Op-ed: When Donald Trump called Hillary Clinton the devil and threatened to jail her it was not the first time I had heard such talk, though not in recent years and in America.
It reminded me of political contests in the Third World, and often the incumbent made good threats to jail opponents.
Sometimes they were never seen again.
This was over the top even for a potty mouth. We don’t threaten opponents on debate stages.
"If I win, I am going to instruct my attorney general to get a special prosecutor to look into your (missing email) situation," Trump said, "because there has never been so many lies, so much deception."
Trump's threat -- which he has made before on the campaign trail -- is extraordinary even by the standard of the vitriolic 2016 campaign.
Clinton responded first by calling Trump's comments about her emails false, then said, "It's just awfully good that someone with the temperament of Donald Trump is not in charge of the law in our country."
Trump, as if continuing her sentence, added: "Because you'd be in jail."
It was very Nixonian, said former Attorney General Eric Holder, a Democrat. He recalled Nixon’s attorney general quit when ordered to fire the Watergate special prosecutor.
But Republicans were shocked as well.
“Former White House said, "Winning candidates don't threaten to put opponents in jail," he tweeted. "Presidents don't threaten prosecution of individuals. Trump is wrong on this."
There was a certain irony as Trump stalked Hillary on the stage, to use the verb chosen by several pundits, to talk about jailing her.
He is the one facing trial three weeks after the election for running a phoney university. And he will face trial in more than one state for ripping off students. Trump’s Foundation has been ordered to cease and desist taking donations because it is not registered.
In our living room, and many others from what I heard on several stations, people wondered why the taller Trump kept creeping up behind Clinton when it was her turn to speak. It seemed like something from a Frankenstein movie.
In the past such bizarre behavior has worked for Trump. Appparently not Sunday night.
Nearly as scary as the jail threat was his total lack of knowledge of Russia’s role in Syria. It reminded some viewers of Libertarian Gary Johnson’s comment “What is Aleppo.”
The two polls taken right after the event showed Hillary the winner.
Before the debate many Republicans had abandoned him, others said they would look for a strong performance to get him back in the race as his poll numbers tumble.
Op-ed: Monday was the first televised debate with Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton sharing the same stage.
At times it appeared Donald Trump was one of Dr. Jane Goodall’s chimpanzees.
Asked about Russians or others spying on us, Trump said it could have been anyone, even a “400 pound man sitting on a bed.”
Time after time he took the bait when Hillary Clinton talked about the government loopholes he had benefited from.
He boasted of making money from the recession which cost millions their homes.
“That’s called business, by the way.”
He was unclear about when and if he would release his tax details, at one point saying he would if she, Mrs Clinton, released her emails and then saying he would not.
Clinton responded: “Well, I think you've seen another example of bait-and- switch here. For 40 years, everyone running for president has released their tax returns. You can go and see nearly, I think, 39, 40 years of our tax returns, but everyone has done it. We know the IRS has made clear there is no prohibition on releasing it when you're under audit.
“So you've got to ask yourself, why won't he release his tax returns? And I think there may be a couple of reasons. First, maybe he's not as rich as he says he is. Second, maybe he's not as charitable as he claims to be.”
Trump has refused offers of millions of dollars from billionaire Mark Cuban if he would simply answer some questions about his alleged wealth.
A CNN poll and others said Clinton won the debate, but time will tell. The 538 website said her poll numbers will rise if she did win the debate.
Trump frequently interrupted Clinton but she did not seem to react.
“Polling over the next few days will reveal how voters, particularly those who haven’t made up their minds about whether or for whom they will cast their ballots, processed the debate. Immediate reactions from focus groups and spot polling showed Clinton the victor,” said Real Clear Politics.
Rolling Stone said: “The most important exchange of the night came on climate change. Clinton, after outlining her plan to make America a clean-energy superpower, hit Trump as a denier: "Donald thinks that climate change is a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese," she said. "I think it's real."
“Trump then lied. Flat out lied. In a night full of lies, Trump's attempt to disavow climate denial was "bigly" the biggest.
"I did not. I did not," Trump said, overtalking. "I do not say that."
“But Trump did say that. In a tweet in November of 2012, Trump insisted: "The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive."
“This is not the only time Trump has blasted climate change as a myth. Indeed, climate denial is a drum Trump likes to bang nearly as much as the racist birther lie."
The FBI is recommending no charges be filed against Hillary Clinton for maintaining a private email server, clearing the way for her become the first woman presidential nominee of the Democrat party.
FBI Director James B. Comey said Clinton had very careless, which could be said of most Americans who have had to learn now to use one new electronic practice after another.
No one is arguing that her private email server was hacked by unfriendly powers, although some government servers have. Comey said no evidence of misconduct was found in the handling of classified mails.
And previous secretary of states, including Colin Powell, had his own email.
Many in private industry believe it would be safer to control their own email, rather than risk attacks by China, Russia and other.
The Republicans will resume their attack on Clinton although it goes against their own basic philosophy that private industry can do a job better than the government.
President Obama’s attempt to set up a health care website was a fiasco.
After several terrorist attacks in the U.S. the government tried to force Apple to reveal the inner workings of an iPhone used by a terrorist. Apple refused, but another private company was able to do the job.
The Clinton campaign said it was pleased with the decision made by "career officials" at the FBI.
"As the Secretary has long said, it was a mistake to use her personal email and she would not do it again," said Clinton spokesman Brian Fallon. "We are glad that this matter is now resolved."
Republican nominee Donald Trump condemned the recommendation as expected. Yet the GOP now has lost both its marquee playing cards, Benghazi and the emails
The real loser may be Bernie Sanders if he held any hopes that Clinton would be indicted and he would get the nomination by default, even though she had several million more votes than his campaign.
2016 US election news and other news from the USA
Worked in journalism, including on the Internet, for more than 40 years. Started as a news editor at the Colorado Daily at the University of Colorado, joined a small Montana newspaper, the Helena Independent-Record, and then United Press International.