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Summary

  1. No holds barred at Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump's final debate in Las Vegas
  2. Trump refuses to commit to accepting result if he loses, adding: "I will tell you at the time"
  3. The two argue over who is Vladimir Putin's "puppet" and Trump calls her a "nasty woman"
  4. Polls suggest Clinton is ahead nationally and in key battleground states

Live Reporting

By Tom Spender and Penny Spiller

All times stated are UK

Result acceptance line 'was humour' - Trump adviser

"I will tell you at the time" Trump told the debate moderator.

Donald Trump's refusal to commit to accepting the election result if he loses is making headlines.

He told debate moderator Chris Wallace: "I will tell you at the time."

After the debate, the BBC's Nuala McGovern spoke to one of Trump's advisers, General Joseph Keith Kellogg, who told her it was just an example of his "wonderful sense of humour".

'It has been very strange'

Life has changed dramatically for Ken Bone since the last debate

After asking a question at the second presidential debate earlier this month, Ken Bone found himself stealing many of the headlines the candidates might have been hoping for. He became an overnight social media sensation, with some Americans calling for him to be the next president.

The BBC's Nuala McGovern spoke to him after the final presidential debate and asked how his life has changed.

What the US media is saying about the debate

Clinton and Trump
AP

Many are in agreement that the headline-grabbing moment of the debate was when Donald Trump said he would not commit to accepting the result of the election.

The right-leaning Fox News says it had been Mr Trump's "strongest debate performance" so far and felt he was "evenly matched" with Clinton. "But Trump may have undone whatever progress he made with a single answer," about the result, which will "undoubtedly be the big headline coming out of the debate and will dog Trump between now and Election Day".

Even readers of Breitbart News, a strong supporter of Mr Trump, thought he had failed to turn things around for himself. In a readers' poll, of 172,550 people who voted, 58% said Mrs Clinton won the debate compared with 41% for Mr Trump.

The Washington Post agreed with Fox that Mr Trump started well, but "by the end, it was the story of Trump in Campaign 2016 in microcosm, a series of angry exchanges, interruptions, insults that served to undercut the good he might have accomplished earlier".

The New York Times was full of praise for Mrs Clinton's performance, saying she "outmanoeuvred Mr Trump with a surprising new approach - his. Flipping the script, she turned herself into his relentless tormentor, condescending to him repeatedly and deploying some of his own trademark tactics against him".

Retweet wizardry

One of the most retweeted debate tweets was from Harry Potter author JK Rowling - who made it clear who she was supporting.

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Trump 'believes in democratic system'

Trump's campaign manager Kellyanne Conway tells Radio 4's Today programme what's behind her candidate's refusal to commit to accepting the election result if he loses...

The 'Bad hombres' memes continue...

Bathrooms according to Trump #debatenight

Bathrooms according to Trump #debatenight

Imagining the bathrooms in Trump Tower - journalism professor Andrew Lih's tweet is the latest in a flood of memes that followed Donald Trump's use of the phrases "nasty woman" and "bad hombres" during the debate.

Read more: Trump's 'Bad Hombres' quip inspires mucho mocking memes

And yet more: 'Nasty woman' insult embraced by Clinton's female fans

Trump family show their support after debate

Donald Trump walks off stage as (L-R) Lara Yunaska, Vanessa Trump, Melania Trump, businessman Jared Kushner, Ivanka Trump, Vanessa Trump, and Donald Trump Jr. look on after the third US presidential debate in Las Vegas, Nevada – 19 October 2016
Ge

After the debate ended, the Republican candidate was joined by his family before exiting the stage.

'Google it!'

During the debate Hillary Clinton asked viewers to get online and search for the terms "Donald Trump Iraq".

This was to highlight the Republican candidate's past statements that appear to show him supporting the 2003 US invasion of Iraq, something he now says he was against. 

And, as the New York Times puts it, people actually listened.

Searches for the phrase spiked shortly afterwards, Google Trends data cited by the newspaper shows.

Factcheck.org has examined the issue and says there is no evidence Mr Trump spoke against the war before it started but did offer vague support for it in an interview with radio host Howard Stern.

Listen: 'It's not about Trump's personality'

Today Programme

BBC Radio 4

The personal character of Donald Trump has been a dominant theme of the election battle. 

But the prominent conservative commentator Ann Coulter says people won't be voting for Donald Trump because of his personality and rather "it's all about his issues".  

A Trump retrospective

CNN's Andrew Kaczynski has taken a scroll through Trump's Twitter account, and found what he was saying on election night 2012, when Obama defeated Romney.

