Dennis Van Tine / STAR MAX per AP

Former police detective, Fox News contributor and hopeful mayoral candidate Bo Dietl admitted Thursday that he was hired by Fox News to dig up information on Gretchen Carlson and Andrea Mackris that would discredit their sexual harassment allegations.

Dietl told the WSJ that he had an investigator eavesdrop on Mackris' conversations in an effort to show she wasn't "under duress" from her alleged harassment.

Flashback: Former Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson was given $20 million last summer to settle her sexual harassment claims — leading to Roger Ailes' ouster. And back in 2004, former producer Andrea Mackis received a $9 million settlement in her suit against Bill O'Reilly.

Timing: Dietl's interview with the WSJ comes as he is under investigation for his work with Ailes. But prior to the investigation, Dietl repeatedly denied ever doing PI work for the network.

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Trump claims COVID "will go away," Biden calls his response disqualifying

President Trump repeated baseless claims at the final presidential debate that the coronavirus "will go away" and that the U.S. is "rounding the turn," while Joe Biden argued that any president that has allowed 220,000 Americans to die on his watch should not be re-elected.

Why it matters: The U.S. is now averaging about 59,000 new coronavirus infections a day, and added another 73,000 cases on Thursday, according to the Covid Tracking Project. The country recorded 1,038 deaths due to the virus Thursday, the highest since late September.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: Chris Christie: Wear a mask "or you may regret it — as I did" — Senate Democrats block vote on McConnell's targeted relief bill.
  2. Business: New state unemployment filings fall.
  3. Economy: Why the stimulus delay isn't a crisis (yet).
  4. Health: FDA approves Gilead's remdesivir as a coronavirus treatment How the pandemic might endMany U.S. deaths were avoidable.
  5. Education: Boston and Chicago send students back home for online learning.
  6. World: Spain and France exceed 1 million cases.

Early voting eclipses 2016 total with 12 days until election

People stand in line to vote early in Fairfax, Virginia in September. Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Americans have cast more than 47.1 million ballots in the 2020 presidential election, surpassing the total early-vote count for 2016 with 12 days left until Election Day, according to a Washington Post analysis of voting data.

Why it matters: The election is already underway, as many states have expanded early and mail-in voting options because of the coronavirus pandemic.