Here’s a critical exchange from tonight about the Russian disruption campaign in the 2016 election. It’s overshadowed by the refusal to accept the results of an election. But it was also crucial for what both candidates said.
[Note this is an uncorrected transcript – subject to revision.]
TRUMP: Putin from everything I see has no respect for this person.
CLINTON: Well, that’s because he would rather have a puppet as president of the United States.
TRUMP: No puppet. You’re the puppet.
CLINTON: It is pretty clear you won’t admit the Russians have engaged in cyber attacks against the United States of manager. That you encouraged espionage against our people. That you are willing to spout the Putin line, sign up for his wish list, break up NATO, do whatever he wants to do. And that you continue to get help from him because he has a very clear favorite in this race. So I think that this is such an unprecedented situation. We’ve never had a foreign government trying to interfere in our election. We have 17, 17 intelligence agencies, civilian and military who have all concluded that these espionage attacks, these cyber attacks, come from the highest levels of the kremlin. And they are designed to influence our election. I find that deeply disturbing. And I think it is time —
TRUMP: She has no idea whether it is Russia, China or anybody else.
CLINTON: I am not quoting myself. I am quoting 17, 17 — do you doubt?
TRUMP: Our country has no idea.
CLINTON: He would rather believe Vladimir Putin than the military and civilian intelligence professionals who are sworn to protect us. I find that just absolutely –
TRUMP: She doesn’t like Putin because Putin has outsmarted her at every step of the way. Excuse me. Putin has outsmarted her in Syria.