After a long back and forth between Trump and moderator Lester Holt during Monday night's presidential debate, Clinton interjected to all but call Trump a racist. 
 
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She noted a decades-old Justice Department complaint that accused Trump of discriminating against prospective black renters, accusing him of having a "long record of engaging in racist behavior" and saying that the "birther lie was a very hurtful one." 
 
"It cant be dismissed that easily. He has really started his political activity based on this racist lie that our first black president was not an American citizen," she said. 
 
"There was absolutely no evidence for it, but he persisted year after year because supporters, people he was trying to bring into his fold either believed it or wanted to believe it."
 
And Clinton went on to note first lady Michelle ObamaMichelle LeVaughn Robinson ObamaAmanda Gorman captures national interest after inauguration performance A Day in Photos: The Biden Inauguration Scorned and mistreated, Melania Trump deserved much better from the media MORE's speech during the Democratic National Convention, where she said "when they go low, we go high" to praise Obama for going high "despite Donald Trump's best efforts to bring him down. 
 
Holt and Trump tangled over his past support for the "birther" movement, in reference to those who claim Obama is not a natural-born citizen. 
 
The GOP nominee, who briefly acknowledged Obama's American birth during a campaign event earlier this month, accused the Clinton campaign and close friend Sidney Blumenthal of raising the question in the first place during her 2008 campaign.
 
"Sidney sent a highly respected reporter at McClatchy to Kenya to find out about it. She failed to get the birth certificate," he said Monday during the debate at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y.
 
"When I got involved, I didn’t fail, I got him to get the birth certificate. And I'm satisfied with that."
 
Trump is referring to former McClatchy D.C. bureau chief James Asher's assertion that Blumenthal had asked him to look into Obama's birthplace, an accusation the news organization looked into and couldn't prove.
 
When Trump said he had moved on from the debate over Obama's birthplace, Holt peppered him with questions about why he continued to push the rumors even after Obama released his long-form birth certificate in 2011. 
 
The next year, Trump tweeted that an “extremely credible source” reached out to tell him the president faked his birth certificate and followed that in 2013 with a tweet implying that the death of a Hawaiian official could be part of a cover up. 
 
Holt then turned to Trump to ask: "We are talking about racial healing in this segment. What do you say to Americans of color?" 
 
"I say nothing," Trump responded. 
 
"I was able to get him to produce it. He should have produced it a long time ago."