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Conservatives recall 2000

Republicans are pointing to the fact that Al Gore did not concede immediately in the 2000 election as evidence that Trump was correct to not agree to preemptively accept the results of this election.

Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway argued: "Al Gore did not accept the results of the elections and he said he would. He actually conceded to George W Bush on election night in 2000 and then called and retracted his concession."

Gore withdrew his concession when Florida results were too close to call, triggering an automatic recount.

When the Supreme Court halted the recount, giving George W Bush the state, Gore did concede.

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Introducing Ken Bone, international media megastar

That guy who asked a convoluted question about energy policy in the second debate has just been speaking to the BBC, wearing his trademark red jumper, of course...

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Asked by the BBC's Nuala McGovern what he thought of the debate, he said: "Tonight's debate was much more productive than the last one. There was some back and forth, some negativity, but we got a lot more information about the issues."

Like every model voter, he said he'd made three pages of notes that "I need to fact check before I can come to any decision". 

On the task ahead for whoever becomes the next president, he added: "It's going to be the greatest challenge in the last 20 years for any president to reunite a country after this very divisive cycle." 

And on why he's proved to be such a popular figure, he said: "Largely, I'm just a friendly guy. You know, I'm a little goofy looking, I have a too-tight red sweater and a strange moustache that makes people feel like I'm very approachable and friendly and generally I try to be."

Well Ken, we love you. 

Calling democracy into question

Anthony Zurcher

BBC North America reporter

Trump's refusal to commit to accept the election results if he loses will launch a thousand headlines and dominate discussion in the days ahead. It was also just the start of a full-spectrum debate tirade by Trump against a media that "poisoned the minds of voters" and Clinton, who he said should have been prohibited from even running for the presidency.

Clinton’s response was that the Republican’s remarks were "horrifying". She then deftly expanded her response to paint Trump as a man who cries "rigged" whenever he faces a situation he doesn’t like - whether it’s the FBI decision not to prosecute her for her email server, his loss in the Iowa caucuses earlier this year, the lawsuit against his eponymous for-profit university, or even his reality TV show’s defeat at the Emmy Awards. ("Should have gotten it," Trump piped in.)

"He's talking down our democracy," she concluded. "And I, for one, am appalled that somebody who is the nominee of one of our two major parties would take that kind of position."

Talking to Republican officeholders in the media spin room after the debate, their discomfort with Trump’s statement was palpable. Some explained it away as a tongue-in-cheek joke. Others said it was simply Trump not wanting to consider defeat before election day.

The reality, however, is Republican politicians owe their positions - past, current and future - to the people’s vote, and they rely on the legitimacy granted by opponents who concede when defeated.

Trump has called American democracy into question - and when he shakes that particular tree, it’s impossible to determine who might get crushed by falling branches. 

Read Anthony's full verdict on the third debate.

Did 'Trump TV' just go live?

Speculation has been rife recently that the Republican candidate is preparing to launch his own media organisation if he loses the election. Indeed some are saying that Trump TV, as it’s already been dubbed, may have had its soft launch tonight with a Facebook Live half an hour before the debate began. Trump teasingly billed the broadcast on the social network: "If you’re tired of biased, mainstream media reporting (otherwise known as Crooked Hillary’s super PAC), tune into my Facebook Live broadcast." Pundits included retired Lt Gen Michael Flynn and former Arizona Gov Jan Brewer, with an Ivanka Trump message and anti-Clinton ads running as "commercials".  

Not sure if Fox News is quaking in its boots just yet, though.

Here's that Facebook Live again...

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A peaceful transition

Here's the amazingly gracious hand-over letter that former President George HW Bush left in 1993 for Bill Clinton, who had just ousted him from the White House in a humiliating defeat after only one term in office. 

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Following the debate on Yik Yak

Our BBC World Service colleagues were getting reaction on the debate from users of Yik Yak, a messaging app that is popular with students in university campuses across the US.

Here's a selection of their feedback: 

Yik Yak comment
Yik Yak
Yik Yak comment
Yik Yak
Yik Yak comment
Yik Yak
Yik Yak comment
Yik Yak
Yik Yak comment
Yik Yak

Benghazi bereaved speak to BBC

Lydie Denier, the former partner of Ambassador Christopher Stevens who was killed in Benghazi, Libya, spoke to the BBC's Rajini Vaidyanathan about why she attended tonight.

"Hillary Clinton doesn't take any responsibility," Denier said about the former secretary of state, who was Stevens' boss when he was killed in a raid on the US diplomatic mission.

She says she missed the first 40 minutes of the debate, along with "Benghazi mom" Patricia Smith, because they had trouble getting through security. 

Watch Rajini's full interview below, near minute 25.

