Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Denver news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Des Moines news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Minneapolis-St. Paul news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tampa Bay news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Charlotte news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Netanyahu and Trump meet in the Oval Office. Photo: Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images

During his meeting with President Trump at the White House on Monday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu raised concerns over a possible deal between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia to build nuclear reactors in the kingdom, Israeli officials told me.

Where things stand: The officials, who spoke on conditions of anonymity, said Netanyahu asked Trump not to continue with the deal, but the message from Trump and his team was that if the U.S. doesn't sell the Saudis nuclear reactors other countries like Russia or France will.

Netanyahu and his aides stressed to the White House that if they move forward with the deal, they should should insist on a Saudi commitment not to enrich uranium on their soil.

Netanyahu's office didn't deny the details in this report, telling me in a statement:

"We don't comment on the contents of private diplomatic conversations, but as Prime Minister Netanyahu has been saying for years there are many dangers in the Iran nuclear deal — one of them is the demands of other countries in the region to get the same capabilities the deal allows Iran to have — including enrichment of uranium".

Trump didn't give Netanyahu a final answer on the nuclear deal with the Saudis and the parties concluded that further talks will take place between senior officials on both sides. The White House didn’t comment for this report.

  • On Wednesday, two days after the Trump-Netanyahu meeting, Israel's minister of Energy Yuval Steinitz met in Houston with his U.S. counterpart Rick Perry, who is negotiating the deal with the Saudis. Steinitz's spokeswoman told me she can't comment on the contents of the meeting.   
  • On Thursday, Netanyahu hinted about the talks with Trump during statements to the press at the UN headquarters in New-York. Netanyahu said:
"I was asked in Washington what is Israel's position on the requests of countries to enrich uranium. Countries in the Middle East. And I said, 'Why is it that they want to enrich uranium?' And they said that the reason that they're asking to enrich uranium is because Iran has received the right to enrich uranium under the dubious nuclear agreement. The best way to prevent the nuclearization of the Middle East is to either fully fix the Iran deal, or fully nix it. This is the only way to prevent the inevitable spread of nuclear technology and nuclear weapons into the Middle East".

Last Friday, Perry led a U.S. delegation for talks with his Saudi counterpart in London. The meeting in London launched negotiations on the deal, which is worth billions of dollars to American companies. The Saudis insist on the U.S. giving them a right to enrich uranium on their soil.

Go deeper

Biden will reverse Trump's attempt to lift COVID related travel restrictions

Photo: Tasos Katopodis via Getty

The incoming Biden administration will reverse President Trump's last-minute order to lift COVID-19 related travel restrictions, Jen Psaki, the incoming White House press secretary, tweeted.

Why it matters: President Trump ordered entry bans lifted for travelers from the U.K., Ireland, Brazil and much of Europe to go into effect Jan. 26, but the Biden administration will "strengthen public health measures around international travel in order to further mitigate the spread of COVID-19," Jen Psaki said. Biden will be inaugurated on Wednesday, Jan. 20 and Trump will no longer be president by the time the order is set to go into effect.

Dominion sends cease and desist letter to My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell

Photo: Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Dominion Voting Systems on Monday sent a cease and desist letter to My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell over his spread of misinformation related to the 2020 election.

Why it matters: Trump and several of his allies have pushed false conspiracy theories about the company, leading Dominion to take legal action. It's suing pro-Trump lawyer Sidney Powell for defamation and $1.3 billion in damages, and a Dominion employee has sued Trump himself, OANN and Newsmax.

Off the Rails

Episode 5: The secret CIA plan

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer, Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Zach Gibson/Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. This Axios series takes you inside the collapse of a president.

Episode 5: Trump vs. Gina — The president becomes increasingly rash and devises a plan to tamper with the nation's intelligence command.

In his final weeks in office, after losing the election to Joe Biden, President Donald Trump embarked on a vengeful exit strategy that included a hasty and ill-thought-out plan to jam up CIA Director Gina Haspel by firing her top deputy and replacing him with a protege of Republican Congressman Devin Nunes.