October 16, 2020

The Trump administration has turned down California Gov. Gavin Newsom's (D) request for a federal disaster declaration for six wildfires that have ravaged the state since August, the governor's Office of Emergency Services said Thursday evening. The six fires include the largest in California's recorded history, the August Complex fire. Newsom had requested the major disaster declaration in a Sept. 28 letter, and the Trump administration said no late Wednesday or Thursday.

A disaster declaration frees up federal resources, including money, for rebuilding and damage mitigation, and California will likely appeal the decision. In his letter, Newsom estimated that the infrastructure damage from the fires would top $229 million, but he did not request a specific dollar amount because some of the fires are still burning and damage assessments aren't complete. "The longer it takes for California and its communities to recover, the more severe, devastating, and irreversible the economic impacts will be," he wrote. "Californians are exhausted."

The August Complex fire has burned more than a million acres since August and is only 77 percent contained. The other five fires in the relief request are the Creek fire (Fresno and Madera counties), Bobcat fire (Los Angels County), El Dorado fire (San Bernardino County), Valley fire (San Diego County), Oak fire (Mendocino County), and Slater fire (Siskiyou County). Five of the six largest wildfires in state history have broken out since August. Peter Weber

12:17 a.m.

When President Trump released raw footage of his interview with 60 Minutes on Friday, CBS said it would not "not deter 60 Minutes from providing its full, fair, and contextual reporting which presidents have participated in for decades." And it didn't. Sunday's 60 Minutes included interviews with Trump, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, and their running mates, Vice President Mike Pence and Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.).

The White House interview with Trump "began politely, but ended regrettably, contentiously," 60 Minutes said, showing the moment Trump walked out of the interview early. Leading into the scene, Trump had been trying to convince Lesley Stahl, unsuccessfully, that Biden and President Barack Obama had spied on his 2016 campaign.

60 Minutes also showed what happened right after Trump walked off — that was when Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany brought in Trump's "health care plan."

The context for that was Trump promising that his "fully developed" health care plan would finally be released if the Supreme Court rules against the Affordable Care Act, something Trump told Stahl he hoped will happen.

Trump's main complaint to Stahl was that 60 Minutes didn't ask Biden the same kind of "tough" questions he got. Here's Biden answering Kelly O'Donnell's question on the economy and taxes, Trump's strongest issue.

And here's how Trump answers Stahl's question on managing the COVID-19 pandemic, Biden's strongest topic.

You can watch the full Trump and Biden interviews at 60 Minutes. Peter Weber

12:07 a.m.

The Los Angeles Dodgers were victorious on Sunday night in Game 5 of the World Series, defeating the Tampa Bay Rays 4-2. They now lead the series 3-2, and if the Dodgers win Game 6 on Tuesday night, they will earn their first World Series title since 1988.

The team had an early lead, thanks to Corey Seager and Cody Bellinger scoring singles in the first inning and Joc Pederson following up with a home run in the second inning. The Rays came back with Yandy Diaz and Randy Arozarena scoring two runs in the third, but Dodgers first baseman Max Muncy hit a solo home run in the fifth inning, giving the Dodgers a two-run lead.

Game 6 at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas, is set for Tuesday at 8:08 p.m. ET. Catherine Garcia

October 25, 2020

For the first time in 100 years, the New Hampshire Union Leader has endorsed a Democrat for president.

In a editorial published Sunday, the conservative-leaning paper's editorial board said it has "significant" policy disagreements with Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, and while he "may not be the president we want," in 2020 he is "the president we desperately need. He will be a president to bring people together and right the ship of state."

Biden is a "caring, compassionate, and professional public servant," the editorial board said. "He has repeatedly expressed his desire to be a president for all of America, and we take him at his word." President Trump, they wrote, is "not always 100 percent wrong, but he is 100 percent wrong for America."

Trump didn't receive the newspaper's 2016 endorsement, either. That year, the editorial board picked Libertarian Gary Johnson, breaking its 100-year tradition of selecting Republicans, CNN reports. During the Republican primaries, the newspaper endorsed then-New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R), which caused Trump to call publisher Joseph McQuaid a "lowlife" and "bad guy." Catherine Garcia

October 25, 2020

In less than a month, there has been a 200 percent rise in COVID-19 hospitalizations in El Paso, Texas, and on Sunday, city officials urged residents to stay home for the next two weeks.

