Photo: Bastiaan Slabbers/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Joe Biden advisers believe coverage of allegations of inappropriate behavior is being stoked by rival Democrats — a dynamic that could actually fire up the vice president at a time when others see success as increasingly improbable.

Why it matters: Several around Biden think advisers to Bernie Sanders are at least partly behind the anti-Biden campaign. One prominent backer thinks Biden will run, and "is ready to kill Bernie."

I got this text last night from a source close to Biden:

  • "VP directed staff this evening to reach out to supporters and donors with a simple message — full steam ahead."

Why you'll hear about this again: A second woman went on the record Monday to say that a past display of affection by Biden had made her feel uncomfortable.

  • Amy Lappos of Connecticut told the Hartford Courant that Biden rubbed noses during a 2009 political fundraiser in Greenwich when he was vice president: "It wasn't sexual, but he did grab me by the head."
  • Biden spokesman Bill Russo blasted "right wing trolls" from "the dark recesses of the internet" for circulating misleading photos of Biden embraces.

Go deeper: 2020 Democrats, establishment figures split over defense of Joe Biden

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20 Republican former U.S. attorneys endorse Biden, call Trump "a threat to the rule of law"

Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

Twenty Republican former U.S. Attorneys on Tuesday endorsed Joe Biden while saying that "President Trump's leadership is a threat to rule of law" in the U.S., the Washington Post reports.

What they're saying: In the letter, the former prosecutors criticize Trump's use of the Department of Justice, saying the president expects the DOJ to "to serve his personal and political interests."

  • "He has politicized the Justice Department, dictating its priorities along political lines and breaking down the barrier that prior administrations had maintained between political and prosecutorial decision-making," the letter says.
Updated 45 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Politics: Axios-Ipsos poll: Federal response has only gotten worse — The swing states where the pandemic is raging.
  2. Health: The coronavirus is starting to crush some hospitals — 13 states set single-day case records last week.
  3. Business: Winter coronavirus threat spurs new surge of startup activity.
  4. Media: Pandemic causes cable and satellite TV providers to lose the most subscribers ever.
  5. States: Nearly two dozen Minnesota COVID cases traced to 3 Trump campaign events.
  6. World: Unrest in Italy as restrictions grow across Europe.

Ted Cruz defends GOP's expected return to prioritizing national debt

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) told "Axios on HBO" on Monday that he wishes reining in the national debt was a higher priority for President Trump.

Why it matters: Trump pledged during the 2016 campaign to reduce the national debt and eliminate it entirely within eight years, though he also deemed himself "the king of debt" and said there were some priorities that required spending. In the fiscal year that ended in September, the deficit reached a record $3.1 trillion.