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Jared Kushner meets with Benny Gantz (C) and Yair Lapid (L), Jerusalem, Oct. 28. Photo: Jeries Mansour/U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem

White House senior adviser Jared Kushner met Benny Gantz, the leader of the Blue and White party, for the first time on Monday in Jerusalem.

Why it matters: This was the first meeting between Kushner and Gantz, who has 23 days to form a government. It shows that the Trump administration is adapting to the new political reality in Israel.

The state of play: Kushner brought U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, deputy assistant to the president Avi Berkowitz, and the State Department’s Iran envoy Brian Hook to the meeting.

  • Gantz brought along Yair Lapid, his No. 2 who is slated to become Israel's foreign minister if Gantz successfully forms a government.
  • After the meeting with Gantz, Kushner had a separate meeting with Netanyahu at the prime minister’s office.

The big picture: Gantz spoke about his meeting with Kushner at the beginning of the Blue and White's meeting at the Knesset earlier today.

  • He said the discussion with Kushner revolved around the U.S. peace plan, the situation in the Middle East and Iran.  
  • Officials in Gantz’s party who were briefed on the content of the meeting said Kushner was careful not to discuss domestic Israeli politics with Gantz. The officials said Kushner stressed he mainly wanted to get to know Gantz and start working with him.

Go deeper: Benny Gantz gets his chance to form Israel's next government

Go deeper

Scoop: Gina Haspel threatened to resign over plan to install Kash Patel as CIA deputy

CIA Director Gina Haspel. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

CIA Director Gina Haspel threatened to resign in early December after President Trump cooked up a hasty plan to install loyalist Kash Patel, a former aide to Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), as her deputy, according to three senior administration officials with direct knowledge of the matter.

Why it matters: The revelation stunned national security officials and almost blew up the leadership of the world's most powerful spy agency. Only a series of coincidences — and last minute interventions from Vice President Mike Pence and White House counsel Pat Cipollone — stopped it.

Updated 10 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus deaths reach 4,000 per day as hospitals remain in crisis mode — CDC warns highly transmissible coronavirus variant could become dominant in U.S. in March.
  2. Politics: Biden says, "We will manage the hell out of" vaccine distribution — Biden taps ex-FDA chief to lead Operation Warp Speed amid rollout of COVID plan — Widow of GOP congressman-elect who died of COVID-19 will run to fill his seat.
  3. Vaccine: Battling Black mistrust of the vaccines"Pharmacy deserts" could become vaccine deserts — Instacart to give $25 to shoppers who get vaccine.
  4. Economy: Unemployment filings explode againFed chair: No interest rate hike coming any time soon —  Inflation rose more than expected in December.
  5. World: WHO team arrives in China to investigate pandemic origins.

John Weaver, Lincoln Project co-founder, acknowledges “inappropriate” messages

John Weaver aboard John McCain's campaign plane in February 2000. Photo: Robert Schmidt/AFP via Getty Images)

John Weaver, a veteran Republican operative who co-founded the Lincoln Project, declared in a statement to Axios on Friday that he sent “inappropriate,” sexually charged messages to multiple men.

  • “To the men I made uncomfortable through my messages that I viewed as consensual mutual conversations at the time: I am truly sorry. They were inappropriate and it was because of my failings that this discomfort was brought on you,” Weaver said.
  • “The truth is that I'm gay,” he added. “And that I have a wife and two kids who I love. My inability to reconcile those two truths has led to this agonizing place.”

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