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Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. Photo: Issam Rimawi/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

The Palestinian presidency slammed the upcoming trip to the region by the White House Middle East peace team — Jared Kushner and Jason Greenblatt — on Saturday, further illustrating the deep crisis between the Trump administration and the Palestinian Authority. 

Why it matters: For the last 17 months, the Trump administration has been working on an Israeli-Palestinian peace plan.

What's next: The drafting of the plan is mostly over and the White House is discussing when and how to launch it. Kushner and Greenblatt will travel to the region this week and discuss the plan with officials in Jerusalem, Cairo, Amman. Doha and Riyadh. They will not travel to Ramallah to meet Palestinian president Abbas due to the fact that the Palestinian leadership is boycotting the White House over Trump's Jerusalem embassy move and is not willing to accept peace talks moderated by the U.S.

What they're saying: President Abbas's spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh issued a statement today stressing that Kushner and Greenblatt's upcoming trip is "a waste of time and is bound to fail," and warning against any U.S. attempts to bypass the Palestinian leadership. He also attacked the U.S. for what he said were attempts to "divide the Gaza strip from the West Bank under humanitarian pretexts."

  • Yesterday, as part of their preparations for the trip to the region, Kushner and Greenblatt met in New York with UN Secretary General António Guterres. U.S. ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley also attended the meeting. The White House said in a statement that Kushner and Greenblatt spoke with Guterres about the "U.S. efforts to promote peace in the Middle East and to meet humanitarian needs in Gaza.  They also discussed recent actions at the United Nations".

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It's harder to fill the Cabinet

Data: Chamberlain, 2020, "United States of America Cabinet Appointments Dataset" Chart: Will Chase/Axios

It's harder now for presidents to win Senate confirmation for their Cabinet picks, an Axios data analysis of votes for and against nominees found.

Why it matters: It's not just Neera Tanden. The trend is a product of growing polarization, rougher political discourse and slimming Senate majorities, experts say. It means some of the nation's most vital federal agencies go without a leader and the legislative authority that comes with one.

Exclusive: Hundreds of kids held in Border Patrol stations

Migrants cross the Rio Bravo to get to El Paso, Texas. Photo: Herika Martinez/AFP via Getty Images

More than 700 children who crossed from Mexico into the United States without their parents were in Border Patrol custody as of Sunday, according to an internal Customs and Border Protection document obtained by Axios.

Why it matters: The current backup is yet another sign of a brewing crisis for President Biden — and a worsening dilemma for these vulnerable children. Biden is finding it's easier to talk about preventing warehousing kids at the southern border than solving the problem.

Pompeo plots 2024 power play

Mike Pompeo in Washington on Feb. 12. Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

Mike Pompeo has quickly reentered the political fray, raising money for Republicans, addressing key political gatherings and joining an advocacy group run by Donald Trump's former lawyer.

Why it matters: The former secretary of state is widely considered a potential 2024 presidential contender. His professional moves this week indicate he's working to keep his name in the headlines and bolster a political brand built largely on foreign policies easily contrasted with the Biden White House.