1/ Trump said he would “encourage” Russia to “do whatever the hell they want” to NATO countries that were “delinquent” in meeting the group’s guidelines for defense spending. Trump, recounting an exchange from his time in office with the leader of a “big country” who asked whether it would be protected if Russia attacked, said: “You didn’t pay. You’re delinquent […] No, I would not protect you. In fact, I would encourage them to do whatever the hell they want.” The White House called Trump’s comments “appalling and unhinged,” adding that “encouraging invasions of our closest allies by murderous regimes […] endangers American national security, global stability and our economy at home.” NATO’s secretary-general meanwhile, said that “any suggestion that allies will not defend each other undermines all of our security, including that of the U.S., and puts American and European soldiers at increased risk.” After Russia annexed the Crimean Peninsula from Ukraine in 2014, NATO countries pledged to spend 2% of their economic output on defense. So far, only 11 of the 31 member countries have hit that target. (NBC News / Washington Post / NPR / New York Times / BBC / Associated Press / USA Today / The Guardian / Bloomberg / Politico / CNN / CNBC)

2/ More than a dozen Republicans ignored Trump and voted to forward on a bill to send $95 billion in aid to Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan. The vote was 67 to 27, with 18 Republicans voting to advance the foreign aid package. Last week, Republicans rejected a bipartisan version of the bill, which included border policy changes they had demanded, after Trump campaigned against the legislation for fear it could be seen as a win for Biden. It’s unclear, however, if House Speaker Mike Johnson would take up the legislation if it passes the Senate. (CNN / Politico / Washington Post)

3/ Despite Biden warning Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that a military operation in Rafah “should not proceed” without a “credible and executable” plan to protect the more than 1 million people sheltering there, Israel launched a “wave” of airstrikes that killed dozens of people, including children. The operation freed two hostages, and Netanyahu vowed to use “continued military pressure” to return the remaining hostages. (Associated Press / Washington Post / New York Times / Politico / CNN / NBC News / NPR)

4/ Biden – in private – has called Benjamin Netanyahu an “asshole,” saying the prime minister is impossible to deal with and the campaign in Gaza is “over the top.” So far, Biden has stopped short of directly criticizing Netanyahu in public and the White House has rejected calls to withhold military aid to Israel or impose conditions on it, saying that would only embolden Hamas. In private, however, Biden has suggested that “this guy” wants the war to drag on so he can remain in power, noting Netanyahu’s failure to shift tactics in Gaza and the repeated rejections of basic U.S. demands, like allowing, food, water, and medicine into Gaza. (NBC News / CNN / Washington Post)

5/ Trump asked the Supreme Court to block a lower court ruling that rejected his claim that he’s absolutely immune from criminal charges for attempting to overturn the 2020 election. While two lower courts have rejected Trump’s claim of total immunity, Trump insisted that presidents are shielded from prosecution and that a trial would “radically disrupt” his reelection bid. Nevertheless, Trump warned that if a president can be prosecuted for actions taken while in office “such prosecutions will recur and become increasingly common, ushering in destructive cycles of recrimination,” adding that “Without immunity from criminal prosecution, the Presidency as we know it will cease to exist.” Trump was charged by special counsel Jack Smith with four counts in connection with his efforts to overturn the 2020 election. U.S. District Judge Tanya S. Chutkan has paused proceedings and the scheduled March 4 trial date until Trump’s appeal is resolved. (NBC News / NPR / Washington Post / New York Times)