Pompeo with Hariri (L). Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu asked Secretary of State Mike Pompeo yesterday to pass a strong warning to the Lebanese government that Israel will hold it responsible if Hezbollah attacks Israel, Israeli officials tell me.

Why it matters: Hassan Nasrallah, Hezbollah's secretary-general, threatened to attack Israel in retaliation for a drone attack over the weekend on the organization's headquarters in Beirut. Tensions between Israel and Hezbollah are now at their highest point since the 2006 war.

Driving the news: Israel did not formally take responsibility for Sunday's drone attack. Nasrallah said it failed and only damaged the organization's media office. Israeli officials claim it hit a much more important target.

  • Israeli officials tell me Netanyahu told Pompeo in their phone call on Sunday that he should convey to Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri that if Hezbollah attacks Israel, Israel won't differentiate between Hezbollah and the Lebanese government and will retaliate against the Lebanese state as a whole.
  • Pompeo spoke by phone with Hariri yesterday and passed on the message. 

The big picture: The Trump administration is supportive of Israeli efforts to counter Hezbollah and has put new sanctions on many members of the organization in the last 2 years. However, the administration has been careful not the harm relations with the Lebanese government and cooperates closely with the Lebanese army.

The latest: After Pompeo's call with Netanyahu, the State Department issued a statement that focused on Israeli airstrikes against Iranian targets in Syria and didn't mention Lebanon at all.

  • According to the Lebanese prime minister's office, though, Pompeo told Hariri it was necessary to prevent any escalation as a result of the drone attack. According to the Lebanese statement, Pompeo called for all sides to help “prevent any form of deterioration."

Go deeper

Robert Mueller speaks out on Roger Stone commutation

Former Special Counsel Robert Mueller testifies before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence on Capitol Hill on Wednesday July 24, 2019. Photo: The Washington Post / Contributor

Former special counsel Robert Mueller responded to claims from President Trump and his allies that Roger Stone was a "victim" in the Justice Department's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, writing in a Washington Post op-ed published Saturday: "He remains a convicted felon, and rightly so."

Why it matters: The rare public comments by Mueller come on the heels of President Trump's move to commute the sentence of his longtime associate, who was sentenced in February to 40 months in prison for crimes stemming from the Russia investigation. The controversial decision brought an abrupt end to the possibility of Stone spending time behind bars.

Trump dons face mask during Walter Reed visit

Trump wearing a face mask in Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on July 11. Photo: Alex Edelman/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump wore a face mask during his Saturday visit to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, according to AP.

Why it matters: This is the first known occasion the president has appeared publicly with a facial covering as recommended by health officials since the coronavirus pandemic began, AP writes.

Updated 10 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 5:30 p.m. ET: 12,607,510 — Total deaths: 562,338 — Total recoveries — 6,948,863Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 5:30 p.m. ET: 3,228,884 — Total deaths: 134,600 — Total recoveries: 983,185 — Total tested: 38,919,421Map.
  3. Public health: Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter: "Please wear a mask to save lives" Fauci hasn't briefed Trump on the coronavirus pandemic in at least two months — We're losing the war on the coronavirus.
  4. Food: How the coronavirus pandemic boosted alternative meat.
  5. Sports: Charge of "money grab" by college football.
  6. World: India reimposes lockdowns as coronavirus cases soar.