Russia, Germany, Coronavirus: Your Friday Briefing

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Good morning.

We’re covering an intelligence warning of Russian aid to the Trump campaign, Germany’s reckoning with a domestic terrorist attack and the post-Brexit immigration overhaul that will affect women.

Russia is aiding President Trump in the 2020 election, intelligence officials warned the House Intelligence Committee in a secret briefing last week.

Five people described the briefing to our reporters, who also learned that Mr. Trump had been angered by the briefing, saying Democrats would use it against him.

Chinese officials announced on Friday that 889 new cases of the coronavirus had been reported in the previous 24 hours, raising the overall total above 75,000.

On how The Times is approaching the current election:

We’ve brought in people from the business staff to go out to the country to talk about the effects of the economy. We are about to announce a plan to put writers in seven or eight states that we’re usually not in. And we give huge play now to stories about anxiety in the country. I think if you read The New York Times right now, you read a New York Times that reflects a country that’s in some turmoil, a country that’s divided much more than we understood in 2016.

And I don’t think we’ve labeled any — the campaigns would disagree — but I don’t think we’ve made anybody feel like the inevitable candidate. Or the long shot. I am extremely proud of where our coverage is right now.

On his thoughts on covering both sides of a story:

I do think that American journalism has a tendency to go for the easy version of what I call “sophisticated true objectivity.” And the easy version is: “OK, this guy said this. This guy said that. I’ll put them together. You decide.”

True objectivity is you listen, you’re empathetic. If you hear stuff you disagree with, but it’s factual and it’s worth people hearing, you write about it.

(Some answers have been condensed and edited. You can listen to the full conversation, or read a transcript, here.)

That’s it for this briefing. See you next time.

— Alex

Thank you
To Mark Josephson, Eleanor Stanford and Chris Harcum for the break from the news. You can reach the team at

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