Final 2020 presidential debate

By Meg Wagner, Kyle Blaine, Jessica Estepa, Melissa Macaya and Fernando Alfonso III, CNN

Updated 2:27 p.m. ET, November 23, 2020
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10:13 p.m. ET, October 22, 2020

Fact check: Trump falsely claims he was "kidding" when he suggested injecting bleach

From CNN's Daniel Dale and Holmes Lybrand

Joe Biden attacked President Trump on comments he made over disinfectants and the coronavirus.

“What did the President say? He said don't worry, it's going to go away. Be gone by Easter. Don't worry…Maybe inject bleach,” Biden said. “He said he was kidding when he said that but a lot of people thought it was serious.”

Trump replied that he “was kidding on that.” 

Facts First: This is false. There was simply no indication that Trump was being anything less than serious when he made comments in April in which he wondered if it would be possible for people to inject disinfectants to fight Covid-19. The next day he claimed he was being sarcastic. 

During an April 23 press briefing, Trump expressed interest in exploring the possibility of “injection inside or almost a cleaning” with disinfectants. Here’s what he said:

“[T]hen I see the disinfectant, where it knocks it out in one minute. And is there a way we can do something like that, by injection inside or almost a cleaning, because you see it gets in the lungs and it does a tremendous number on the lungs, so it’d be interesting to check that, so that you’re going to have to use medical doctors with, but it sounds interesting to me.”

The next day Trump claimed he was "asking a question sarcastically to reporters like you just to see what would happen."

Read a longer fact check here

2:21 a.m. ET, October 23, 2020

Biden and Trump discuss how 545 children separated from their families should be reunited

From CNN's Priscilla Alvarez

President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden participate in the final presidential debate at Belmont University on October 22 in Nashville.
President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden participate in the final presidential debate at Belmont University on October 22 in Nashville. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

President Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden engaged in a heated debate about how more than 500 children should be reunited with their parents after they were separated at the US border over the past few years.

"The children are brought here by coyotes and lots of bad people, cartels, and they're brought here and they used to use them to get into our country. We now have a strong a border as we've ever had. We're over 400 miles of brand-new wall. You see the numbers. We let people in but they have to come in legally," Trump said.

In terms of reuniting these children with their families, Trump said his administration has a plan and "we're working on it very — we're trying very hard."

"But a lot of these kids come out without the parents. They come over through cartels and through coyotes and through gangs," Trump said.

Biden fired back against Trump, calling the actions of his administration "criminal."

"Five hundred plus kids came with parents. They separated them at the border to make it a disincentive to come to begin with. We're tough. We're really strong. And guess what. They cannot — it's not coyotes didn't bring them over. Their parents were with them. They got separated from their parents. And it makes us a laughing stock and violates every notion of who we are as a nation," Biden said. "Their kids were ripped from their arms and separated. And now they cannot find over 500 sets of those parents and those kids are alone. Nowhere to go. Nowhere to go. It's criminal. It's criminal."

Some context: Lawyers have not been able to reach the parents of 545 children who had been separated from their families by US border officials between 2017 and 2018, according to a court filing on Oct. 20.

Hundreds of parents may also have been deported without their children.

The filing from the Justice Department and the American Civil Liberties Union is part of an ongoing effort to identify and reunite families separated by the Trump administration, more than two years after the "zero tolerance" policy was created.

While a federal court order forced the reunification of many of those families, an explosive government watchdog report released last year revealed there could be thousands more who hadn't previously been acknowledged by officials.

A court-appointed "steering committee" has tried to locate those families. As of October 20, the committee has attempted to reach the families of 1,030 children. Of those, the committee has not been able to reach the separated parents of 545 children, according to the court filing.

"Approximately two-thirds" of parents are believed to have been deported without their children, the filing adds.

