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President Trump speaks in front of last year's NATO summit. Photo: Christophe Licoppe/Photonews via Getty Images

Europe is already deeply divided between populist nationalists — some of whom flirt with Vladimir Putin — and globalists who defend multilateral institutions and view Russia as an enemy.

What we're hearing: Ivo Daalder, the former U.S. Ambassador to NATO and coauthor of the upcoming book "The Empty Throne: America Abdicates its Global Leadership," tells me he worries Trump will side with the nationalist leaders and hand Putin a win this week.

  • "One angle that I'm not seeing people commenting much about is that this alliance is now deeply divided between nationalists on one side and transatlanticists on the other," he said.
  • "On one side you have Erdogan [Turkey], Orban [Hungary], Conte [Italy] and Trump taking a pro-Russian, pro-populist, pro-nationalist line."
  • "And on the other side you have leaders like Merkel, Macron, May, and Trudeau who are deeply worried about Russia and care, above all, about preserving the liberal rules-based international order."

The bottom line: Daalder laid out his nightmare image — an image I've heard privately described by European officials over the past few weeks: "I can see the picture: Trump being chummy with the nationalists and Merkel, Macron, May and Trudeau on the other side of the room. Making the divide visual."

  • "It's clear where Trump's sympathies lie. Trump has a comfort with the leaders who are deeply uncomfortable to our longstanding allies."

Go deeper

NRA files for bankruptcy, says it will reincorporate in Texas

Wayne LaPierre of the National Rifle Association (NRA) speaks during CPAC in 2016. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

The National Rifle Association said Friday it has filed for voluntary bankruptcy as part of a restructuring plan.

Driving the news: The gun rights group said it would reincorporate in Texas, calling New York, where it is currently registered, a "toxic political environment." Last year, New York Attorney General Letitia James filed a lawsuit to dissolve the NRA, alleging the group committed fraud by diverting roughly $64 million in charitable donations over three years to support reckless spending by its executives.

47 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Biden: "We will manage the hell out of" vaccine distribution

Joe Biden. Photo: Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

President-elect Joe Biden promised to invoke the Defense Production Act to increase vaccine manufacturing, as he outlined a five-point plan to administer 100 million COVID-19 vaccinations in the first months of his presidency.

Why it matters: With the Center for Disease Control and Prevention warning of a more contagious variant of the coronavirus, Biden is trying to establish how he’ll approach the pandemic differently than President Trump.

A new Washington

Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Getty Image

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said Friday that the city should expect a "new normal" for security — even after President-elect Biden's inauguration.

The state of play: Inaugurations are usually a point of celebration in D.C., but over 20,000 troops are now patrolling Washington streets in an unprecedented preparation for Biden's swearing-in on Jan. 20.