Watch the third presidential debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton in full

Despite some personal attacks, the final exchange between the candidates saw a greater emphasis on policy

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton went head to head with the Republican candidate  Donald Trump
Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton went head to head with the Republican candidate Donald Trump

The third US presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump saw a repeat of the coarse tones that have characterised a bitter election campaign.

But the final exchange between the candidates at the University of Nevada in Las Vegas did delve deeper into policy arguments than the two previous debates, covering foreign policy, border controls and abortion.

While Democrat Hillary Clinton was widely regarded as the winner, the most striking event of the evening was Republican candidate Donald Trump’s refusal to retract one of his most controversial statements to date.

Mr Trump had said he would not accept the result of a “rigged” election. When pressed by moderator Chris Wallace if he would accept the election result, Mr Trump replied: "I will tell you at the time. I'll keep you in suspense."

His rival, Hillary Clinton, called his comments “horrifying”.

Elsewhere in the debate, Mrs Clinton branded Mr Trump a "puppet" of Russian president Vladimir Putin and challenged him to condemn Russia's suspected involvement in the hacking of emails during the election campaign.

"I don't know Putin," Mr Trump said. "He said nice things about me. If we got along well, that would be good.

"He has no respect for her. He has no respect for our president.

"We're in very serious trouble. We have a country with tremendous numbers of nuclear warheads... 1,800 nuclear warheads and she's playing chicken."

Mr Clinton responded: "That's because he'd rather have a puppet as President of the United States".

In a repeat of the bitter tone of the first two debates, Mr Trump called Mrs Clinton a "nasty woman" and claimed America would be in "some mess" if she is elected.

"The only thing you have over me is experience but it's bad experience," he added.

In a discussion on immigration, Mr Trump said his desire to build a wall on the US-Mexico border was to keep out "bad hombres".

Agencies

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