Well, this is awkward.
The debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump at Hofstra University began with spars over trade and policy, plans to fight ISIS and who has a better plan for America's future, but of course the action started before the action actually started. Check this out:
"Our country is suffering because people like Secretary Clinton have made such bad decisions," Trump said early in the debate. "We are in a big, fat, ugly bubble."
Clinton earlier comically invited Trump to keep saying "crazy" things.
Faced with a question over why he hasn't released his tax records, Trump repeated the claim that he can't because he's under audit then pivoted:
"We have a trade deficit with almost all of the countries we do business with."
Then he said he'd release his tax returns against his lawyers' objections when Clinton releases emails. Clinton hypothesized about why Trump won't release his returns: he's not as rich or charitable as he's represented, or just doesn't want people seeing his books.
"It must be something really important, even terrible, that he's trying to hide," she said. "This is something the American people deserve to see. There's something he's hiding."
"So it's negotiable?" host Lester Holt said before reminding the cheering audience they'd agreed to keep quiet.
Pressed for details on the emails, Clinton said it was "a mistake" to use a private email server.
Trump pounced, saying "it was a more than a mistake."
A Super Bowl-sized audience is expected to tune in as Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump square off Monday at Hofstra University in the first of three presidential debates.
Locked in a virtual dead heat in several recent national polls, Clinton’s supporters hope she can shake off a dismal September that saw her once-hefty advantage in the race evaporate. Trump’s advisers say the debate could offer him the chance to prove to skeptical Republicans and independent voters that he’s a credible alternative.
The nation's media is camped out at the New York campus but it looks like Yehuda Friedman has scored the first scoop of the night: