Good morning, NBC News readers.
Dueling town halls, a new coronavirus-scarred advocate for face masks and a happy lemur.
Here's what we're watching this Friday morning.
Trump and Biden clash on separate screens
The town hall meetings President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden participated in Thursday night were markedly different in style and tone.
On NBC, Trump combatively sparred with the moderator, "TODAY" show anchor Savannah Guthrie, on everything from his own health and finances to Covid-19, conspiracy theories and retweets.
On ABC Biden engaged in a more sedate, policy-heavy discussion with anchor George Stephanopoulos on topics ranging from the Supreme Court and the 1994 crime bill to transgender rights.
Here are a few key takeaways:
- Trump couldn't confirm whether he had tested negative for the coronavirus before the first presidential debate. "Possibly I did, possibly I didn't," he said, adding that he thought he was likely to have tested negative either that day or the day before.
- In a testy exchange with Guthrie, Trump denounced white supremacy, but refused to condemn the QAnon conspiracy movement. "I just don’t know about QAnon," said Trump. Guthrie retorted, "You do know." He went on to say, "What I do hear about it is they are very strongly against pedophilia. And I agree with that."
- On ABC, Biden said parts of the 1994 crime bill that he helped write were "bad" and that it was a mistake to support the measure which has been linked to the rise of mass incarceration with a disproportionate impact on Black Americans.
- Biden remained non-committal on whether or not Democrats would move to add more seats to the Supreme Court if he wins the election. He said that he's still "not a fan" of "court packing" because it could lead to a tit-for-tat escalation.
- NBC News fact-checked both Trump and Biden town hall events. Find out which claims were true and which were whoppers.
- Watch the full NBC News town hall.
Feds examining whether alleged Hunter Biden emails are linked to a foreign intel operation
Federal investigators are examining whether the emails allegedly describing activities by Joe Biden and his son Hunter and found on a laptop at a Delaware repair shop are linked to a foreign intelligence operation, two people familiar with the matter told NBC News.
The New York Post, a conservative tabloid, has published a series of stories based on emails the newspaper said it obtained from President Donald Trump’s attorney, Rudy Giuliani.
The first story highlighted what it called a “smoking gun email” that suggested a meeting between Vice President Biden and a representative of a Ukrainian company that once paid Hunter Biden. The Biden campaign says there is no evidence the meeting happened, and the story was greeted with widespread skepticism.
Covid-19: A new rare complication and a new advocate for masks
A rare Covid-19 complication was reported in children this spring.
Kids were developing dangerous inflammation around the heart and other organs, often weeks after their initial infections with the virus that causes Covid-19.
"It may be rare, but we don't know. It might be more common than we think," said one expert.
Meantime, Trump has repeated questioned the efficacy of masks in protecting individuals against catching Covid-19 by incorrectly citing a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (He did so again last night during the town hall).
The CDC has tried to set the record straight, tweeting on Wednesday that "the interpretation that more mask-wearers are getting infected compared to non-mask wearers is incorrect."
"No one should be happy to get the virus and no one should be cavalier about being infected or infecting others," Christie said in a statement. "It is something to take very seriously. The ramifications are wildly random and potentially deadly."
He added that "as a former public official, I believe we have not treated Americans as adults, who understand truth, sacrifice and responsibility."
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- C-SPAN suspended host Steve Scully after he admitted that he falsely claimed his Twitter account was hacked last week.
- Democrats hint at consequences as GOP moves to vote to confirm Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court.
- Mexico's former defense secretary was arrested in Los Angeles on a Drug Enforcement Administration warrant.
- A painting looted by Nazis in 1933 was returned to the Jewish family that owned it on Thursday after 87 years.
- Six Hall of Famers who died in 2020 weren't just ballplayers. They were part of the "public imagination."
THINK about it
Time to get that delicious smell of fall into your kitchen:7 easy apple crisp recipes to make this fall and forever.
Quote of the day
"I don't get that. You're the President. You're not like someone's crazy uncle who can just retweet whatever."
— NBC News' Savannah Guthrie reacting to President Trump's defense of retweeting to his 87 million followers a conspiracy theory about Biden and former President Barack Obama related to the killing of Osama bin Laden.
One fun thing
Phew, Maki, the 21-year-old ring-tailed lemur stolen from the San Francisco Zoo earlier this week, is safe and sound.
The animal was spotted by a woman in Daly City, south of San Francisco, in a church playground around 5 p.m. on Thursday. It was captured and returned to the zoo, San Francisco police said in a statement.
The lemur, one of the oldest at the zoo, was discovered missing Wednesday morning after a report of a burglary, police said.
No arrests have been made in the case, which is an "open and active" investigation, San Francisco police said.
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