Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

President Trump, during a semi-surprise appearance on Fox & Friends Friday morning, said that the Justice Department's inspector general report, which ultimately concluded that then-FBI Director James Comey was not politically biased and that any political biases that did exist did not compromise the FBI's work, was wrong, and that what Comey did "was criminal."

“I think Comey was the ringleader of this… den of thieves”

Notable: He didn't specify what Comey did or what law he might have violated.

Sounding off on the DOJ's FBI report:

  • "The end result was wrong. There was total bias. Look at Peter Strzok."
  • "What they did during the election was a disgrance… You look at what happened, they were plotting against my election. I'm actually proud because I beat the Clinton Dynasty, I beat Bush Dynasty, Now, I guess, hopefully I'm in the process of beating very dishonest intelligence."
  • Should Comey be locked up? “What [Comey] did was criminal. What he did was a terrible thing to the people. What he did was so bad in terms of our Constitution, in terms of the well-being of our country. What he did was horrible. Should he be locked up? Let somebody make the determination.”

Other top quotes

  • Meeting Kim Jong-un: "We had good chemistry we really did.. even if it’s not politically correct to say... He wants to make his country great."
  • Trump's new China tariffs: “China has been, you know, look, he is my friend, President XI, he is a great man and a wonderful guy. But at some point ,we have to straighten it out.”
  • On reports Press Secretary Sarah Sanders is leaving: “I don’t think so ... I read the CBS report — it’s fake news ... Sarah loves this job. In fact she came out and said she was very insulted by that report."
  • Trump insists he would still like to talk to Mueller, “but [the investigation] seems to be very biased.”

Go deeper

Over 73 million people watched the first debate on TV

Data: Nielsen; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

More than 73.1 million people watched the first presidential debate on television on Tuesday night, according to Nielsen ratings.

Why it matters: While that's a sizable audience for any American TV program, it's down more than 13% from the record number of TV viewers who tuned in for the first debate of the 2016 election. The chaotic nature of the debate and the overall uncertainty around this year's election may have pushed some viewers away.

Senate passes bill funding government through December

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnel. 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 his signature.
Bryan Walsh, author of Future
2 hours ago - Technology

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.