JOE Biden dramatically told Donald Trump to "shut up" during their bad-tempered first TV presidential debate.

The US president has been criticised for refusing to condemn white supremacist groups and asking the Proud Boys to 'stand by' during a segment on race relations.

The pair duked it out on issues such as coronavirus, the Supreme Court, the economy and tax returns in a fiery showdown in Cleveland.

But a steady stream of insults and interruptions from both candidates led some viewers to declare it "the worst debate there's ever been".

You can read back through the posts below to follow the debate as it happened.

Follow our US Election 2020 blog for the latest news and updates...


    The presidential debate has been dubbed a “barroom brawl, a television shoutfest, and an exhausting insult derby” by Fox News commentator Howard Kurtz.

    He writes: “Given the polarized nature of the country, few minds were likely changed unless the candidates were being graded on politeness.”

    Kurtz says there were several 'pivotal moments' during the debate.

    The first came after a “mild exchange on the Supreme Court nominee, when Biden said Trump is in court to get rid of ObamaCare and Amy Coney Barrett has said the law is unconstitutional”.

    “The second pivot point came when Trump accused Biden of wanting to strip health insurance from 180 million people, and when the Democrat said he had opposed Medicare for All, the president said 'your party' is for 'socialist' medicine,” adds Kurtz.


    Soon after the debate, Biden's running mate, Kamala Harris, took to Twitter to share her thoughts on the night.

    Harris said there is a choice: a leader who offers a clear path forward versus an angry, interrupting bully.

  • 'S**TSHOW'

    CNN's Dana Bash gave a harsh summary of Tuesday night's first presidential debate, describing the contest as a “s**tshow.”

    The political pundit said the 90-minute debate between President Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden was nothing more than a litany of crosstalk.

    “That was horrific,” Jake Tapper said before Bash chimed in.

    “You just took the words out of my mouth. You used some high-minded language, I'm just going to say it like it is,” Bash told Tapper. “That was a sh– show.”


    The Proud Boys, a far-right extremist group, pledged their allegiance to President Donald Trump on Tuesday night after he gave them a shoutout in the debate.

    When Trump was asked to disavow white supremacy during portion of the debate, he instead chose to tell the Proud Boys to “stand back and stand by.”

    Many people on social media who identify with the group were quick to say there were “standing down and standing by” after the debate.

    Trump went on to say, “this is not a right-wing problem. This is a left-wing problem.”


    Joe Biden tweeted soon after the end of the debate, asking voters if anything Donald Trump said tonight would “actually make your life better?”


    Trump certainly didn't make any major gaffes, however, so in reality it's a tough debate to call either way.

    One thing is for certain, the constant stream of insults and interruptions from both candidates hasn't gone down well with many viewers.

    Some on social media are already calling it “the worst debate there has ever been”.


    Liberal commentator Michael Starr Hopkins says he thinks the Biden camp will be the happier after tonight's bad-tempered debate.

    Expectations for Biden were so low – largely due to the Trump campaign's depictions of him as a senile old man – that him simply maintaining his energy levels across the 90 minutes was enough for it to be a success.


    The President's motorcade has been spotted leaving the venue after the debate.


    Most of the reaction on social media so far has been extremely critical of the debate.

    It has been described as “off the rails” by liberal commentator Michael Starr Hopkins and “really hard to watch no matter what side of the aisle you sit on” by former Trump aide Omarosa Manigault Newman.


    So the debate has finished.

    It was bad tempered at times, with more interruptions than answers from both candidates.

    Reaction to the debate will no doubt be flooding in shortly.


    Trump refuses to agree to either question, saying he “cannot go along with” anything he considers and illegitimate election.

    He also refuses to say what he will tell his supporters to do.

    Biden agrees to both aspects of the questions.


    Both candidates asked whether they'll ask their supporters to stay calm during the wait for the votes to be counted.

    They are also asked whether they will refrain from declaring victory until the result has been independently certified.


    31 million people voted in 2016 by mail-in votes, Trump is told.

    The President says he's “counting on” the Supreme Court over the numbers this year, adding “I hope we don't need them.”

    He doubles down claiming mail-in votes are “being dumped in rivers”

    Biden insists there's “no evidence of that whatsoever”.

    “He's just afraid out the outcome,” the Democrat adds.


    Trump replies by insisting that the Obama-Biden administration spied on him relentlessly throughout the transition period.

    He adds that mail-in ballots are leading to fraud– “a fraud like you've never seen”.

    He goes on to say that the election should be decided on the night of November 3rd.


    Biden says simply he'll ensure Americans are able to vote.

    He tells people to “show up and vote” and “vote early if they can”.

    “Whatever way is best for you… he cannot stop you,” Biden says.

    “I'll accept whether I win or lose”, Biden adds.


    The final topic is the integrity of the election.

    Both candidates are asked what they are prepared to do to make sure the next president is legitimate.


    Biden called to account for his figures, with Chris Wallace insisting many voters will think it will costs a lot of money.

    Biden insists that not only will his environmental plan create many jobs, it will also pay for itself over the years.


    Biden is asked to respond to Trump's climate change record as well as to explain his own environmental plans that the President previously claimed would “tank the economy”.

    “That's absolutely wrong,” Biden says.

    He adds that his plan will not only reduce climate change but will create millions of jobs in a profitable “green infrastructure”.


    After a fiery exchange about Joe Biden's children, the next topic is climate change.

    Wallace asks what Donald Trump thinks about climate change and what he plans to do to confront it.

    The President insists he “wants crystal clear water…and immaculate air”.

    Pressed on what he thinks of the science of climate change, the President says he agrees that it is man made “to a certain extent” but adds “lots of things” contribute to it too.

    He adds that forest management in California is the best way to counter wildfires in the state.


    Asked why America should vote for him, Donald Trump says because “no President has ever done more for Americans than I have.”

    When Biden is asked the same question, he goes on the attack against Trump without offering much to say for himself.


    Trump is asked as similar question – has he ever called the white supremacists or right wing armed militias to tell them to stand down.

    “I'm open to doing that,” the President says, adding “but much of this I see coming from the left”.

    Trump and Biden then raise their voices over in a debate over who's worst, -the far right or the far left – and whether or not Antifa even exists.


    The next topic is the riots sweeping the United States – another subject the pair have already touched on extensively.

    Asked whether he has ever called the leaders of the protests to ask them to stop the riots, Biden dodges the question saying “I'm not in public office at the moment. I'm a former vice president.”


    Biden insists he's opposed to defunding the police.

    He accuses Trump of being the one who wants to defund the police via budget cuts.


    The next topic is law and order – something the two candidates have already debated extensively during the section on race.

    “If he ever got to run this country, our suburbs would be gone,” Trump says.

    “He wouldn't know suburbs anything about the suburbs unless he took a wrong turn,” Biden says.

    “It's not 1950s… suburbs are largely integrated now. Black, white and Hispanic all travelling in the same car.”


    Biden says the majority of cops in America are “good people… but there are a few bad apples.”

    Most cops “don't like” what happened to George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, he adds.

    He goes on to say peaceful protest is fine but the violent protest is “never acceptable”.

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