Washington [US], Oct. 20 : During the final presidential debate on Wednesday, Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton accused Donald Trump of being a "puppet" of Russian leader Vladimir Putin as the Republican nominee refused to accept Moscow's interference in the US presidential elections.
Clinton said Putin endorses Trump as, "It's pretty clear, he'd rather have a puppet as president of the United State." She noted that the Russian hackers had been blamed for releasing internal Democratic emails, apparently in an effort to help Trump's cause, reports the Washington Post.
"You're the puppet," Trump replied. In a fierce backlash, Trump said the real reason Clinton disliked Putin is because he had outmaneuvered Clinton - who was previously secretary of state - and President Obama in nuclear treaties and in Middle Eastern conflicts like the one in Syria.
"She doesn't like Putin because Putin has outsmarted her at every step of the way," he said. When Trump was pressed about the hacks, which the U.S. intelligence agencies have blamed on Russia, he said he was not convinced. He seemed to attack the smarts and credibility of those intelligence agencies, saying that the hacks could have been carried out by China or another party.
"Hillary has no idea. Our country has no idea," said Trump. During the debate, Trump also seemed to backtrack on his idea of a mass deportation of illegal immigrants, which has been a bedrock part of his campaign.
But during the debate, Trump offered another plan: He would first round up "the bad ones" among illegal immigrants.
The 90-minute contest in Las Vegas came just under three weeks before Election Day and with early voting underway in more than 30 states.
The candidates outlined starkly different visions for the Supreme Court under their potential presidencies, with the Republican declaring the landmark Roe v.
Wade ruling legalising abortion would be overturned by his judicial nominees. Clinton vowed to appoint justices who would uphold the ruling legalizing abortion, saying, "We have come too far to have that turned back now." Trump pressed Clinton on immigration, accusing her of wanting an "open borders" policy, a characterization she vigorously disputes.