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President Trump erupted in November over what he called a "very insulting" proposal from Macron for a "real European army."

Macron parades down the Champs-Elysees on Bastille Day. Photo: Thierry Chesnot/Getty Images.

Between the lines: When it comes to the EU army, or calls from Merkel and Macron for greater "strategic autonomy” in response to an unpredictable U.S., many in Europe are on Trump's side.

I sat down with Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs yesterday in Washington, and he told me that "very dangerous rhetoric" is "fueling this sense that something is changing fundamentally."

  • "Let’s face it. The United States plays an extremely important role in European security — through NATO, through the decades-long presence of its military on European soil — even more after Crimea and Ukraine.”
  • "Of course that kind of rhetoric ... on both sides of the Atlantic — 'well, you are not spending enough,' and all the issues that are related to the trade — do complicate relations. But I wouldn’t say those relations are changing in a way that one can already say, ‘We can’t rely anymore on the United States and now we need a European army.’
  • Not only would a European army be virtually impossible for practical reasons, Rinkēvičs argued, "There would be very legitimate questions from the United States: 'If you need your own army ... then we can go home.' That’s exactly what we don’t want.”

Why it matters: Rinkēvičs said he's confident Latvia doesn't face "immediate military risks or threats" from Russia, largely because there are now NATO troops on the ground, but the Baltics are not "somewhere in the Middle of Europe where the notion of invasion is just a fairytale."

Between the lines: Brookings' Constanze Stelzenmüller says there is genuine momentum in Europe on collective defense, and areas in which it makes sense: crisis response, humanitarian aid, cybersecurity. She says the "European army" rhetoric "suggests a capability and intent" far beyond reality and is "part of their attempt to respond to their voters' concerns about Trump."

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DOJ: Capitol rioter threatened to "assassinate" Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Supporters of former President Trump storm the U.S. Captiol on Jan. 6. Photo: Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

A Texas man who has been charged with storming the U.S. Capitol in the deadly Jan. 6 siege posted death threats against Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), the Department of Justice said.

The big picture: Garret Miller faces five charges in connection to the riot by supporters of former President Trump, including violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds and making threats. According to court documents, Miller posted violent threats online the day of the siege, including tweeting “Assassinate AOC.”

Schumer calls for IG probe into alleged plan by Trump, DOJ lawyer to oust acting AG

Jeffrey Clark speaks next to Deputy US Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen at a news conference in October. Photo: Yuri Gripas/AFP via Getty Images.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Saturday called for the Justice Department inspector general to investigate an alleged plan by former President Trump and a DOJ lawyer to remove the acting attorney general and replace him with someone more willing to investigate unfounded claims of election fraud.

Driving the news: The New York Times first reported Friday that the lawyer, Jeffrey Clark, allegedly devised "ways to cast doubt on the election results and to bolster Mr. Trump’s continuing legal battles and the pressure on Georgia politicians. Because Mr. [Jeffrey] Rosen had refused the president’s entreaties to carry out those plans, Mr. Trump was about to decide whether to fire Mr. Rosen and replace him with Mr. Clark."