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Recap of the first 2024 presidential debate between Joe Biden and Donald Trump

ATLANTA (AP) — A raspy President Joe Biden repeatedly sought to confront Donald Trump in their first debate ahead of the November election, as his Republican rival countered Biden’s criticism by leaning into falsehoods about the economy, illegal immigration and his role in the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection.

The debate, featuring deeply personal attacks by both men, came at a pivotal juncture in their unpopular presidential rematch and a critical moment to make their cases before a national television audience. Biden’s uneven performance risked crystallizing voter concerns that at age 81 he is too old to serve as president, while the 78-year-old Trump’s rhetoric offered a perhaps unwelcome reminder of the bombast he launched daily during his tumultuous four years in office.

Biden repeatedly tore into Trump in personal terms, bringing up everything from the former president’s recent felony conviction to his alleged insult of World War I veterans to his weight and golf game. Initially focusing many of his answers on illegal immigration, Trump in the latter half of the debate lapsed into familiar grievances. Each man called the other the worst president in history.

The current president and his predecessor hadn’t spoken since their last debate weeks before the 2020 presidential election. Trump skipped Biden’s inauguration after leading an unprecedented and unsuccessful effort to overturn his loss that culminated in the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol insurrection by his supporters.

Trump equivocated on whether he would accept the results of the November election, saying he would accept them if the vote was “fair” and “legal,” repeating his baseless claims of widespread fraud and misconduct in his 2020 loss to Biden that he still denies.

Pressed on his actions on Jan. 6, 2021, Trump was unapologetic.

“On Jan. 6, we were respected all over the world, all over the world we were respected. And then he comes in and we’re now laughed at,” Trump said.

After he was prompted by a moderator to answer whether he violated his oath of office that day by rallying his supporters seeking to block the certification of Biden’s Electoral College victory and not acting

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