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More than 16.82 million people tuned into Sunday evening's "60 Minutes" episode featuring interviews with President Trump and Joe Biden, according to preliminary Nielsen ratings.

Why it matters: It's the largest audience for a television broadcast, excluding multi-channel and sports programming, since the Academy Awards on Feb. 9.

Driving the news: The sit-down interview with Trump drew attention after the president posted an informal cut of the interview three days ahead of its planned airdate on CBS, violating an agreement with the network.

  • After Trump posted the cut, CBS called out the president's move and defended veteran journalist Leslie Stahl, who conducted the interview.
  • The president had walked out of the interview early after calling Stahl's questions unfair.
  • Stahl also sat down with Vice President Mike Pence, while her colleague, Norah O'Donnell, spoke to Biden and Sen. Kamala Harris.

What's next: The preliminary ratings aren't final. Final ratings out later today are expected to be higher.

Go deeper: Key takeaways from the "60 Minutes" interviews with Trump and Biden

Go deeper

Off the Rails

Episode 8: The siege

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photos: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. Axios takes you inside the collapse of a president with a special series.

Episode 8: The siege. An inside account of the deadly insurrection at the Capitol on Jan. 6 that ultimately failed to block the certification of the Electoral College. And, finally, Trump's concession.

On Jan. 6, White House deputy national security adviser Matt Pottinger entered the West Wing in the mid-afternoon, shortly after his colleagues' phones had lit up with an emergency curfew alert from D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser.

Off the Rails

Episode 1: A premeditated lie lit the fire

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. This Axios series takes you inside the collapse of a president.

Episode 1: Trump’s refusal to believe the election results was premeditated. He had heard about the “red mirage” — the likelihood that early vote counts would tip more Republican than the final tallies — and he decided to exploit it.

"Jared, you call the Murdochs! Jason, you call Sammon and Hemmer!”

Ro Khanna accuses Biden of quitting Middle East

Rep. Ro Khanna. Photo: Cody Glenn/Sportsfile for Web Summit via Getty Images

An outspoken progressive Democrat is wary of President Biden’s approach to the Middle East, arguing it’s like “conceding defeat of the aspiration” to win a Nobel Peace Prize.

Why it matters: A number of members of Biden’s own party dislike his Middle East strategy, as his administration signals the region is no longer the priority it was for President Obama and his predecessors.

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