Leading Democratic Party presidential candidates exchanged fire in a debate Tuesday night over the prospect of a female candidate winning a toe to toe contest with Donald Trump.

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Elizabeth Warren claimed that she had been told by Bernie Sanders that a female candidate would not be strong enough to beat incumbent President Donald Trump.

Tensions between the two were so deep that when the debate came to an end Elizabeth Warren refused to shake Bernie Sanders' outstretched hand.

The Vermont senator denied ever saying that a female candidate would not beat the Republican candidate.

"I didn't say it, " Bernie Sanders said as quoted by the New York Times.

He said that it would be incomprehensible for him to say that, noting that he threw his weight behind Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election.

Elizabeth Warren rubbished the suggestion that she did not have what it takes to win a presidential contest with President Trump because she was a woman.

“Look at the men on this stage,” Warren said as quoted by the Guardian newspaper. “Collectively, they have lost 10 elections. The only people on this stage who have won every single election that they’ve been in are the women. Amy and me, " she fired.