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This is our look at President-elect Donald Trump's transition and the outgoing Obama administration. Here's what's happening:

Donald Trump gets a call from Vladimir Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin (Alexei Nikolsky / Associated Press)
Russian President Vladimir Putin (Alexei Nikolsky / Associated Press)

Russian President Vladimir Putin, who became a focal point of the presidential campaign, called President-elect Donald Trump on Monday.

Trump's transition team confirmed the call, "to offer his congratulations on winning a historic election."

The release said the two men discussed "a range of issues including the threats and challenges facing the United States and Russia, strategic economic issues and the historical U.S.-Russia relationship that dates back over 200 years" and that Trump looks forward to "a strong and enduring relationship with Russia and the people of Russia."

The call is notable on many counts. U.S. intelligence officials blamed the Russian government for hacking into Democrats' emails in an effort to influence the election, Trump has also spoken positively of Putin — who was regarded by Mitt Romney and other Republicans as a central geopolitical foe — saying during the campaign that the Russian authoritarian is a better leader than President Obama.

Trump has also questioned the relevance of the U.S. alliance with NATO, which was conceived to protect Western Europe from Russian aggression.

Obama said Monday that President-elect Donald Trump is committed to NATO. The president pledged, just before leaving for meetings in Europe with key allies, that there will be “no weakening of resolve” in the U.S. role in the alliance.

During their first face-to-face meeting last week, Trump expressed “a great interest in maintaining our core strategic relationships” — including NATO, Obama said.

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