Sen. Chuck Grassley on Capitol Hill in March. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

A bipartisan group of senators led by Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) sent President Trump a letter on Wednesday asking for a "detailed written explanation" on why he fired Michael Atkinson, the intelligence community's inspector general.

What they're saying: "Congress intended that inspectors general only be removed when there is clear evidence of wrongdoing or failure to perform the duties of the office, and not for reasons unrelated to their performance, to help preserve IG independence," states the letter, signed by eight senators.

  • It also notes the president "appears to have circumvented" Congress and the required 30-day notice to the congressional intelligence committees by "placing the IG on 30 days of administrative leave and naming an acting replacement."

The big picture: Trump told Congress last Friday he had lost confidence in Atkinson.

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Biden is highest-spending political candidate on TV ads

Joe Biden. Photo: Sean Rayford/Getty Images

After spending an additional $45.2 million on political ads this week, former Vice President Joe Biden has become the highest-spending political candidate on TV ads ever, according to data from Advertising Analytics.

By the numbers: In total, the Biden campaign has spent $582.7 million on TV ads between 2019 and 2020, officially surpassing Michael Bloomberg's record spend of roughly $582 million. Biden's spend includes his primary and general election advertising.

SurveyMonkey poll: Trump improves, but not enough

Trump and Biden during the final debate. Photo: Xinhua/Liu Jie via Getty Images

President Trump's final debate performance exceeded Americans' expectations, but it wasn't enough to shift the dynamics that left him trailing Joe Biden across most measures, according to a new Axios-SurveyMonkey poll.

What they're saying: "Liar" was the word used most by debate watchers to describe Trump's performance, followed by "lies," "strong," "presidential" and "childish." "Presidential" was the word used most to describe Biden's performance, followed by "liar," "weak," "expected" and "honest."