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President Trump gestures toward German Chancellor Angela Merkel during the G7 summit. Photo: Christian Minelli/NurPhoto via Getty Images

President Trump sent letters to several NATO allies, including Germany, Belgium, Norway, and Canada, last month criticizing them for not spending the required 2% of their GDP on defense, and warning that the U.S. is growing frustrated with member countries for not meeting their part of the agreement, reports the New York Times' Julie Hirschfeld Davis.

Why it matters: Tensions between the U.S. and some of its closes allies are on the rise following last month's G7 summit. And next week, Trump and allied leaders will meet again for a NATO summit in Brussels, where several officials from member countries worry that Trump will undercut the alliance's shared values by criticizing them for not meeting their spending commitments.

"As we discussed during your visit in April, there is growing frustration in the United States that some allies have not stepped up as promised. Continued German underspending on defense undermines the security of the alliance and provides validation for other allies that also do not plan to meet their military spending commitments, because others see you as a role model ... It will, however, become increasingly difficult to justify to American citizens why some countries do not share NATO’s collective security burden while American soldiers continue to sacrifice their lives overseas or come home gravely wounded."
— An excerpt of Trump's letter German Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, obtained by Davis

Davis writes that Trump, who used similar language in letters to other leaders, also suggested that the U.S. "might adjust its military presence around the world if its allies do not step and spend more for their own security."

Go deeper: Trump’s letter to Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau, (iPolitics), details of other letters (Foreign Policy.)

Go deeper

Biden will reverse Trump's attempt to lift COVID related travel restrictions

Photo: Tasos Katopodis via Getty

The incoming Biden administration will reverse President Trump's last-minute order to lift COVID-19 related travel restrictions, Jen Psaki, the incoming White House press secretary, tweeted.

Why it matters: President Trump ordered entry bans lifted for travelers from the U.K., Ireland, Brazil and much of Europe to go into effect Jan. 26, but the Biden administration will "strengthen public health measures around international travel in order to further mitigate the spread of COVID-19," Jen Psaki said. Biden will be inaugurated on Wednesday, Jan. 20 and Trump will no longer be president by the time the order is set to go into effect.

Dominion sends cease and desist letter to My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell

Photo: Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Dominion Voting Systems on Monday sent a cease and desist letter to My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell over his spread of misinformation related to the 2020 election.

Why it matters: Trump and several of his allies have pushed false conspiracy theories about the company, leading Dominion to take legal action. It's suing pro-Trump lawyer Sidney Powell for defamation and $1.3 billion in damages, and a Dominion employee has sued Trump himself, OANN and Newsmax.

Off the Rails

Episode 5: The secret CIA plan

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer, Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Zach Gibson/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 5: Trump vs. Gina — The president becomes increasingly rash and devises a plan to tamper with the nation's intelligence command.

In his final weeks in office, after losing the election to Joe Biden, President Donald Trump embarked on a vengeful exit strategy that included a hasty and ill-thought-out plan to jam up CIA Director Gina Haspel by firing her top deputy and replacing him with a protege of Republican Congressman Devin Nunes.