More than 680,000 people live in El Paso, and Angela Mora, the city's director of public health, said that over the last three weeks, the number of hospitalizations has increased from 259 to 786. On Sunday, more than 500 new COVID-19 cases were reported in El Paso.

"If we continue on this trend, we risk detrimental effects to our entire health care system," Mora said in a statement. "For the sake of those hospitalized and the front line health care workers working tirelessly each day to care for them, we ask you to please stay home for two weeks and eliminate your interactions with those outside your household until we can flatten the curve."

The public health department also said people who ignore new local health orders making masks and social distancing mandatory will be fined, NBC News reports. This week, the city's convention center will be transformed into a field hospital. Catherine Garcia

October 25, 2020

As of Sunday morning, nearly 60 million Americans have cast their ballots in the 2020 presidential election.

The U.S. Elections Project, an independent data analysis project by the University of Florida, reports that of the 59,399,395 ballots cast, 39,909,913 are from mail-in voting and 19,489,482 are in-person votes. More than one-third of those votes are from California, Texas, and Florida, the U.S. Elections Project says — the three most populous states. The early votes amount to more than 42 percent of all votes cast in 2016.

Larry Sabato, founder and director of the University of Virginia's Center for Politics, told The Guardian there are long lines at early voting sites around the country because "people really have bought into the understanding that if this isn't the most important election we've ever had, it's one of several. People are determined to express themselves and we all know why: Donald Trump. This includes his base: The cult is going to support the cult leader. But there are more, maybe quite a bit more, who want to end this nightmare. And that's the way people put it. If you don't like the word, I'm sorry — that's just the way it is."

Sabato said there is a "hidden campaign that people haven't talked about," which involves Trump's team spending the last four years identifying Trump supporters who weren't registered in 2016 or didn't vote. While Democrats have the edge on early voting and Republicans traditionally have turned out in higher numbers on Election Day, it's risky to "put all your chips" on that final day to vote, Sabato said.

"Suppose there's a hurricane barreling toward Florida," he continued. "Almost certainly there will be really bad weather in at least a couple of swing states, you know, lots of things happen in life, and maybe the spike up in coronavirus will keep a lot of these older Republicans away on the day." Catherine Garcia

October 25, 2020

Should President Trump win a second term, he plans on immediately firing FBI Director Christopher Wray, two people who have discussed the matter with Trump told Axios.

Trump is also expected to quickly replace CIA Director Gina Haspel and Defense Secretary Mark Esper. They aren't the only three people on the chopping block, the sources said, but they are at the top of the list. One official said Trump hasn't fired any of them because of the optics of doing so before the election.

Haspel and Wray do not have any fans in Trump's inner circle, Axios reports, with one person saying the "view of Haspel in the West Wing is that she still sees her job as manipulating people and outcomes, the way she must have when she was working assets in the field. It bred a lot of suspicion of her motives." As for Wray, Trump became enraged in September when the FBI director testified that there are no signs of widespread election fraud, despite Trump claiming otherwise.

Privately, Trump has complained about Attorney General William Barr, and he's never been too enamored with Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, but there are no formal plans to remove them, Axios reports. In a statement, White House spokesman Judd Deere said, "We have no personnel announcements at this time nor would it be appropriate to speculate about changes after the election or in a second term." Catherine Garcia

October 25, 2020

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows on Sunday said the Trump administration is "not going to control the pandemic," and will instead "control the fact that we get vaccines, therapeutics, and other mitigations."

Meadows made his comments during an interview on CNN, and when asked to elaborate on why the pandemic can't be contained, he said, "because it is a contagious virus just like the flu. What we need to do is make sure that we have the proper mitigation factors, whether it's therapies or vaccines or treatments to make sure that people don't die from this."

On Friday and Saturday, the U.S. reported more than 83,000 new coronavirus cases, and as of Sunday, more than 224,000 Americans have died of the virus. Despite health officials warning against large gatherings and urging the use of masks to curb the spread of coronavirus, President Trump continues to hold big campaign rallies, with people standing next to each other and face coverings optional. Meadows defended the campaign events by saying, "We live in a free society."

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden commented on Meadows' remarks, saying this wasn't "a slip by Meadows, it was a candid acknowledgment of what President Trump's strategy has clearly been from the beginning of this crisis: to wave the white flag of defeat and hope that by ignoring it, the virus would simply go away. It hasn't, and it won't." Catherine Garcia

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