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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

The siege

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

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

A premeditated lie lit the fire

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

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

President Trump was almost shouting. He directed his son-in-law and his senior strategist from his private quarters at the White House late on election night. He barked out the names of top Fox News executives and talent he expected to answer to him.

2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Beto not even best Dem against Abbott

Beto O'Rourke speaks at a rally at the Texas State Capitol in June. Photo: Sergio Flores/Getty Images

Actor Matthew McConaughey’s nine-point lead in a theoretical matchup against Greg Abbott shows just how vulnerable the hard-right Texas governor could be in a general election.

Why it matters: Abbott has won conservative accolades for his abortion, mask and vaccine bans. Axios reported Sunday that former Rep. Beto O’Rourke is preparing to announce a gubernatorial challenge — but a recent poll shows he’s not even the most popular Democrat in the state.

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