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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.

Go deeper

Trump's coronavirus adviser Scott Atlas resigns

Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty

Scott Atlas, a controversial member of the White House coronavirus task force, handed in his resignation on Monday, according to three administration officials who discussed Atlas' resignation with Axios.

Why it matters: President Trump brought in Atlas as a counterpoint to NIAID director Anthony Fauci, whose warnings about the pandemic were dismissed by the Trump administration. With Trump now fixated on election fraud conspiracy theories, Atlas' detail comes to a natural end.

Dave Lawler, author of World
2 hours ago - World

Assassination in Iran sets stage for tense final 50 days of Trump

The funeral ceremony in Tehran. Photo: Iranian Defense Ministry via Getty

Iranian leaders are weighing their response to the assassination of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, known as the father of Iran’s military nuclear program, who was given a state funeral Monday in Tehran.

The big picture: Iran has accused Israel of carrying out Friday’s attack, but senior leaders have suggested that they’ll choose patience over an immediate escalation that could play into the hands of the Israelis and the outgoing Trump administration.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Hospital crisis deepens as holiday season nears.
  2. Vaccine: Moderna to file for FDA emergency use authorizationVaccinating rural America won't be easy — Being last in the vaccine queue is young people's next big COVID test.
  3. Politics: Bipartisan group of senators seeks stimulus dealChuck Grassley returns to Senate after recovering from COVID-19.
  4. States: Cuomo orders emergency hospital protocols as COVID capacity dwindles.
  5. Economy: Wall Street wonders how bad economy has to get for Congress to act.
  6. 🎧 Podcast: The state of play of the top vaccines.

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