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BREAKING: President Trump, who is in the U.K., has given an interview to the Sun newspaper. He is quoted as saying Prime Minister Theresa May's plans for a "soft" Brexit “will probably kill" a potential trade deal with the U.S., and that May's rival Boris Johnson would make a "great prime minister."
Leaders gather at the NATO summit in Brussels. Photo: Sean Gallup/Getty Images
America's closest allies emerge from a NATO summit that felt like a giant group therapy session relieved that no fundamental damage was done, Axios' Jonathan Swan emails from Brussels:
Catch up quick: The summit began with Trump berating allies for not spending enough on defense, and declaring Germany is "captive" to Russia due to a pipeline deal. It ended with a press conference in which Trump claimed allies had pledged to increase spending more than expected (France's Emmanuel Macron disagreed) and reiterated America's commitment to the alliance.
The big picture, from Tarun Chhabra of Brookings, who emails that U.S. administrations from both parties have been pressuring Europe for decades to raise defense spending, "or else."
Smart takes, from the Axios Expert Voices network:
Go deeper: Read Swan's report from Brussels.
Here's how NATO members stacked up last year in terms of defense spending...
Go deeper: NATO by the numbers.
Protesters in London greet Marine One. Photo: Jack Taylor/Getty Images
President Trump landed in London today to find the U.K., as he put it, "in turmoil." So where do things stand for Prime Minister Theresa May three days after two high-profile resignations sparked speculation her government might collapse?
Sebastian Payne, political editorial writer for the Financial Times, emails from London:
The bottom line: "Trump is absolutely correct about May's situation. But it is about to get worse: the prime minister will have to make even more compromises if she is to re-engage the EU and avoid a messy exit without a formal deal. For all the chatter about an impending leadership challenge, there's no obvious alternative to replace her. And there's no realistic alternative to her new gentler Brexit strategy."
With Pakistan's general election just two weeks away, Al Jazeera's Asad Hashim reports from a motorcycle rally in Lahore held by a new hardline religious party, TLP, which calls for blasphemers to be put to death and celebrates those who have murdered the alleged perpetrators.
The bigger picture: TLP is still a fringe player, but the political environment is far from predictable, and new entrants are shaking up the political scene.
Go deeper: Read the full report on Al Jazeera.
Photo: Aris Messinis/AFP via Getty Images
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was sworn in for a fresh term on Monday, assuming sweeping new executive powers granted in a 2017 referendum.
In recent days, he has continued his purge of the civil service, expelling 18,600 people from government jobs, appointed his son-in-law as finance minister and suggested the army, currently a separate institution, be brought under the authority of the defense ministry.
Soner Cagaptay, a Washington Institute for Near East Policy fellow and author of The New Sultan, lays out the bigger picture for Axios Expert Voices:
Trump is doing battle on trade on at least three fronts: a ballooning conflict with China, disputes over metals and autos that are infuriating allies like Japan and the EU, and combative NATO negotiations with Mexico and Canada.
So do Americans agree with Trump that China, Europe and their North American neighbors are all ripping the U.S. off? Some data on that, from Gallup.
Between the lines: Trump's base is buying what he's selling, and the GOP is now the more skeptical party when it comes to international trade.
Croatia's Mario Mandzukic celebrates his game-winning goal. Photo by Yuri Cortez, who was steamrolled by the celebrating Croatian players but managed to get some fantastic shots. (AFP via Getty)
Thirty countries are gone, and two remain: France and Croatia will square off on Sunday for the World Cup title. A cheat sheet for those who'll be tuning in and may be coming to the tournament late:
Two players stealing headlines...
Breaking it down...
Sports as politics...
"I think they like me a lot."— Donald Trump on the people of the U.K.
Thanks for reading — see you Monday evening!