Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

First Lady Melania Trump weighed in on the anonymous op-ed published in the New York Times on Thursday, saying the writer is "not protecting this country," but rather "sabotaging it with your cowardly actions."

Why it matters: The incendiary op-ed has gone viral among political circles, with it's harsh accusations of incompetence of President Trump. The president responded to the article tweeting, "TREASON?" and calling for the identity of the writer to be disclosed.

The full statement from Melania Trump:

"Freedom of speech is an important pillar of our nation's founding principles and a free press is important to our democracy. The press should be fair, unbiased and responsible.

Unidentified sources have become the majority of the voices people hear about in today's news. People with no names are writing our nation's history. Words are important, and accusations can lead to severe consequences. If a person is bold enough to accuse people of negative actions, they have a responsibility to publicly stand by their words and people have the right to be able to defend themselves.

To the writer of the oped - you are not protecting this country, you are sabotaging it with your cowardly actions."

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U.S. policy shift will allow taxpayer funding for projects in West Bank settlements

Friedman (L) with Netanyahu. Photo: Menahem Kahana/AFP via Getty Images

The U.S. and Israel will announce tomorrow that they are expanding three agreements on scientific cooperation to include Israeli settlements in the West Bank, Israeli and U.S. officials tell me.

Why it matters: This is a substantial policy shift for the U.S., which did not previously allow its taxpayers' money to be spent in the Israeli settlements.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Politics: Obama: Trump is "jealous of COVID's media coverage" Axios-Ipsos poll: Federal response has only gotten worse.
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  3. Business: Winter threat spurs new surge of startup activity.
  4. Media: Pandemic causes TV providers to lose the most subscribers ever.
  5. States: Nearly two dozen Minnesota cases traced to three Trump campaign events.
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McConnell: Confirming Amy Coney Barrett will help GOP retain Senate

Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) expressed no regrets about Judge Amy Coney Barrett's controversial confirmation, telling Politico in an interview that he believes the decision to place her on the Supreme Court just a week before the election will help Republicans retain the Senate.

Why it matters: With a week to go until Election Day, many Republicans are concerned that President Trump's unpopularity could cost them the Senate. McConnell has long viewed the transformation of the federal judiciary through the confirmation of young conservative judges as his defining legacy.