The Atlantic Politics & Policy Daily: Torn NATO

President Trump accused Germany of being a “captive to Russia” because of an energy agreement with the country and urged allies to increase their military spending.

Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP

-Written by Elaine Godfrey (@elainejgodfrey)

Today in 5 Lines

  • President Trump joined 28 other leaders in signing the NATO declaration, reflecting months of negotiation. Earlier in the day, Trump accused Germany of being a “captive to Russia” because of an energy agreement with the country and urged allies to increase their military spending.

  • When asked about Trump’s criticism of NATO, House Speaker Paul Ryan called the longstanding alliance “indispensable” but added that he agreed with Trump’s concerns.

  • In a show of resistance to the White House, the Senate overwhelmingly backed a resolution calling on Trump to get congressional approval before imposing tariffs in the name of national security.

  • Twitter announced it will begin removing millions of inactive accounts this week.

  • Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen is setting up an office within the department to help governments of Central America and Mexico get information about reunifying families.

Today on The Atlantic

  • Trump’s Shadow Followers: Eliot A. Cohen proposes a new term for the people who are sympathetic to Donald Trump’s worldview and are often more hostile to Trump’s critics than to him: the “Trumpverstehers”.

  • What Does ‘Abolish ICE’ Actually Mean?: Calls from Democrats to eliminate the agency have grown louder in recent weeks. But it’s not clear that every politician embracing the slogan is on the same page. (Elaine Godfrey)

  • Less, Not More: President Trump has criticized America’s allies for not spending more on their militaries—and many of his critics have agreed with him. Here’s why they’re all wrong. (Peter Beinart)

  • A Believer on the Court: President Trump’s Supreme Court pick, Brett Kavanaugh, agrees that climate change is real. But that’s not necessarily good news for liberals. (Robinson Meyer)


First Lady Melania Trump and President Trump are seen during a show after a dinner at the Parc du Cinquantenaire during the NATO Summit in Brussels, Belgium. Benoit Doppagne / Reuters

What We’re Reading

How Does Brett Kavanaugh View the President’s Power?: Seven legal experts weigh in on how the Supreme Court nominee’s thinking could affect the Mueller investigation. (Jen Kirby, Vox)

Hmmm: Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein has reportedly “asked federal prosecutors to help review the government documents” of Judge Brett Kavanaugh, Trump’s Supreme Court pick. (Katie Benner, The New York Times)

The Center Is Sexy: The victories of far-left candidates have dominated our political debate. But the most pivotal races of 2018 are taking place in the territory in between, argues Frank Bruni. (The New York Times)

The Left’s Golden Calf: The Democratic Party used to advocate for abortions to be “safe, legal, and rare.” Today’s party has fetishized the issue, writes Noah Rothman. (Commentary)

There Is No Middle Ground: The dispute between Ohio Representative Jim Jordan and several former Ohio State wrestlers who allege he knew about sexual abuse by the team’s doctor is a binary one: Either Jordan is lying, or they are. (William Saletan, Slate)


Big Money: These are the wealthy donors who have poured at least $1 million into the 2018 midterm elections. (Anu Narayanswamy, Chris Alcantara, and Michelle Ye Hee Lee, The Washington Post)