Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) on Sunday responded to allegations that President Trump pressured Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate Joe Biden and his son, condemning them as "troubling in the extreme" and tweeting that it's "[c]ritical for the facts to come out."

Why it matters: Romney's comments are the harshest to come from a Republican senator thus far, with others largely remaining silent or dismissing the allegations as gossip. It's worth noting, however, that both Trump and his lawyer Rudy Giuliani confirmed on Sunday that the president discussed Biden during a July 25 phone call with Zelensky, though they contend that there was no "quid pro quo" involved.

The big picture: This is not the first time that Romney, a former presidential candidate, has spoken out against Trump. After the release of the redacted Mueller report in April, Romney tweeted that he was "sickened at the extent and pervasiveness of dishonesty and misdirection by individuals in the highest office of the land, including the President."

  • But despite his condemnation of Trump's behavior at various points, Romney has never gone as far as Democrats in specifically calling for Trump to be investigated or impeached.
  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Sunday that if the administration continues to block a whistleblower complaint involving Trump and Ukraine from being released, "they will be entering a grave new chapter of lawlessness which will take us into a whole new stage of investigation."

Go deeper: Trump confirms he discussed Biden with Ukrainian president

Go deeper

Trump signs bill to prevent government shutdown

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnel and President Trump arrives at the U.S. Capitol in March. Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

President Trump signed a bill to extend current levels of government funding into the new fiscal year, White House spokesperson Judd Deere confirmed early Thursday.

Driving the news: The Senate on Tuesday passed the legislation to fund the federal government through Dec. 11, by a vote of 84-10.

Editor's note: This is a developing news story. Please check back for updates.

Updated 21 mins ago - Science

In photos: Deadly wildfires devastate California's wine country

The Shady Fire ravages a home as it approaches Santa Rosa in Napa County, California, on Sept. 28. The blaze is part of the massive Glass Fire Complex, which has razed over 51,620 acres at 2% containment. Photo: Samuel Corum/Agence France-Presse/AFP via Getty Images

More than 1700 firefighters are battling 26 major blazes across California, including in the heart of the wine country, where one mega-blaze claimed the lives of three people and forced thousands of others to evacuate this week.

The big picture: More than 8,100 wildfires have burned across a record 39 million-plus acres, killing 29 people and razing almost 7,900 structures in California this year, per Cal Fire. Just like the deadly blazes of 2017, the wine country has become a wildfires epicenter. Gov. Gavin Newsom has declared a state of emergency in Napa, Sonoma, and Shasta counties.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 12:30 a.m. ET: 33,880,896 — Total deaths: 1,012,964 — Total recoveries: 23,551,663Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 12:30 a.m. ET: 7,232,823 — Total deaths: 206,887 — Total recoveries: 2,840,688 — Total tests: 103,939,667Map.
  3. Education: School-aged children now make up 10% of all U.S COVID-19 cases.
  4. Health: Moderna says its coronavirus vaccine won't be ready until 2021
  5. Travel: CDC: 3,689 COVID-19 or coronavirus-like cases found on cruise ships in U.S. waters — Airlines begin mass layoffs while clinging to hope for federal aid
  6. Business: Real-time data show economy's rebound slowing but still going.
  7. Sports: Steelers-Titans NFL game delayed after coronavirus outbreak.