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Photo by Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images

President Trump and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met in the Oval Office Monday for the first time since the U.S. officially recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel — and since police recommended Netanyahu be indicted on corruption charges.

Trump's claim that the relationship between the two countries "has never been better" was cheerfully reciprocated by Netanyahu, who said the president is following in the footsteps of Cyrus the Great and Lord Arthur Balfour as a friend of the Jewish people.

Highlights

  • Trump told Netanyahu that he is looking into traveling to Israel for the inauguration of the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem on May 14. He also claimed that he negotiated the cost of the embassy down to $250,000 from $1 billion.
  • On tariffs, Trump said, "No, we're not backing down. We've had a very bad deal with Mexico, a very bad deal with Canada. It's called NAFTA." He added that the tariffs will remain in place unless he gets a "fair NAFTA deal," but that he "doesn't think you're going to have a trade war."
  • "If I had to say what is the greatest challenge in the Middle East to both of our countries, and our Arab neighbors, it is encapsulated in one word: Iran," Netanyahu said. "Iran must be stopped. That is our common challenge."

Go deeper

10,000 trees near giant sequoia groves to be removed after fires

A firefighter looks up at a giant sequoia tree after fire burned through the Sequoia National Forest near California Hot Springs, California, on Sept. 23. Photo: Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images

"Upwards of" 10,000 trees near giant sequoia groves have been "weakened by drought, disease, age, and/or fire" and must be removed in the wake of California's wildfires, the Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks announced.

Why it matters: The damage to these trees, considered "national treasures," and work to remove them means a nearby key highway must remain closed to visitors as they have "the potential to strike people, cars, other structures, or create barriers to emergency response services," per a statement from the national parks.

Obama stumps for McAuliffe, urges Virginians not "to go back to the chaos"

Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Former President Barack Obama framed a Nov. 2 gubernatorial race as a bellwether for the Democratic Party and the country, telling a crowd at a campaign event for Terry McAuliffe on Saturday that "I believe you, right here in Virginia, are going to show the rest of the country and the world that we're not going to indulge in our worst instincts."

Why it matters: With just over a week to go before Election Day in the Commonwealth, McAuliffe is bringing out the big guns. The 44th president appeared on the campus of Virginia Commonwealth University to urge supporters to get to the polls.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Axios AM Deep Dive: America’s murder surge

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Erik McGregor/LightRocket via Getty Images

Homicides rose at the fastest rate in at least six decades last year. This Axios AM Deep Dive, led by Future correspondent Bryan Walsh, looks at the state of gun crime.