Watch the exchange:

2:20 a.m. ET, October 23, 2020

Trump says he has a "very good relationship" with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un 

From CNN's Kate Sullivan

President Donald Trump participates in the final presidential debate against Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden at Belmont University on October 22 in Nashville.
President Donald Trump participates in the final presidential debate against Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden at Belmont University on October 22 in Nashville. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

President Trump on Thursday night touted what he described as a “very good relationship” with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un. 

Former Vice President Joe Biden meanwhile onstage criticized Trump for legitimizing the dictator and the hermit nation, which has long been a global pariah for its dismal human rights record and nuclear ambitions. 

“He's talked about his good buddy who's a thug, a thug, and he talks about how we're better off. And they have much more capable missiles, able to reach US territory much more easily than they ever did before,” Biden said. 

Biden said at the debate that he would only meet with the North Korean leader “on the condition that he would agree that he would be drawing down his nuclear capacity.” 

“The Korean peninsula should be a nuclear-free zone,” Biden said. 

Trump made history as the first sitting US leader to set foot in North Korea, and has held summit meetings with Kim Jong Un. 

“Having a good relationship with leaders of other countries is a good thing,” Trump argued. 

Biden shot back: “That’s like saying we had a good relationship with Hitler before he in fact invaded Europe, the rest of Europe. Come on.”

Watch the moment:

 

10:40 p.m. ET, October 22, 2020

Biden reminds Trump he isn’t Bernie Sanders: "He thinks he’s running against somebody else"

From CNN's Dan Merica

Joe Biden went after a frequent talking point from Donald Trump on Thursday, reminding the President that while he likes to attack Bernie Sanders' plans for socialized medicine, he is not running against the Vermont Senator.

After a lengthy comment from Trump where he inaccurately accused Biden of backing “socialized medicine,” Biden fired back: “He’s very confused. He thinks he’s running against somebody else. He’s running against Joe Biden.”

Trump and Republicans often attempt to cast Biden as a radical by linking him to some of the leaders on the left of the Democratic Party, like Sanders. But Biden often fires back by noting that he defeated Sanders and other candidates during the primary.

“I beat all those other people because I disagree with them,” Biden said on Thursday night. “(It’s) Joe Biden he’s running against.”

Watch the exchange:

2:20 a.m. ET, October 23, 2020

Biden: "I don't see red states and blue states. What I see is American, United States."

From CNN's Aditi Sangal

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden participates in the final presidential debate against U.S. President Donald Trump at Belmont University on October 22 in Nashville.
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden participates in the final presidential debate against U.S. President Donald Trump at Belmont University on October 22 in Nashville. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

"If I get elected, I'm running as a proud Democrat, but I'm going to be an American president. I don't see red states and blue states. What I see is American, United States," Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden said after President Trump criticized the stimulus bill passed by the House Democrats as a "bailout of badly run, high-crime, Democrat... cities and states."

"Every single state out there finds themselves in trouble. They're going to start laying off, whether they're red or blue — cops, firefighters, first responders, teachers — because they have to balance their budget," Biden added.

Some context: Lawmakers have struggled for months to agree on another economic stimulus package to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic. Read more about where negotiations stand here.

Watch the moment:

2:18 a.m. ET, October 23, 2020

Covid-19 continues to ravage the US economy. Here's the latest on stimulus negotiations.

From CNN's Lauren Fox

Millions of Americans are still out of work. Many small businesses and major airlines are struggling to stay afloat. And states are still contending with massive budget gaps.

But those in need of relief from the coronavirus pandemic won’t see more money from the federal government anytime soon. Lawmakers have struggled for months to agree on another economic stimulus package to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic.

In tonight's debate, President Trump sought to lay blame on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for Congress' failure to pass another bill.

Pelosi said Thursday that a vote could still happen ahead of Election Day on a stimulus package, but signaled that work remains to get an agreement, write legislation and put it on the floor before Nov. 3.

