Republican backers. 

Since the last debate there have been a number of other topics in the news cycle that are likely to be brought up in the debate. Here are a few of the recent topics that have made the news since the second debate. 

Sexual Assault Allegations

One of news stories to come out of the second debate are the allegations by numerous women that the Republican candidate made inappropriate advancements on them.

Trump has categorically denied these claims, calling them “100% made up,” and if it is brought up on the debate stage, then the way he navigates the allegations will likely be a flashpoint in the news cycles leading up to the election.

Also, Clinton and Wallace’s navigation of the topic will also be closely watched. Clinton, for her part, has said that she wants to “go high” when Trump “goes low.” 

In the second debate, Trump repeatedly challenged moderators Anderson Cooper and Martha Raddatz—in addition to Clinton—when he was attacked personally. A similar dynamic could emerge if the sexual assault allegations are brought up.

In addition to the allegations against Trump, just hours before the debate a former reporter for local Arkansas TV station KLMN-TV Leslie Millwee accused Bill Clinton of sexual assault on three separate occasions in 1980, according to Breitbart News.

Rigged Elections

A main talking point for Trump on the campaign trail over the past week has been the claim that the election is going to be rigged in favor of Clinton.

The claim has been disputed by politicians like former presidential candidates Florida senator Marco Rubio and Ohio governor John Kasich, who dismissed it as a conspiracy theory.  

However, Trump has doubled down on the claim that the cards are stacked against him.

An undercover investigation by conservative whistleblower James O’Keefe, which shows democratic operatives talking about disrupting Trump rallies, as well as ways to conduct voter fraud, has been cited by the Trump campaign as proof of the rigging.

Wikileaks and Email Scandal

The email scandal has been a recurring problem for the Clinton campaign.

In the past week, whistleblowing website WikiLeaks has continually leaked emails from Clinton’s campaign chairman John Podesta, and conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch released more of Clinton’s emails from her time at the State Department.

The leaks include classified information about Afghanistan, Clinton Foundation donors, and showed the inner workings of the Clinton campaign during the primaries—including a concerted effort with the DNC to work against Senator Bernie Sanders—and have bolstered arguments that Clinton works on a “pay to play” basis. 

There’s also an acknowledgement by ex-FBI official Brian McCauley that there was a “quid pro quo” relationship between the FBI and the Clintons, a scandal that reaffirms Trump’s previous arguments against Clinton in earlier debates. 

Trump has made the email leaks and 33,000 missing emails central to his debate performances. In the second debate, he called for a special prosecutor to look into the allegations against Clinton, saying that if he were president, she “would be in jail.”

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