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!

Catch up on the day's biggest business stories

Subscribe to Axios Closer for insights into the day’s business news and trends and why they matter

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!

Photo: Mark Makela/Getty Images

Vice President Mike Pence unleashed some of the most stinging criticisms of NATO allies Germany and Turkey yet from the Trump administration, contending that both countries' recent actions threaten to undermine the alliance.

Context: Some NATO allies see President Trump as a threat to the alliance, with Trump himself having privately mused about withdrawing the U.S. from NATO on multiple occasions. Speaking at a conference in Washington marking NATO's 70th anniversary, Pence claimed that “the alliance at 70 has never been stronger,” due in large part to Trump’s leadership. He argued that far from dividing the alliance, Trump’s criticisms of members for falling short on defense spending were exhibitions of American leadership.

On Germany: Pence said that while several countries have increased defense spending in recent years, "too many others have fallen short," with Germany being "chief among them."

  • He also targeted Germany over the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which will transport Russian gas to Germany. He said Europe cannot remain united and secure "if our allies become reliant on Russia."
  • "It is simply unacceptable for Europe’s largest economy to ignore the threat of Russian aggression and continue neglecting its self-defense," he added.
  • Why it matters: The U.S. is far from the only NATO member furious with Germany for its refusal to move toward NATO's defense spending target of 2% of GDP. That target has become a major political football in Germany, where Trump is deeply unpopular.

On Turkey: Pence said Turkey’s decision to buy an advanced missile defense system from Russia "poses great dangers to both that country and all of NATO."

  • "Turkey must choose," Pence said. "Does it want to remain a critical partner in the most successful military alliance in history or does it want to risk the security of that partnership by making such reckless decisions that undermine our alliance?"
  • Earlier today at this same conference, Turkey's foreign minister said the purchase of the Russian system was "a done deal."

Pence also said the U.S. role in Europe will change as China's rise demands "more of America’s attention and resources."

  • "And as we meet that challenge," he said, "our European allies must do more to maintain the strength and deterrence of the Transatlantic Alliance."

In the room: Pence’s speech was not warmly received by the audience, made up mainly of security experts and diplomats. There was an awkward silence after Pence said NATO had been rejuvenated by "the resolute American leadership of President Donald Trump."

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Big Tech's reputation takes a pandemic plunge

Expand chart
Data: Harris Poll; Chart: Danielle Alberti/Axios

Americans have fallen further out of love with Big Tech, the latest Axios/Harris 100 brand reputation poll shows.

Why it matters: Even though Americans were hyper-connected to their devices throughout the pandemic, their relationship with many of the world's biggest tech firms has continued on a downward trend, suggesting that people see their products as necessary evils.

There's an ETF for everything, except bitcoin

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Happiness. Weed. Robots. Water. Whatever the theme, there's probably an ETF promoting a basket of stocks related to it.

Why it matters: Thematic ETFs are an investment mania side effect. There's newfound retail investor interest in narrow exposure to hot corners of the stock market. More are launching to meet the moment.

A divided nation flocks to partisan brands

Data: Harris Poll; Chart: Danielle Alberti/Axios

Americans are leaning into companies that have strong political positions, in the wake of one of the country's most divisive election years.

Driving the news: New rankings from the Axios/Harris 100 poll — an annual survey to gauge the reputation of the most visible brands in the country — show that brands with clear partisan identifications are becoming more popular.