From left: James Comey, President Trump, John Brennan. Photos: Getty Images

The media firestorm that is surrounding the leaked excerpts of former FBI Director James Comey's new book has led to a war of words between the nation's former intelligence officials and the White House.

Quick hits: Comey said Trump is "untethered to the truth" and compared him to a mob boss. Trump called Comey a "weak and untruthful slime ball." And former CIA Director John Brennan told Trump his "kakistocracy is collapsing after its lamentable journey."

  • James Comey, in his forthcoming book,"A Higher Loyalty": He says Trump is consumed by political appearance, unethical, and runs a toxic White House unlike anything he's seen before.
  • Trump, on Twitter this morning: "James Comey is a proven LEAKER & LIAR. ... He leaked CLASSIFIED information, for which he should be prosecuted. He lied to Congress under OATH. He is a weak and... untruthful slime ball who was, as time has proven, a terrible Director of the FBI ... It was my great honor to fire James Comey!"
  • John Brennan, replying to the president on Twitter: "Your kakistocracy is collapsing after its lamentable journey. ... we have the opportunity to emerge from this nightmare stronger & more committed to ensuring a better life for all Americans, including those you have so tragically deceived."
    • Note: "A kakistocracy is a system of government which is run by the worst, least qualified, or most unscrupulous citizens."

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

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  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 8 p.m. ET: 6,832,970 — Total deaths: 199,816 — Total recoveries: 2,615,519 — Total tests: 95,841,281Map.
  3. Health: CDC says it mistakenly published guidance about COVID-19 spreading through air.
  4. Media: Conservative blogger who spread COVID-19 misinformation worked for Fauci's agency.
  5. Politics: House Democrats file legislation to fund government through Dec. 11.
  6. World: U.K. upgrades COVID alert level as Europe sees worrying rise in infections — "The Wake-Up Call" warns the West about the consequences of mishandling a pandemic.
Dave Lawler, author of World
35 mins ago - World

Trump and Xi to give dueling speeches Tuesday at UN General Assembly

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

President Trump and China’s Xi Jinping will address the UN General Assembly just minutes apart on Tuesday morning — with Russia’s Vladimir Putin following soon thereafter.

The big picture: Trump has promised a “strong message on China.” Xi, meanwhile, is expected to laud global cooperation — with the clear implication that it can be led from Beijing.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Where key GOP senators stand on replacing Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell talks to reporters on Capitol Hill last Thursday. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

With President Trump planning to nominate his third Supreme Court justice nominee this week, key Republican senators are indicating their stance on replacing the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg with less than 50 days until Election Day.

The state of play: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) has vowed that "Trump's nominee will receive a vote on the floor of the United States Senate." Two GOP senators — Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) — have said they oppose holding a vote before the election, meaning that two more defections would force McConnell to delay until at least the lame-duck session of Congress.

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