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Evan Vucci / AP

During his joint press conference with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg in the White House's East Room, President Trump walked back some of his campaign trail rhetoric against the military alliance, saying "I said [NATO] was obsolete. It's no longer obsolete."

Some other news: Trump announced National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster will head to Afghanistan to consult with Afghan and NATO commanders on the ground.

Trump

  • On Russia: "We might be at an all time low with Russia."
  • On the state of the world: "I would love to be able to get along with everybody. The world is a mess — by the time I'm finished, it's going to be a lot better place to live in because, right now, it's nasty."
  • On Syria: "When you get into those gasses in that form, it's vicious, it's violent...There can't be a worse sight and it shouldn't be allowed. That's a butcher, that's a butcher. I have absolutely no doubt that we did the right thing."

Stoltenberg

  • On managing tensions with Russia: "The message from NATO is that what we do is proportionate. It's defensive. We don't want a Cold war. We don't want a new arms race."
  • On NATO members increasing their defense spending: "The very strong and clear message from President Trump has been very helpful…a 3.8% real increase in spending is a significant step in right direction."

Go deeper

Schumer's m(aj)ority checklist

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Capitalizing on the Georgia runoffs, achieving a 50-50 Senate and launching an impeachment trial are weighty to-dos for getting Joe Biden's administration up and running on Day One.

What to watch: A blend of ceremonies, hearings and legal timelines will come into play on Tuesday and Wednesday so Chuck Schumer can actually claim the Senate majority and propel the new president's agenda.

The dark new reality in Congress

National Guard troops keep watch at security fencing. Photo: Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

This is how bad things are for elected officials and others working in a post-insurrection Congress:

  • Rep. Norma Torres (D-Calif.) said she had a panic attack while grocery shopping back home.
  • Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) said police may also have to be at his constituent meetings.
  • Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) told a podcaster he brought a gun to his office on Capitol Hill on Jan. 6 because he anticipated trouble with the proceedings that day.
Off the Rails

Episode 3: Descent into madness ... Trump: "Sometimes you need a little crazy"

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photos: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. This Axios series takes you inside the collapse of a president.

Episode 3: The conspiracy goes too far. Trump's outside lawyers plot to seize voting machines and spin theories about communists, spies and computer software.

President Trump was sitting in the Oval Office one day in late November when a call came in from lawyer Sidney Powell. "Ugh, Sidney," he told the staff in the room before he picked up. "She's getting a little crazy, isn't she? She's really gotta tone it down. No one believes this stuff. It's just too much."