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Greenblatt in Ramallah last year. Photo: Issam Rimawi/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Jason Greenblatt, President Trump's special envoy for Middle East peace, will travel to Israel to continue talks with Israeli officials on the White House's upcoming peace plan, Israeli and U.S. officials tell me.

The big picture: Trump said in September he wants to release his peace plan for the Middle East within the next two to four months. The White House's "peace team," led by Jared Kushner, is in the pre-launch phase of the peace plan. The team is spending a lot of time reaching out to different groups in the U.S. and abroad that are relevant to the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

Israeli officials said Greenblatt will stay in Israel for almost a week and meet Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other senior officials and politicians. Greenblatt's talks in Israel are expected to deal with not only the upcoming peace plan but also with the situation in Gaza and the ongoing Egyptian- and UN-led efforts to reach a stabilization deal between Israel and Hamas.

  • At this stage, it is highly unlikely that Greenblatt will meet with Palestinian officials due to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' move to cut off relations with the White House after Trump's decision to move the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.

A White House official told me: "I can confirm that Special Representative Jason Greenblatt will be traveling to Israel this coming week. This trip reflects the Administration’s commitment to productive engagement [on the peace process], as well as the value it places on understanding the situation on the ground, especially amid recent tensions."

Go deeper:

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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.”