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Jared Kushner and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem in 2017. Photo: Amos Ben Gershom/GPO/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

President Trump's senior adviser Jared Kushner, the head of the White House's Israeli-Palestinian peace team, traveled to the Middle East on Monday night on a visit to Morocco, Jordan and Israel, a senior White House official told me.

Why it matters: Kushner will arrive in Israel on Thursday, meeting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the tail end of a coalition crisis that could lead to new elections. Netanyahu's deadline for forming a new government is set to expire on Wednesday night, and new elections in Israel could be yet another hurdle for the Trump administration's peace plan.

  • Trump jumped into the coalition crisis over the weekend when he tweeted in support of Netanyahu's efforts to form a new coalition. An hour later Netanyahu used Trump's tweet to publicly slam his political opponent former Minister of Defense Avigdor Lieberman, putting public pressure on him to join the coalition.

Details: Kushner arrived in Rabat Tuesday morning and will meet with senior Moroccan officials. On Wednesday, Kushner will arrive in Amman and meet Jordan's King Abdullah to discuss Jordanian participation in the U.S.-led Bahrain conference next month, which will launch the economic part of the White House peace plan. The Palestinians are pushing the Jordanians to boycott the conference.

  • Jason Greenblatt, the White House's special envoy for Middle East peace, and Brian Hook, the State Department's Iran envoy, are also joining Kushner on the trip.

Go deeper: The only Palestinian RSVP to the White House's Bahrain conference so far

Go deeper

Updated 40 mins ago - Health

California surpasses 50,000 COVID-19 deaths

A man prepares a funeral arrangement in in Los Angeles, California, Feb. 12. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

California's death toll from COVID-19 surpassed 50,000 on Wednesday, per Johns Hopkins data.

The big picture: It's the first state to record more than 50,000 deaths from the coronavirus.

2 hours ago - Technology

Facebook bans Myanmar military

A protester holds a placard with a three-finger salute in front of a military tank parked aside the street in front of the Central Bank building during a demonstration in Yangon, Myanmar. Photo by Aung Kyaw Htet/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Facebook said on Wednesday it would ban the rest of the Myanmar military from its platform.

The big picture: It comes some three weeks after the military overthrew the civilian government in a coup and detained leader Aung San Suu Kyi, causing massive protests to erupt throughout the country. Military leaders have been using internet blackouts to try to maintain power in light of the coup.

It's harder to fill the Cabinet

Data: Chamberlain, 2020, "United States of America Cabinet Appointments Dataset" Chart: Will Chase/Axios

It's harder now for presidents to win Senate confirmation for their Cabinet picks, an Axios data analysis of votes for and against nominees found.

Why it matters: It's not just Neera Tanden. The trend is a product of growing polarization, rougher political discourse and slimming Senate majorities, experts say. It means some of the nation's most vital federal agencies go without a leader and the legislative authority that comes with one.