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On a leader-to-leader level, relationships between the U.S. and its most powerful allies are in tatters. That much is clear when a senior U.S. official declares "there's a special place in hell" for the prime minister of Canada. Canada!

Expand chart
Data: Pew Research Center; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

The bigger picture: Antipathy for the U.S. in allied countries extends far beyond those leaders, and it's spiking under Trump. The U.S. has historically been the de facto leader within its strategic alliances, but an unpopular leader can quickly become a bully. The G7 summit showed the limits to that approach.

  • Early in George W. Bush's tenure, and particularly after 9/11, there was considerable goodwill toward the U.S. among the other global powers. That evaporated during the Iraq War and hit worrying lows (30% in Germany, 39% in France) before Bush left office.
  • After the election of Barack Obama, views of the U.S. rebounded, dipping in Europe over time before ticking up again late in his tenure. The exception was Russia, which grew far more hostile to the U.S.
  • When President Trump came into office, the approval numbers fell off a cliff except, again, in Russia. The 2018 numbers could be even lower.

Go deeper

5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Sources say Beto plans Texas comeback in governor’s race

Former U.S. Rep. Beto O'Rourke speaks during the Georgetown to Austin March for Democracy rally on July 31, 2021, in Austin, Texas. Photo: Brandon Bell/Getty Images

Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke is preparing to run for governor of Texas in 2022, with an announcement expected later this year, Texas political operatives tell Axios.

Why it matters: O'Rourke's entry would give Democrats a high-profile candidate with a national fundraising network to challenge Republican Gov. Greg Abbott — and give O’Rourke, a former three-term congressman from El Paso and 2020 presidential candidate and voting rights activist, a path to a political comeback.

Texas doctor says he performed an abortion in violation of state law

Pro-choice protesters march down Congress Avenue and back to the Texas state capitol in Austin, Texas, in July 2021. Photo: Erich Schlegel/Getty Images

A Texas doctor disclosed in an op-ed in the Washington Post on Saturday that he has performed an abortion in violation of the state's restrictive new abortion law, which effectively bans the procedure after six weeks.

Why it matters: Alan Braid's op-ed is a direct disclosure that will very likely result in legal action, thereby setting it up as a potential test case for how the abortion ban will be litigated, notes the New York Times.

Mike Allen, author of AM
6 hours ago - Technology

Axios interview: Facebook to try for more transparency

Nick Clegg last year. Photo: Matthew Sobocinski/USA Today via Reuters

Nick Clegg, Facebook's vice president of global affairs, tells me the company will try to provide more data to outside researchers to scrutinize the health of activity on Facebook and Instagram, following The Wall Street Journal's brutal look at internal documents.

Driving the news: Clegg didn't say that in his public response to the series. So I called him to push for what Facebook will actually do differently given the new dangers raised by The Journal.