Donald Trump blames everyone and everything but himself after combative debate with Hilary Clinton


Donald Trump has blamed the moderator, a bad microphone and anyone but himself after facing a barrage of criticism by Hillary Clinton over his taxes, honesty and character in the first US presidential debate.

The Republican nominee tried to defend himself against some of Clinton's most damaging attacks the next morning, even when the explanations seemed only to further damage his image among the voters he needs to win.

Clinton, meanwhile, was in a celebratory mood, telling reporters on her campaign plane she had a "great, great time" and was "thrilled" by how it went.

She accused Trump of making "demonstrably untrue" claims in the debate and mocked him for floating the possibility that debate organisers had set him up by lowering the volume on his "terrible" microphone so he was quieter than Mrs Clinton.

"Anybody who's complaining about the microphone is not having a good night," she said.

Although he said on Twitter that he had "really enjoyed" the debate, Trump accused moderator Lester Holt of a left-leaning performance and going harder on him than on Clinton.

 Lester Holt.
(David Goldman/AP)

He insisted he had "no sniffles" and no allergies despite the #snifflegate speculation that had exploded on social media.

Still, Trump insisted he had gotten the better of Clinton, awarding her a C-plus while declining to assign himself a grade.

He also threatened to go harder after her in the next debate and said he had planned to assail Bill Clinton for his "many affairs" and stopped himself solely because daughter Chelsea Clinton had been in the room.

Clinton claimed her opponent hit out at her for "preparing for the debate".

"I think Donald just criticised me for preparing for this debate," Clinton said. "And, yes, I did. And you know what else I prepared for? I prepared to be president. And I think that's a good thing."