Robert Mueller. Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images

Special counsel Robert Mueller provided President Trump’s lawyers with a list of dozens of questions on various issues he wants to ask Trump if given the opportunity to interview him as part of his Russia investigation, and The New York Times reportedly obtained that list.

Why it matters: The questions, which reveal that Mueller is interested in learning more about Trump's ties with Russia, his relationship with his advisers and family, and the motivation behind some of his controversial tweets, offer one of the closest looks yet into Mueller's thinking. They also show that the investigation has expanded beyond Russian meddling and potential obstruction of justice to include the president’s conduct in office.

The Times categorized the questions into four key areas:

  1. Questions related to Trump's former national security adviser Mike Flynn, and whether Trump tried to obstruct justice in an effort to protect him.
  2. Questions related to former FBI Director James Comey, and whether Trump fired Comey in order to protect people close to him, like Flynn or others who could potentially face trouble surrounding Russian collusion.
  3. Questions related to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, and the president's anger after Sessions recused himself from the Russia investigation. These questions center on whether Trump "views law enforcement officials as protectors," per the Times.
  4. Questions about collusion with Russia during the campaign. Several of these questions focus on a June 2016 Trump Tower meeting between Trump officials, such as Donald Trump Jr. and Jared Kushner, and a Russian lawyer who they believed to have dirt on Hillary Clinton.

Read the NYT's full list of questions here.

Go deeper

Senate passes bill funding government through December

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

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

Where it stands: The legislation will avert a government shutdown before funding expires Wednesday night and before the Nov. 3 election. The House passed the same measure last week by a vote of 359-57 after House Democrats and the Trump administration agreed on the resolution.

  • Both sides agreed early in negotiations that the bill should be a "clean" continuing resolution — meaning each party would only make small changes to existing funding levels so the measure would pass through both chambers quickly, Axios' Alayna Treene reported last week. The bill now goes to President Trump for signature.
Bryan Walsh, author of Future
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The age of engineering life begins

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Synthetic biology startups raised some $3 billion through the first half of 2020, up from $1.9 billion for all of 2019, as the field brings the science of engineering to the art of life.

The big picture: Synthetic biologists are gradually learning how to program the code of life the way that computer experts have learned to program machines. If they can succeed — and if the public accepts their work — synthetic biology stands to fundamentally transform how we live.

Biden will allow lobbyists to join transition team

Biden speaks at a campaign stop at Pittsburgh Union Station Wednesday. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Joe Biden's presidential transition office will allow lobbyists to help shape his potential administration, but will require them to receive a waiver to participate if they engaged in lobbying activity in the last twelve months.

Why it matters: Presidential transition teams are instrumental in establishing a new administration, and the rules that govern them are often a template for the ethics guidelines that the new administration imposes after the inauguration.