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In an interview for "Axios on HBO," Donald Trump Jr. told me he wants to debate Hunter Biden over who has benefited more financially from their father's government service.

Driving the news: "We can go full transparency, we show everything, and we can talk about all of the places where I am supposedly grifting but Hunter Biden isn't," said the president's eldest son, who still runs the Trump Organization with his brother Eric.

  • After I pressed Don Jr. on his book deal and paid speeches during Trump's presidency, he replied, "If you looked at my tax returns, which maybe we could talk about in this debate."
  • So you'll release your tax returns, I asked.
  • "If we do it both, 100%," Don Jr. said. "Let's talk about who profited off of whose public service. Happy to do it. Let's make it happen."
  • The other side: TJ Ducklo, national press secretary for the Biden campaign, said in response: "It is hard to believe anything a Trump says on tax returns when Donald Sr. has lied for years about releasing his."

Why it matters: After spending much of the past year aggressively attacking Joe Biden over his son's business dealings with a corrupt energy company in Ukraine while he was vice president, Republicans mostly stopped talking about Hunter when it looked like his father wouldn't make it through the primaries.

  • But now that Joe Biden has had a resurgence, Republicans are gearing up for investigations on Capitol Hill designed to undermine the vice president's chances in the fall.

What's next: Biden's allies have hit back, saying Democrats should fight fire with fire by subpoenaing Trump's children.

  • Former Obama aide Tommy Vietor tweeted: "The House Oversight Committee should start investigating the business dealings of Don Jr, Eric Trump, Ivanka and Jared. We should welcome a conversation about the children of corrupt politicians."

The bottom line: Don Jr. has now publicly embraced that conversation.

  • A source close to Don Jr. told Axios that his debate challenge was a direct response to "Biden allies, earlier in the week, threatening him and his siblings."
  • "From our point of view," the source added, "Don is already one of the most scrutinized people on planet Earth and is more than prepared to respond to Democrat attacks. The same can't be said about Hunter Biden."

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Miriam Kramer, author of Space
32 mins ago - Science

Biden's military space future

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

President-elect Joe Biden should anticipate major and minor conflicts in space from even the earliest days of his presidency.

The big picture: President Donald Trump's military and civil space policies are well-documented, but Biden's record and views on space are less clear.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus may have been in U.S. in December 2019, study finds — Hospital crisis deepens as holiday season nears.
  2. Politics: Bipartisan group of senators unveil $908 billion COVID stimulus proposalFDA chief was called to West Wing to explain why agency hasn't moved faster on vaccine — The words that actually persuade people on the pandemic
  3. Vaccine: Moderna to file for FDA emergency use authorizationVaccinating rural America won't be easy — Being last in the vaccine queue is young people's next big COVID test.
  4. States: Cuomo orders emergency hospital protocols as New York's COVID capacity dwindles.
  5. World: European regulators to assess first COVID-19 vaccine by Dec. 29
  6. 🎧 Podcast: The state of play of the top vaccines.

Bipartisan group of senators unveils $908 billion COVID stimulus proposal

Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) in the Capitol in 2018. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call

A bipartisan group of senators on Tuesday proposed a $908 billion coronavirus stimulus package, in one of the few concrete steps toward COVID relief made by Congress in several months.

Why it matters: Recent data shows that the economic recovery is floundering as coronavirus cases surge and hospitals threaten to be overwhelmed heading into what is likely to be a grim winter.