Sep 2, 2018

Scoop: Palestinian intelligence delegation in D.C. for talks with CIA

President Trump welcomes Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to the White House last year. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas told Israeli members of the Knesset during a meeting in his office in Ramallah Sunday that — despite the deep crisis with the Trump administration — a Palestinian delegation of security and intelligence officials is in Washington, D.C. for talks with the CIA. 

Why it matters: The connection between the CIA and the Palestinian General Intelligence service is one of the few functioning channels of communication between the Trump administration and the Palestinians. Despite cutting aid to the Palestinian Authority and projects in the West Bank and Gaza alongside its decision to stop funding the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, the Trump administration has decided to maintain the funding it gives to the Palestinian security services.

  • According to two people who attended the meeting, Abbas said he wants to maintain security coordination and intelligence sharing with the U.S. even though he has cut all ties with the White House since President Trump's decision last year to move the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. The official heading the Palestinian delegation is General Majed Faraj — who was also in Washington for medical treatments. 

Go deeper: Abbas says Kushner explored forming a Palestinian-Jordanian confederacy.

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Stephanie Grisham out as White House press secretary

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham is departing her post to return to the East Wing as First Lady Melania Trump's chief of staff, the White House announced Tuesday. The news was first reported by CNN.

Why it matters: Grisham will leave after nine months without ever having held a formal press briefing. Her departure follows the arrival of new White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, who has a chance to overhaul a communications shop that's kept a low profile since President Trump ended the tradition of daily press secretary briefings.

WeWork board sues SoftBank

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

SoftBank was sued Tuesday morning by a special committee of WeWork's board of directors for alleged breaches of contract and fiduciary duty related to SoftBank's decision to cancel a $3 billion tender offer for WeWork shares.

Why it matters: SoftBank is viewed by many in the private markets as an unfaithful partner. If this reaches trial, that reputation could either become widely cemented or reversed.

IEA boss won't let Big Oil off the hook

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Freya Ingrid Morales/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

International Energy Agency executive director Fatih Birol has a tough job these days — responding to an unprecedented crisis now without losing sight of an existential one that must be tackled over decades.

Driving the news: He spoke to Axios yesterday about his work to help stabilize oil markets and ensure coronavirus doesn't sap governments' and companies' work on global warming.