President Trump speaks alongside Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on March 25, 2019. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

A new interpretation of U.S. intelligence by some senior officials shows that Iran's leaders engaged in a military buildup because they believed the U.S. planned to attack them first, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Why it matters: The Iranian buildup caused the U.S. to increase its military assets in the region and order non-essential staff to leave its embassy in Iraq this week, spurring fears that the tension could burst into outright conflict.

Yes, but: The WSJ notes that "there are sharply differing views within the Trump administration over the meaning of intelligence showing Iran and its proxies making military preparations." Senate Intelligence Committee member Angus King (I-Maine) told CNN this week:

“I don’t think there’s faulty intel here necessarily. I think the intel may be accurate. ... But the unanswered question, again, is: Are they reacting to our assertions of action in the Middle East or are we reacting to them? That’s an unanswered question for me.”

The bottom line: Despite the fears of conflict, President Trump has expressed his reluctance to enter into a military conflict with Iran to top advisers, according to reports by the New York Times and Washington Post.

Go deeper: Why war with Iran is suddenly on the table

Go deeper

Biden: The next president should decide on Ginsburg’s replacement

Joe Biden. Photo: Drew Angerer / Getty Images

Joe Biden is calling for the winner of November's presidential election to select Ruth Bader Ginsburg's replacement on the Supreme Court.

What he's saying: "[L]et me be clear: The voters should pick the president and the president should pick the justice for the Senate to consider," Biden said. "This was the position the Republican Senate took in 2016 when there were almost 10 months to go before the election. That's the position the United States Senate must take today, and the election's only 46 days off.

Trump, McConnell to move fast to replace Ginsburg

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

President Trump will move within days to nominate his third Supreme Court justice in just three-plus short years — and shape the court for literally decades to come, top Republican sources tell Axios.

Driving the news: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Republicans are ready to move to confirm Trump's nominee before Election Day, just 46 days away, setting up one of the most consequential periods of our lifetimes, the sources say.

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 30,393,591 — Total deaths: 950,344— Total recoveries: 20,679,272Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 6,722,699 — Total deaths: 198,484 — Total recoveries: 2,556,465 — Total tests: 92,163,649Map.
  3. Politics: In reversal, CDC again recommends coronavirus testing for asymptomatic people.
  4. Health: Massive USPS face mask operation called off The risks of moving too fast on a vaccine.
  5. Business: Unemployment drop-off reverses course 1 million mortgage-holders fall through safety netHow the pandemic has deepened Boeing's 737 MAX crunch.
  6. Education: At least 42% of school employees are vulnerable.