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Photo: Sean Gallup/Getty Images

During today's NATO summit in Brussels, German Chancellor Angela Merkel responded to President Donald Trump’s comments that Germany is “totally controlled by Russia” due to an oil and gas deal between Russia and Germany. Merkel responded with her experience growing up in East Germany, saying, "It is good that we are independent today.”

The backdrop: Current and former U.S. lawmakers are rebuking the exchange, saying that Trump's comment about Russia and Germany was unacceptable — or outright calling it out as false.

  • Former Secretary of State John Kerry led off a statement: "I've never seen a President say anything as strange or counterproductive as President Trump's harangue against NATO and Germany. It was disgraceful, destructive, and flies in the face of the actual interests of the United States of America."
  • Congressional Democratic leadership, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, said in a statement: "President Trump’s brazen insults and denigration of one of America’s most steadfast allies, Germany, is an embarrassment.  His behavior this morning is another profoundly disturbing signal that the President is more loyal to President Putin than to our NATO allies."
  • Democratic Sen. Tim Kane of Virginia tweeted a pithy response: "Projecting much?"
  • Democratic Congressman Ted Lieu of California tweeted, "Last time I checked, Russia did not help Merkel win her election. But Russia did help you in 2016. You may want to recalibrate your NATO comments."
  • House Speaker Paul Ryan said he won’t criticize President Trump while he is overseas. "NATO is indispensable," Ryan said.
  • Republican Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch: "I think sometimes he can be a little too critical of the other counterparts, and I don't think he should be critical," per ABC.
  • Republican Sen. Cory Gardner of Colorado defended Trump on Fox News, saying, "I think he’s simply trying to say to our great NATO allies and friends, 'Let’s make sure that we’re all rowing in the same direction, so to speak. Let’s make sure that we’re living up to our expectations and obligations,'" per Think Progress.

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A new national lockdown will be imposed in England, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced Saturday, as the number of COVID-19 cases in the country topped 1 million.

Details: Starting Thursday, people in England must stay at home, and bars and restaurants will close, except for takeout and deliveries. All non-essential retail will also be shuttered. Different households will be banned from mixing indoors. International travel, unless for business purposes, will be banned. The new measures will last through at least December 2.

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Early voting in the 2020 election across the U.S. on Saturday had already reached 65.5% of 2016's total turnout, according to state data compiled by the U.S. Elections Project.

Why it matters: The coronavirus pandemic and its resultant social-distancing measures prompted a massive uptick in both mail-in ballots and early voting nationwide, setting up an unprecedented and potentially tumultuous count in the hours and days after the polls close on Nov. 3.

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