1/ Around 837,000 people filed for first-time jobless benefits last week with continuing claims totaling 11.8 million – well above pre-pandemic levels. (NBC News / Bloomberg / New York Times)

2/ Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin failed to reach a deal on a new pandemic relief package. House Democrats, meanwhile, plan to vote on a new $2.2 trillion relief bill that Republicans oppose. The legislation is a slimmed-down version of the $3.4 trillion Heroes Act the House passed in May, which Senate Republicans and the White House also dismissed as too costly. (Politico / Washington Post / Wall Street Journal / Bloomberg)

3/ Trump is the “single largest driver of misinformation” about COVID-19, according to a study by Cornell University that analyzed 38 million worldwide articles about the pandemic. Researchers found that nearly 38% of the “misinformation conversation” began with Trump driving ”spikes” about “miracle cures” for COVID-19, such as the use of disinfectants, ultraviolet light, or unproven treatments like hydroxychloroquine. (New York Times / NBC News)

4/ Trump suggested that he won’t “allow” the non-partisan Commission on Presidential Debates to change the format of the debates. Trump’s tweet – “Why would I allow the Debate Commission to change the rules for the second and third Debates when I easily won last time?” – comes a day after the commission announced that it would making changes to the format, including potentially allowing moderators to shut off the microphones if Trump or Biden break the rules. At Tuesday’s debate, Trump interrupted Biden or the moderator at least 128 times. The commission said the event “made clear that additional structure should be added to the format of the remaining debates to ensure a more orderly discussion of the issues.” The plans have not been finalized and the commission is still considering how it would carry out the plan. (CBS News / CNBC / Bloomberg / NBC News)

5/ White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany would not provide a declarative statement about whether or not Trump forcefully condemns white supremacy. Instead, McEnany pointed to Trump’s past statements denouncing the KKK and advocating for the death penalty for a white supremacist, while claiming that Trump’s “record on this is unmistakable and it’s shameful the media refuses to cover it.” At one point, McEnany accused CNN’s Kaitlan Collins of asking a “partisan attack question.” (Axios / CNN)

poll/ 39% of voters said Trump did worse than they expected during the first presidential debate, compared with 13% who said Biden underperformed. 57% of Republicans and 61% of independents said their primary reaction was disappointment. 37% of Democrats said they walked away angry, compared with 24% of independents and just 9% of Republicans. (SurveyMonkey)

poll/ 53% of likely voters said Biden did a better job in the debate, compared with 29% for Trump. 45% of those surveyed said Trump performed worse than expectations, while 11% said the same for Biden. (CNBC)

✏️ Notables.

  1. Federal law enforcement officials were instructed to be sympathetic public comments about the Kenosha shooter. An internal Department of Homeland Security document directed officials to note that Kyle Rittenhouse, the teenager charged with killing two protesters, “took his rifle to the scene of the rioting to help defend small business owners” and to say that the media incorrectly labeled the group Patriot Prayer as racists. Officials were also instructed to bring conversations back to the need to preserve law and order: “This is also why we need to stop the violence in our cities. Chaotic and violent situations lead to chaotic, violent and tragic outcomes. Everyone needs law and order.” It is unclear whether any of the talking points originated at the White House or within Homeland Security’s own press office. (NBC News)

  2. A federal judge blocked Trump’s federal law enforcement commission from releasing a report on ways to improve policing. Trump and Attorney General William Barr violated federal law by placing only current and former law-enforcement personnel on the 18-member commission, doing its work behind closed doors, and failing to include people with diverse views. (Politico / Bloomberg / Washington Post)

  3. The Trump administration will admit a maximum of 15,000 refugees next year – a historic low. Last year’s limit was set at 18,000 refugees. (Axios / CNN / The Hill / Wall Street Journal / Washington Post)

  4. The Trump administration mandated that the Farmers to Families Food Box Program include a letter from Trump claiming credit for the program. The USDA program provides millions of boxes of surplus food for families in need. The letter, on White House letterhead and featuring Trump’s signature reads: “As President, safeguarding the health and well-being of our citizens is one of my highest priorities. As part of our response to coronavirus, I prioritized sending nutritious food from our farmers to families in need throughout America.” The Trump administration denied that the move is political or improper. Fox News reported in July that Ivanka Trump was responsible for the idea. (Politico)

  5. Pope Francis denied Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s meeting request, saying the Vatican does not receive politicians during an election period. Pompeo recently published a letter accusing the Vatican of putting its “moral authority” at risk by renewing an agreement with China over the appointment of bishops. The Vatican accused Pompeo of trying to use that issue to drag the Catholic Church into the U.S. presidential election. (BBC / New York Times / Reuters / Vox)

  6. Brad Parscale is leaving the Trump campaign after he being detained and hospitalized in Florida over the weekend for threatening suicide while holding a handgun during a confrontation with his wife. Parscale served as Trump’s campaign manager until July, and has remained a senior adviser on digital projects for the campaign. Parscale said he is “stepping away from my company and any role in the campaign for the immediate future to focus on my family and get help dealing with the overwhelming stress.” (Axios / Politico / CNN / New York Times / Daily Mail / Washington Post)

  7. Trump signed a bill to keep the government running through Dec. 11 after funding briefly expired. The move averts a government shutdown before the Nov. 3 election. (CNBC / Axios / Bloomberg / CNN)