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Trump and Clinton supporters react

The BBC's Nuala McGovern spoke to two voters about how their candidate fared.

We spoke to two voters as the debate ended to guage their reaction

Clinton: 'Horrifying'

Clinton says Trump's refusal to say whether he will accept the election result if he loses is "horrifying".

She was also asked by reporters on her campaign plane for reaction to Trump's "nasty woman" comment.

"I just didn’t pay any attention to that. I was very concerned that even now after 17 intelligence agencies in our government have confirmed that Russia engaged in cyber-attacks… that he refused to condemn it."

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The moment it all got 'nasty'

Presidential debate: The moment Trump v Clinton turned nasty

Media agrees on headline

If anyone is in any doubt as to what the main talking point will be after the debate, take a look at how the US press are covering it. 

The opening line to the report by the Associated Press is brutal: 

"Threatening to upend a fundamental pillar of American democracy, Donald Trump refused to say Wednesday night that he will accept the results of next month's election if he loses to Hillary Clinton. The Democratic nominee declared Trump's resistance 'horrifying'."

And the front pages of the main news websites go along the same line.

New York Times website front page
BBC
Washington Post website front page
BBC
WSJ website front page
BBC

If you're just joining us...

Let's catch up on some of the key moments in the final presidential debate.

It was a fraught affair.

Early on, the candidates called each other a "puppet" of the Russian government.

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Does experience matter? Trump says Clinton has experience, but it's "bad experience".

"You talk, but you don't get anything done, Hillary", he said.

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The major bombshell came when Trump declined to say he would accept the election results.

Moderator Chris Wallace pointed out to Trump just how consequential his demurring might be.

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And let's take a look at their closing statements.

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There was also this intriguing moment...

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Trump drops "the bad hombres" remark.

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It's all #nastywomen and #badhombres on Twitter

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Two comments by Trump are dominating the debate reaction on Twitter at the moment. 

The first came during a segment on immigration, when he said: "We have some bad hombres here and we're going to get them out." 

We've covered the reaction to that here

The second was when the Republican candidate spoke over Clinton as she answered a question on Social Security, saying: "Such a nasty woman."

Needless to say, that quip has sparked quite a backlash. 

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Knives out

Well, this is awkward.

Clinton and Trump will actually be dining together tomorrow night at a charitable dinner at New York's Waldorf Astoria Hotel.

Hosted by Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the Catholic Archbishop of New York, the Albert Smith Dinner aims to "support charities that serve New York’s neediest children", the organisers write.

"Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump will deliver the evening’s keynote speeches in the spirit of collegiality and good-humor that has become a hallmark of the gala," the organisers claim.

The dinner has been held every year since 1945, and is "almost mandatory" for presidential candidates, Smithsonian Magazine writes. 

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BBC on board "Hill Force One"

The BBC's Kim Ghattas and Suzanne Kianpour are travelling with Clinton as she heads back to her New York home to rest up and attend a dinner before hitting the trail again. 

On Friday she'll campaign in Cleveland, Ohio.

Over the weekend she'll be in Pennsylvania and North Carolina.

What do these states all have in common? They're all swing states.

Follow Kim and Suzanne on Twitter as they shadow the Democratic candidate in the final stretch of her campaign.

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'The Emmys are sooooo boring!'

The Emmys - the premier US television awards - became a debate topic when Clinton attacked Trump’s suggestion that he might not accept the results of the election.

"Every time Donald thinks things are not going in his direction, he claims whatever it is, is rigged against him," she said. 

"There was even a time when he didn't get an Emmy for his TV program three years in a row and he started tweeting that the Emmys were rigged."

Trump interjected that he "should have gotten it" for his show The Apprentice, which was nominated eight times, but never won.

And yes, a survey of Trump’s tweets demonstrates he has complained many, many times about the unfairness of the Emmys.

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Reality Check: Voter fraud

Reality Check graphic
BBC

Claim: Trump has been claiming for days that the electoral system is rigged and riddled with corruption - and that voter fraud is "very common".

Reality Check verdict: Trump is quoting from a 2012 study by non-partisan research organisation Pew, which found approximately 24 million - or one of every eight - US voter registrations were no longer valid or were significantly inaccurate. Of those, the report says, 1.8 million were deceased.

But the Pew report did not say the 1.8 million deceased people actually voted. It said the discrepancies were evidence of a need to upgrade systems of voter registration.

Other researchers say voter fraud involving ballots - including votes cast by dead people - is rare. 

Justin Levitt, a professor at Loyola Law School, found 31 credible incidents out of more than 1 billion votes cast from 2000 to 2014.