Shimmies, sniffles & shout downs: #DebateNight in tweets

Republican U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks as Democratic U.S. presidential nominee Hillary Clinton listens during their first presidential debate at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York, U.S., September 26, 2016. © Rick Wilking
With the first presidential face off between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump behind us, RT takes a look at what the world of social media made of it all.

With 5 million tweets sent using the #DebateNight and #Debates2016 hashtags, the real action was happening online.

It wasn’t just policy that had people tweeting, some of the most popular moments weren’t zingers delivered by the opponents but moments of weirdness.

The Hillary Shimmy

When Trump claimed to have a better temperament than Clinton, the former secretary of state couldn’t help but laugh. Trump then said Clinton had the “wrong temperament”, to which Clinton said, “Okay,” and gave a little shoulder shimmy as she chuckled to herself.

Trump sniffles

Trump’s apparent cold had social media talking, with some Clinton supporters feeling smug that their candidate wasn’t the one displaying ill health after her infamous coughing fit and 9/11 collapse.

A #SniffingDonald hastag was used, and some users suggested it wasn’t illness that was causing the sniffles.  


According to social media, Trump interrupted Clinton more than 30 times. And someone even rounded them all up in a tweet.

Vox reported Clinton was interrupted 70 times, 19 times by Holt and 51 times by Trump, while Trump was interrupted 47 times, with Clinton cutting him off 17 times and Holt 30.

Bernie Sanders

An image of Bernie Sanders watching the debate was almost too much for some Bernie fans, who couldn’t help but think, what if?

Bill Clinton’s lingering handshake with Melania Trump

Before the debate had begun, Twitter users had plenty to say about the candidates’ spouses, Bill Clinton and Melania Trump, greeting each other.

Fact checking

Social media users were on hand to help moderator Holt fact check the candidates’ statements.

Trump said Clinton referred to the TPP as the “gold standard” in trade deals. She denied this, but it was easy to find footage of her saying those exact words.

Clinton said Trump thinks climate change is “a hoax perpetuated by the Chinese.” Trump denied having said that, but a tweet from 2012 proves otherwise.

Clinton falsely claimed Iran was “weeks away from having enough nuclear material to form a bomb.” when she became secretary of state.

Lester Holt

Lester Holt received a lot of attention, and criticism online for his work moderating the debate.

Some accused Holt of failing to fact check enough, while others had issue with Holt’s decision to bring up the birther issue at all.

He failed to fact check statements made by both candidates.

Footage from the end of the debate suggest Trump may have been in a bit of a sulk with moderator Holt. While Clinton goes to shake hands, Trump bypasses him and exits the stage.