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A newly aggressive Russia under Vladimir Putin and, in Donald Trump, an American president who is unenthusiastic about both the EU and NATO, make this a terrible time for Europe to be weak and divided.

Can Europe be saved? The Economist (25 March 2017)

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    It just gives a name to an American president who is unenthusiastic about both the EU and NATO. – AmE speaker Mar 25 '17 at 2:28
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    Thank you for your answer. So, does the preposition "in" mean "with reference to"? – Bakebake Mar 25 '17 at 2:30
  • "in Donald Trump" is a "parenthetical phrase", set off by commas. This means that you can read the sentence without that phrase and it should make sense. The sentence is poorly constructed, and the final comma probably doesn't belong there. – Hot Licks Mar 25 '17 at 2:37
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    in here means in the case of, so yes, with reference to is a close equivalent. (And in the case of can also be understood as in the person of, since in this example, the case or matter of who is the president is the person.) – AmE speaker Mar 25 '17 at 3:04
  • Your answers were so satisfactory. Thank you so much. – Bakebake Mar 25 '17 at 3:51
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The sentence would be easier to read if "an American President" followed "and." In the writer's logic "Putin" and "an American President" are equal in importance, which is better expressed if they are not separated from each other. Then various in phrases (or others) become possible.

A newly aggressive Russia under Vladimir Putin and an American president, in the form of Donald Trump, who is unenthusiastic about both the EU and NATO, make this a terrible time for Europe to be weak and divided.

With this word order, alternatives to in the form of include, with slightly different nuances — the last two add irony — but essentially the same meaning:

in this case / in the current situation / currently / namely / none other than / our very own.

The words "an American president, Donald Trump," could also be used.

I favor in the form of because it is the only one of these that can be used without the preceding comma. The sentence suffers from too many commas, and reads more easily as:

A newly aggressive Russia under Vladimir Putin and an American president in the form of Donald Trump, who is unenthusiastic about both the EU and NATO, make this a terrible time for Europe to be weak and divided.

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