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Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump face off in first presidential debate
   2016-09-27 20:22:15    Xinhua      Web Editor: Zhang Shuai

People watch the first presidential debate on TV in a bar in New York, the United States on Sept. 26, 2016. Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump on Monday held their first presidential debate at Hofstra University in New York. [Photo: Xinhua/Wang Ying]

Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump faced off for the first time in the chaotic 2016 election cycle, with Clinton calling out Trump for not releasing tax returns and being born rich, while Trump labeled Clinton a traditional politician.

"There's something he's hiding," said Clinton here during the 90-minute first presidential debate for the election. Trump repeatedly refused to release his tax returns, arguing that he was being audited.

Trump attempted to fend off such attacks by assaulting Clinton's track record on transparency, especially the controversy surrounding Clinton's email practice during her stint at the U.S. State Department.

"I will release my tax returns, against my lawyer's wishes, when she releases her 33,000 emails that have been deleted," Trump responded, referring to the trove of thousands of alleged personal emails deleted by the Clinton camp before handing over the work-related ones to the State Department in late 2014.

Republicans accused Clinton of deleting emails possibly linked to the 2012 Benghazi attack that killed four Americans in the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya.

Also, as widely expected, Clinton mentioned Trump's past claim that U.S. President Barack Obama was not born in the United States. Trump recently proclaimed that Obama is American.

"He has really started his political activity based on this racist lie that our first black president was not an American citizen," said Clinton.

"There was absolutely no evidence for it, but he persisted, he persisted year after year, because some of his supporters, people that he was trying to bring into his fold, apparently believed it or wanted to believe it."

Though she was scrambling to portray herself as connected to ordinary voters who are disheartened and disgruntled by the sluggish U.S. economy, Clinton on Monday night attempted to describe Trump as a bellicose billionaire who had been taking advantage of voters' frustration.

"You know, Donald was very fortunate in his life and that's all to his benefit. He started his business with 14 million dollars, borrowed from his father, and he really believes that the more you help wealthy people, the better off we'll be and that everything will work out from there," said Clinton.

Meanwhile, on at least a dozen occasions, Clinton was called a "traditional politician" by her Republican counterpart, the New York billionaire developer who had never held any elected position before.

"We have to renegotiate our trade deals. ... Secretary Clinton and others, politicians, should have been doing this for years, not right now, because of the fact that we've created a movement. They should have been doing this for years," said Trump.

"Typical politician. All talk, no action. Sounds good, doesn't work. Never going to happen. Our country is suffering because people like Secretary Clinton have made such bad decisions in terms of our jobs and in terms of what's going on," he said.

Related: Poll, experts suggest Clinton winner of 1st presidential debate

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