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Evan Vucci / AP

The NYTimes and CNN dropped new stories on Trump-Russia contacts while you were asleep. We've sorted through them to identify what's new, and what to look for next:

  1. President Obama and then President-elect Trump were both briefed on the findings (CNN). Two of the three reporters on this story were the same as on CNN's story that put the now-infamous "dossier" into the public view.
  2. The communications stood out because of "the frequency, the volume and the level of the Trump advisers involved." (CNN)
  3. Russians thought they had "special access" to Trump, per CNN. The report stressed the Russians could be exaggerating.
  4. Those involved included both senior Trump advisers and Russian intelligence officials, per both reports, in addition to other Russians and Trump business associates. Both reports were vague on exact details, but CNN says it has the names and will release them once it's sought comment.
  5. Officials have found no evidence of collusion between Trump/Russia on the election, per NYT: "so far, they had seen no evidence of such cooperation."

What to watch next: The sourcing on both stories has similarities to the way the Michael Flynn story was re-introduced to the national conversation on Friday. Combine that with reporters from legacy media chasing each other to get the names and details confirmed first, and this story could get hot fast.

Go deeper

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
1 hour ago - Health

Schools face an uphill battle to reopen during the pandemic

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

President Biden's plan to accelerate the reopening of K-8 schools faces major challenges from a still out-of-control pandemic and more contagious coronavirus variants.

Why it matters: The longer American kids miss in-person schooling, the further they fall behind. But the uncertain state of the science on the role young children play in the pandemic continues to complicate efforts to reopen schools.

Focus group: Former Trump voters say he should never hold office again

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

"Relief" is the top emotion some swing voters who used to support Donald Trump say they felt as they watched President Biden's swearing-in, followed by "hope."

Why it matters: For voters on the bubble between parties, this moment is less about excitement for Biden or liberal politics than exhaustion and disgust with Trump and a craving for national healing. Most said Trump should be prohibited from ever holding office again.

Updated 15 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Health: Most vulnerable Americans aren't getting enough vaccine information — Fauci says Trump administration's lack of facts on COVID "very likely" cost lives.
  2. Politics: Biden unveils "wartime" COVID strategyBiden's COVID-19 bubble.
  3. Vaccine: Florida requiring proof of residency to get vaccine — CDC extends interval between vaccine doses for exceptional cases.
  4. World: Hong Kong to put tens of thousands on lockdown as cases surge.
  5. Sports: 2021 Tokyo Olympics hang in the balance.
  6. 🎧 Podcast: Carbon Health's CEO on unsticking the vaccine bottleneck.