Lazaro Gamio / Axios

Spicer started today's off-camera briefing by describing how "extremely pleased" Trump is to have successfully negotiated the release of Aya Hijazi and the other humanitarian workers who were held in Egypt — something Obama was unable to do. Other takeaways:

  • Government shutdown: Spicer revealed that OMB has ordered federal agencies to submit plans for a government shutdown — a routine step. Added that the administration "remains confident that we are not going to have a shutdown."
  • Healthcare reform: "It will get done when we feel like we've got the votes... if we can get it done next week, great."
  • Funding on border wall: "I don't know that it's a sticking point, but it's a priority."
  • French election: "No," Trump doesn't have a preferred candidate in the French election, said Spicer.

One fun thing: Spicer said that the White House press are welcome to bring their kids to work next Thursday in honor of the "Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day."

Go deeper

Amy Harder, author of Generate
24 mins ago - Energy & Environment

Climate change goes mainstream in presidential debate

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty

The most notable part of Thursday’s presidential debate on climate change was the fact it was included as a topic and assumed as a fact.

The big picture: This is the first time in U.S. presidential history that climate change was a featured issue at a debate. It signals how the problem has become part of the fabric of our society. More extreme weather, like the wildfires ravaging Colorado, is pushing the topic to the front-burner.

Finally, a real debate

Photo: Morry Gash/AP

A more disciplined President Trump held back from the rowdy interruptions at tonight's debate in Nashville, while making some assertions so outlandish that Joe Biden chuckled and even closed his eyes.

  • A Trump campaign adviser told Axios: "He finally listened." 

The result: A real debate.

Biden to Trump: "I have not taken a penny from any foreign source ever in my life"

Former VP Joe Biden pushed back Thursday against allegations from President Trump, saying he had never profited from foreign sources. "Nothing was unethical," Biden told debate moderator Kristen Welker about his son Hunter's work in Ukraine while he was vice president.

Why it matters: Earlier on Thursday, Hunter Biden's former business partner, Tony Bobulinski, released a statement saying Joe Biden's claims that he never discussed overseas business dealings with his son were "false."