"If we can get an agreement, I think we can, but again we are legislators. We understand how long things take. It is not just a question of us agreeing in a room. ... it takes time," Pelosi said. "It can happen. It is really up to them."

In private conversations, Pelosi has indicated to Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, the chief negotiator for the White House, that it would be her goal to hold a vote ahead of Election Day though there are still plenty of obstacles to a bill getting through both chambers of Congress anytime soon.

One aide familiar with the discussions told CNN that if a deal was reached, the expectation is that "it would come to the floor ASAP" for a vote in the Democratically controlled House.

But getting a deal still remains up in the air. An overall agreement is still not finished and it may not be reached in time for Election Day. The deal would have to be finished by the weekend in order to get a vote on the floor next week and Pelosi said Thursday that major issues remain outstanding from unemployment insurance to liability protections.

Democrats and Republicans never got very close to a deal, but there was bipartisan support for a second round of stimulus checks, extending a boost to unemployment benefits, providing more support for small businesses and more money for schools.

Congress passed a $2.2 trillion relief package in March, known as the CARES Act, but most of those programs have expired.

Read more here.

10:04 p.m. ET, October 22, 2020

Who has spoken the most so far

Nearly an hour into tonight’s debate, President Trump maintains a nearly three minute lead in speaking time ahead of former Vice President Joe Biden.

9:55 p.m. ET, October 22, 2020

How Trump and Biden compare on health care

From CNN's Tami Luhby

President Donald Trump, left, and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, right, during the second and final presidential debate on Thursday in Nashville.
President Donald Trump, left, and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, right, during the second and final presidential debate on Thursday in Nashville. Patrick Semansky/AP

President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden have very different views on how to fix what’s wrong with the nation’s health care system, and their differences are on display in tonight's debate.

Trump has long said he would unveil a plan to replace Obamacare that would continue to protect those with pre-existing conditions. However, he has yet to do so.

Instead, his administration points to a range of health care measures aimed at reducing drug and insulin prices, improving kidney health, broadening access to alternatives to Obamacare plans and increasing hospital price transparency, among others. Some of these efforts have been enacted, but others remain in the proposal stage or have been blocked by the courts.

Biden, on the other hand, wants to broaden coverage and increase affordability by building on Obamacare. He would beef up the Affordable Care Act’s subsides to help more people purchase policies, and he would introduce a government-run public option of the Obamacare exchanges. 

Read more about Trump's proposed health care plan here and Biden's here

10:03 p.m. ET, October 22, 2020

Biden pivots to economy impacts on American families and Trump hits him for being "typical politician"

From CNN's Dan Merica

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden gestures while speaking during the second and final presidential debate on Thursday in Nashville.
Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden gestures while speaking during the second and final presidential debate on Thursday in Nashville. Julio Cortez/AP

The key differences between Joe Biden and Donald Trump were distilled on Thursday night in a brief exchange about what middle class families are feeling right now.

Biden looked to pivot from a lengthy exchange where Trump attacked the business entanglements about Biden’s son, Hunter, by focusing on what American families are feeling.

“There’s a reason why he’s bringing up all this malarkey. There’s a reason for it. He doesn’t want to talk about the substantive issues. It’s not about his family and my family. It’s about your family. And your family’s hurting badly,” Biden said, looking directly into the camera.

The tactic clearly bothered Trump, but Biden pressed on by telling about families struggling to pay their mortgage, put new tires on their car or paying for education for their children.

“They’re the decisions you’re making,” Biden said. “In the middle-class families like I grew up in... they’re in trouble. We should be talking about your families. But that’s the last thing he wants to talk about.”

Trump slammed Biden quickly, even mocking the way he pivots to the camera: “That’s a typical political statement. Let’s get off this China thing and then he looks.”

Trump said the tactic was what a “typical politician” always does, adding, “I’m not a typical politician. … That’s why I got elected. Let’s get off the subject of China, let’s talk around sitting around the table. Come on, Joe, you can do better.”

Watch the moment: