It didn’t take long during Monday night’s presidential debate before Donald Trump started interrupting Hillary Clinton. A lot, and aggressively.
We kept count — and Trump interrupted Clinton 25 times in the first 26 minutes of the debate. Moderator Lester Holt interrupted Clinton 15 times, bringing the total to 40.
By the end of the debate, Trump had interrupted Clinton three times more than she interrupted him — 51 interruptions, compared to Clinton’s 17.
“That’s called business, by the way,” Trump interjected after Clinton argued that he “was one of the people who rooted for the housing crisis.” Shortly after that, he interrupted to deny that he ever said climate change was a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese. (He did, in fact, say this.)
And then things escalated pretty quickly. Trump started loudly talking over Clinton and at times interrupted her with snide, even childish-sounding remarks.
When Clinton directed viewers to check out her website for fact checks, Trump interjected: “And take a look at mine also.” At one point, he threw in a one-word, “Not.”
Gender dynamics were always going to be a big deal at Monday’s debate. It wasn’t just America’s first major party presidential debate between a man and a woman; it was this particular man and woman — Donald Trump, who typically uses bullying, hypermasculine dominance as a weapon, and Hillary Clinton, who has spent decades weathering sexist attacks in the public eye.
Many commentators were expecting it would cost Trump dearly if he came off as too domineering or bullying — and that he would moderate his style as a result. Apparently not.