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Here are 5 stunning moments from Biden and Trump’s first debate

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Donald Trump and Joe Biden appear at 2020 presidential debate (Fox News/screen grab)

President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden faced off for the first time Tuesday night in the inaugural presidential debate of the 2020 general election.

It was a catastrophe. Trump was belligerent, mendacious, and overbearing, refusing to let Biden answer questions most of the time without interruption. Biden managed to get in several good moments, but he was often bulled over by the president’s bluster and was unable to make a complete argument.

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But Trump didn’t really seem to get the better of Biden. By being so aggressive, he came off desperate, dishonest, and out of control. It was not a good look for a sitting president. And it completely undermined the supposed point of the debate: informing voters about the issues. Instead, it showcased the candidates’ respective personalities, at least to some degree. While unpleasant, it may have been informative in its own way.

Here are five stunning moments from the event:

1. Trump gets into a fight with Chris Wallace

This happened continuously throughout the night. And Wallace even pointed out that Trump was responsible for far more interruptions.

2. Biden lost his cool with Trump

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3. “You are the worst president that America has ever had.”

It may have been an exaggeration — we’ve literally had slaveholding presidents — but the remark had strong rhetorical force.

4. Trump attacked Biden’s son Hunter when the former vice president tried to talk about his late son Beau

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5. “I am urging my supporters to go into the polls and watch very carefully”

Trump refused to direct his supporters to reject violence after the election. In fact, he gave them a directive that could very well lead to voter intimidation.

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2020 Election

WATCH: Former Trump voters explain what sent them over the edge — and got them to back Biden

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HuffPost reporter Daniel Marans talked with voters Tuesday outside the Luzerne County building in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, ahead of President Donald J. Trump's rally in the state. The line for early voting was about an hour long with most of the queue being held inside. Marans reported that, "People also have questions/requests. But you can drop off a pre-completed absentee ballot in the blue box."

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Trump’s strategy against Joe Biden and the coronavirus is to increasingly accept defeat: columnist

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In an op-ed for the New York Times this Tuesday, Ross Douthat says that the Trump administration is beginning to see the writing on the wall as Election Day grows closer.

According to Douthat, Trump's 2020 campaign "has been stuck toggling back and forth between two very different narratives."

"One seeks to replay the last campaign, portraying Joe Biden as the embodiment of a failed establishment (hence all the references to his 47 years in Washington) who will sell out American interests to China as soon as he’s back in power," he writes.

The other is Trump apparently insistence in running against Joe Biden as if he's Bernie Sanders. While a skilled campaigner could have weaved these narratives together, their contradictions are more obvious when coming from Trump. "The resulting incoherence just feeds his tendency to return to old grudges and very online grievances, as though he’s running for the presidency of talk radio or his own Twitter feed," writes Douthat.

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2020 Election

Trump declared war on mail-in voting — he ended up shooting himself in the foot

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Donald Trump's war on mail-in voting seems, like many of his schemes to steal the election, to be backfiring.

As much as he may publicly deny it, Trump knows he's unpopular and cannot win a free and fair election. So he has determined that the best way to hang onto power is to keep as many Americans from voting as possible. Since nearly the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, Trump has been waging war against mail-in ballots, which many millions of Americans are using this year in order to avoid crowded and unsafe polling places.

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