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US Presidential Debate Most-Tweeted Ever

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Sunday's U.S. Presidential debate was the most-tweeted debate in Twitter's ten-year history, the social network said.

Twitter users sent more than 17 million debate-related tweets during the 90 minute debate.

Highly Anticipated Debate

The second presidential debate between Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump was held at Washington University in Saint Louis.

Officials at the school in the state of Missouri held a lottery for seating. More than 10,000 students applied; 315 received seats just hours before the debate began.

Part of the anticipation surrounding the debate came from recent information about statements by former Secretary of State Clinton and businessman Trump.

Two days before the debate, a video appeared on the internet showing Donald Trump making lewd comments about women.

Then, Wikileaks released parts of Hillary Clinton's speeches to financial companies. The speeches appeared to show her close ties with those companies.

Contentious Beginning

The candidates began the debate in a contentious way; they did not shake hands when they appeared in front of the audience. In general, American presidential candidates shake hands before beginning a debate. The two did shake hands after the debate ended.

Supporters of Trump and Clinton posted their opinions about the tense greeting under the hashtag #nohandshake.

The candidates shook hands before their first debate.

One Twitter user, a critic of Clinton, said Trump did not want to shake Clinton's hand because she is responsible for the death of American citizens who were in Benghazi.

Another Twitter user, a critic of Trump, said that Hillary refused to shake Trump's hand because he made lewd comments about women in a video.

One of the first questions of the debate addressed the video of Trump. The candidate defended his words by saying "I don't think you understand what was said at all. This was locker-room talk. I'm not proud of it."

Locker-room talk refers to a conversation between men that is usually harsh or sexually offensive in nature.

Trump’s defense included accusations about Clinton's husband, former president Bill Clinton. Trump said that Bill Clinton did "far worse."

He also criticized Clinton for her use of a private email system while she led the State Department. He added that if he were elected, he would instruct a government investigator to look into the issue.

This statement became one of the top three most-tweeted moments in the debate according to Twitter.

Clinton answered that Trump's accusations were not true.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation studied Clinton's email use. F.B.I. Director James Comey said there was no reason to bring charges against her.

The issues

The candidates discussed several foreign and domestic policy issues, including Syria and the set of health care laws commonly called Obamacare.

Both candidates called for creating safe zones in Syria. Safe zones are areas where civilians can be kept safe during war.

Trump said he disagreed with his running mate, Governor Mike Pence, about Syria. Twitter said this statement became the most tweeted moment in the debate.

Trump and Clinton also debated the future of President Barack Obama's healthcare law, The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

Clinton admitted the law had problems, but she promised to fix it by bringing down costs and helping small businesses give coverage to their employees.

Trump promised to replace Obamacare with a system that allows insurance companies to compete in every state.

The two candidates will hold their final debate on October 19th.

I’m John Russell.

We want to hear from you. Write to us in the Comments Section.

John Russell adapted this story for Learning English using sources from AP, VOA News, and CNET. Mario Ritter was the editor.


Words in This Story

tweet – v. to put a message on Twitter

anticipated – v. to look forward to (something)

lottery – n. a system used to decide who will get or be given something by choosing names or numbers by chance

lewd – adj. sexual in an offensive or rude way

contentious – adj. involving a lot of arguing