Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Stay on top of the latest market trends

Subscribe to Axios Markets for the latest market trends and economic insights. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

America's allies in Europe are worried about Donald Trump's expected meeting next month with Vladimir Putin. Senior officials from four NATO member nations told me their worst fear is that Trump clashes with America's allies at the NATO summit in Brussels on July 11-12 and then shortly afterwards lavishes praise on Putin.

Why it matters: They say that would leave Europeans feeling abandoned and would advance Russia's goal of dividing European and transatlantic alliances.

The Polish senator and secretary of state Anna Maria Anders — a supporter of President Trump — told me:

  • "We are worried. Definitely worried," about the Trump-Putin summit. "Because you can't predict what is going to be said...Putin can be extremely charming and it's a question of how our president will react." (Yes, she referred to Trump as "our" president. More on that below.)
  • "I'm hoping that, I think we are all hoping...that he [Trump] will not be charmed to such an extent that he will be tempted to give anything up because we don't want him to give anything up. I guess, above all, we don't want him to give up U.S. forces on Polish soil..."
  • "We're praying that this will not happen, but time will tell. I think you won't find anybody in the Trump administration or anywhere who will be able to tell you which way it's going to go."

Another senior European official told me: "The fear is the sequence: A bad NATO summit followed by a good Putin meeting with the two leaders embracing."

  • The official said he worried that Trump would repeat what he did at the G7 in Canada: provoke a fight with his closest allies and then lavish praise on a dictator as he did on Kim Jong-un in Singapore following the G7.
  • Other sources told me they're fretting about what other concessions Trump might make. They're hoping he doesn't make any spontaneous promises to Putin over Syria or sanctions.
  • European officials aren't sure about the exact timing of the Trump-Putin summit — or whether it will happen just before or after the NATO summit. Either way, they're worried about the contrast between a warm meeting with Putin and clashes with NATO allies over issues like defense spending.

Behind the scenes: Trump's National Security Adviser John Bolton plans to meet with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov today to negotiate the terms of the possible Trump-Putin meeting.

  • "The White House is very vague on the agenda for the Putin meeting," the third European official added. "There's no sense he [Trump] knows what deliverables he wants or what the substance is. The president is saying 'just get me the meeting...get me in the room with this guy and let's see what's possible.'"

Garrett Marquis, the National Security Council spokesperson, replied when asked about this reporting:

  • "This is the greatest, most successful Alliance in history, and NATO’s military forces are the best in the world.  The President is committed to the Alliance, as he has stated repeatedly.  Our commitment to Article 5 is ironclad."
  • "There is no better way to signal NATO’s resolve and contribute to our deterrence and defense posture than for each and every Ally to allocate the resources necessary to share their burden of our collective defense. We have made tremendous progress and we are stronger and more capable because of it."

Fun fact: It's not a typo above. The Polish senator Anders did inadvertently refer to Trump as "our" president. Anders is unusual in that she holds U.S. as well as Polish citizenship. She owns property in the U.S. and says she voted for Trump in the 2016 presidential election. Poland is also one of the few NATO nations to meet its defense commitments. So her concerns — which she says are mirrored across the Polish government — may carry extra weight.

Go deeper: How Trump could reassure America's NATO allies.

Go deeper

Updated 2 hours ago - World

In photos: Pope Francis spreads message of peace on first trip to Iraq

Pope Francis waving as he arrives near the ruins of the Syriac Catholic Church of the Immaculate Conception (al-Tahira-l-Kubra), in the old city of Iraq's northern Mosul on March 7. Photo: Vincenzo Pinto/AFP via Getty Images

Pope Francis was on Sunday visiting areas of northern Iraq once held by Islamic State militants.

Why it matters: This is the first-ever papal trip to Iraq. The purpose of Francis' four-day visit is largely intended to reassure the country's Christian minority, who were violently persecuted by ISIS, which controlled the region from 2014-2017.

Cuomo faces fresh misconduct allegations from former aides

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo during a February press conference in New York City. Photo: Seth Wenig/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

The office of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) was on Saturday facing fresh accusations of misconduct against his staff, including further allegations of inappropriate behavior against two more women. His office denies the claims.

Driving the news: The Washington Post reported Cuomo allegedly embraced an aide when he led the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and that two male staffers who worked for him in the governor's office accused him of routinely berating them "with explicit language."

In photos: Protesters rally for George Floyd ahead of Derek Chauvin's trial

Chaz Neal, a Redwing community activist, outside the Minnesota Governor's residence during a protest in support of George Floyd in St.Paul, Minnesota, on March 6. Photo: Kerem Yucel/AFP via Getty Images

Dozens of protesters were rallying outside the Minnesota governor's mansion in St Paul Saturday, urging justice for George Floyd ahead of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin's trial over the 46-year-old's death.

The big picture: Chauvin faces charges for second-degree murder and manslaughter over Floyd's death last May, which ignited massive nationwide and global protests against racism and for police reform. His trial is due to start this Monday, with jury selection procedures.