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The 7 Most Surprising Exchanges of Clinton & Trump’s First Debate

So this happened.

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and her Republican rival Donald Trump battled it out in their first debate at Hofstra University in Long Island, NY, on Monday night.

For the first time in American history, a female presidential candidate faced off with a male -candidate on the debate stage. And it was the most-watched debate in history too - over 80 million people tuned in. It was the most tweeted debate so far, too.

Let's take a look at what it was like at the debate less than a month and half to the big day.

1. Taxes

People are calling on Donald Trump to release his tax returns, to get a better sense of Trump's true financial situation.

He's refused to so far.

Monday night, he repeated that he will release his tax information when his audit is completed. (The IRS says he can release whatever he wants to, before the audit is complete.) And then he upped it to be an ultimatum, saying he will release his tax returns as soon as Clinton releases 30,000 emails of hers.

2. "Why not?"

It was all about money in the beginning of the debate. The two debated tax policy. He'd lower taxes on the wealthy, and she'd support taxing more on the wealthy.

They battled it out. Then Clinton said this as a little joke:

"I have a feeling that by the end of this evening, I'm going to be blamed for everything that's ever happened."

Trump quipped,

"Why not?"

3. Snark

Snark alert!

Trump was talking about his recent campaign work.

“I just left Detroit, I just left Philadelphia. You've seen me, I've been all over the place. You decided to stay home, and that's OK. I will tell you, I've been all over."

Clinton was prepared with a comeback.

“I think Donald just criticized me for preparing for this debate. And yes, I did. And you know what else I prepared for? I prepared to be president. And I think that's a good thing."

4. "Fact checkers!"

Clinton repeatedly called on fact checkers to "get to work" to check Trump's claims.

There was a discussion about the importance of fact-checking in a debate this week. The organization behind the debates said moderators shouldn't fact-check as the debate goes on--the candidates should. So the role of fact-checkers on social media just got more important.

And sure, they were on their game.

FactCheck.org even went down for a bit.

5. Guns

Clinton and Trump actually agreed on something at the debate: The "no fly, no buy" plan. Yes, the words "I agree with..." were uttered.

This controversial plan tackles national security, where it would not allow people on the "no-fly" list to not be able to buy guns.

Basically, it's a gun control bill based off the terror watch list. It's touchy because it would be a blow to universal gun rights, the watch list contains more than 600,000 names, and there is a fear it would double down on the lack of due process when it comes to the terror watch list.

6. Whose president?

Was it a gaffe, or an intended slight? Trump referred to President Barack Obama as "your president" to Clinton.

The word choice riled up social media.

7. "Presidential look"

Lester Holt asked Trump about that time he talked about Clinton not having a "presidential look." He said oh yeah, and another thing:

"She doesn't have the look. She doesn't have the stamina. I said she doesn't have the stamina, and I don't believe she does have the stamina. To be president of this country, you need tremendous stamina."

Then she responded.

"Well, as soon as he travels to 112 countries and negotiates a peace deal, a cease-fire, a release of dissidents, an opening of new opportunities in nations around the world or even spends 11 hours testifying in front of a congressional committee, he can talk to me about stamina."

Then, it went into gender issues from there.

Clinton brought up all the things he's said about women.

"He tried to switch from 'looks' to 'stamina,' but this is a man who has called women 'pigs,' 'slobs' and dogs. Someone who has said that pregnancy is an inconvenience to employers, someone who has said women don't deserve equal pay as long as they do as good a job as men."

What big moment from the night did we leave out? Tell us in the comments.

The next debate, BTW, is October 9th.

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The 7 Most Surprising Exchanges of Clinton & Trump’s First Debate

Patrick deHahn

Patrick deHahn is a freelance international news reporter, having contributed to The Atlantic online and Mic. He's worked at CNNMoney, the New York Daily News, and Voice of America. Patrick loves tweeting, reading, and grabbing coffee in either New York or Washington D.C. Tweet anything on politics or world conflict to him! Follow: @patrickdehahn.

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