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Donald Trump may have staunched the bleeding of his campaign, which has been reeling from leaked video released on Friday that showed the Republican candidate bragging about sexually assaulting women, with a more assured performance in what many observers noted was perhaps the nastiest, ugliest and darkest presidential debate in modern history. Read more

By Gideon Rachman

How did it come to this? The presidential election debates should represent US democracy at its finest. Instead, the second Clinton-Trump debate centred around sordid allegations of sexual assault, threats, lies and mutual contempt.

Candidates Hillary Clinton And Donald Trump Hold Second Presidential Debate At Washington University

The second US presidential debate brought the expected volley of accusations and insults but came to an unexpectedly dignified close in final remarks by Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. The action and reaction is followed here by the FT DC bureau team, led by Barney Jopson and Courtney Weaver, while Anna Nicolaou recorded the mood among supporters at the Trump Tower bar, curated by US online news editor Emiliya Mychasuk. 

Two pieces of espionage dominated the campaign on Friday – and both are likely to provide fodder for Sunday’s second debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.

One’s about Russia and the other is about Trump talking, well, dirty. To deal with the not-suitable-for-work one first, the Washington Post has unearthed audio and video that shows Trump bragging “in vulgar terms about kissing, groping and trying to have sex with women”. Read more

Both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump spent Thursday preparing for the second presidential debate, now just 72 hours away.

Clinton, who attended a Manhattan fundraiser but had no public appearances scheduled, hunkered down with aides to rehearse policy positions and no doubt practice a few one-liners. Trump, whose improbable presidential bid faces a make-or-break moment on Sunday night, scheduled his own town hall-style event for Thursday evening. Read more

Theresa May’s Brexit vision

At the UK Conservative party conference this week we got a clearer sense of Theresa May’s Brexit vision, with the prime minister announcing that the process for leaving the bloc will be formally set in motion early next year. So what are the implications at this stage for Britain – and for Europe? Gideon Rachman puts the question to Daniel Dombey, the FT’s Brexit editor, and Brussels bureau chief Alex Barker.

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Mike Pence tried out a novel strategy in last night’s vice presidential debate against Democrat Tim Kaine: pretend that the Donald Trump who has been campaigning for president for over a year and lived a very public life for at least 40 years does not exist.

Throughout the debate, Kaine listed Trump’s derogatory remarks about women, Mexicans, Muslims, President Barack Obama, the family of a slain US soldier and black people, along with his praise for Vladimir Putin, nuclear proliferation and mass deportations. Against Kaine’s onslaught, Pence offered up a folksy chuckle, an incredulous shake of his head and, occasionally, an outright denial that what Kaine said Trump had said was true – despite ample video evidence that it was. Read more

Antonio Guterres

Antonio Guterres, who is poised to be confirmed as the next UN Secretary-General, certainly comes to the job with relevant experience. The 66-year-old former prime minister of Portugal served for ten years, between 2005 and 2015, as the head of the UN High Commission for Refugees. And he will assume office amidst the most acute refugee crisis the world has faced, since 1945. Read more

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the 2016 vice presidential debate!

In this corner, weighing in at the exact average height and weight for a man of his age and dressed like the villain in a 1970s blaxploitation flick, Republican Mike Pence of Indiana. And in this corner, wearing dad jeans and telling you and your friends its okay to drink beers in his garage because he’s “cool”, Tim Kaine, Democratic senator from Virginia. Read more

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After successfully baiting Donald Trump into a self-destructive spiral that culminated this weekend with the Republican candidate imitating Hillary Clinton’s near-collapse from pneumonia and speculating that she may have been unfaithful to her husband (more on that below), the Clinton campaign is seeing if they can’t extend the streak.

 Read more

By Gideon Rachman

Theresa May has one great advantage as a politician. She looks serious and responsible. But appearances can be deceptive. If you examine how the UK prime minister is handling Brexit, a different sort of politician emerges.

It’s 3:20 am. Do you know where your Republican candidate is?

While the rest of the US was sleeping on Friday morning, a clearly restless Donald Trump was making waves on Twitter, taking to the social media platform to lash out at Alicia Machado, the former winner of Mr Trump’s beauty pageant and a Hillary Clinton surrogate, and complaining about the news media amid reports that even people within his campaign are acknowledging he had a bad debate. Read more

The first presidential debate is firmly in the rearview window and Donald Trump is moving on to bigger and brighter things: specifically attacking the Clintons for allegedly trading campaign and philanthropic donations for political influence. At campaign appearances in Iowa, Wisconsin and New Hampshire, Trump summoned his best Cuba Gooding Jr, urging his supporters to “fol-low the money” when it comes to the Clintons. Read more

Is Donald Trump really as rich as he claims to be? As Democrats step up pressure for the Republican candidate to release his tax returns, the issue is at the centre of renewed speculation.

Hillary Clinton, the Democratic candidate, asked during Monday’s debate whether one reason Mr Trump is resisting the push to release his returns is that they will show he is not as well-off as he has declared. Read more

Renzi’s big test

This week Matteo Renzi, Italy’s prime minister, set a date in December for his high-stakes referendum on constitutional reform. The vote will determine the political future of a leader already struggling with painful party defeats in local elections, troubles in Italy’s banking system and a persistently weak economy. Ben Hall discusses with James Politi, the FT’s Italy correspondent and Europe news editor Joshua Chaffin.

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The polls are tightening. All of the momentum seems to be on his side. The bar he must pass has been lowered to the sub-basement. But even when the smallest modicum of decorum could win him the presidency, Donald Trump is gonna Donald Trump.

That is the only explanation for why today on Fox and Friends – his most sympathetic interviewers outside of Sean Hannity, who has appeared in a Trump campaign ad – the Republican nominee brought up, unbidden, the story of Alicia Machado.

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The first presidential debate tonight may rival the Super Bowl and the moon landing in terms of viewership, and it’s easy to see why.In one corner you have a historically unpopular former first lady, senator and secretary of state and in the other an even more unpopular former reality TV star and real estate mogul who has a history of racist, misogynistic and xenophobic rhetoric. Read more

Views Ahead Of The First Presidential Debate At Hofstra University

The much-awaited showdown between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump is the first of the three presidential debates comes as the latest polls show the Republican and Democratic candidates for the White House neck and neck with only 43 days until the November 8 election. Our DC bureau track the action and reaction.
 

By Gideon Rachman

“A single death is a tragedy, a million deaths is a statistic.” Stalin’s famous statement is often taken as the epitome of inhumanity — the very opposite of the humane and liberal values cherished in the democratic west.

Hillary Clinton has no shortage of attack lines to throw at Donald Trump in next Monday’s debate, but if one was going to be “you haven’t even unified your own party” it just became a little less viable. Read more