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Tillerson makes farewell remarks to State Department employees in 2018. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said on Tuesday that while serving in President Trump's Cabinet, the Israeli government led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would sometimes share "misinformation" to persuade Trump on particular issues, the Harvard Gazette reports.

What he's saying: "They did that with the president on a couple of occasions, to persuade him that ‘We’re the good guys, they’re the bad guys,’ Tillerson said at a panel with Harvard professors. "We later exposed it to the president so he understood, ‘You’ve been played.' It bothers me that an ally that’s that close and important to us would do that to us."

  • Tillerson called Netanyahu "an extraordinarily skilled" diplomat and politician, but also described him as "a bit Machiavellian."

The big picture: Netanyahu and Trump have enjoyed a close relationship throughout the U.S. president's tenure, which the prime minister has leveraged in 2 election campaigns. Trump has recognized both Jerusalem as Israel's capital and Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, while Netanyahu has named a Golan settlement "Trump Heights" and erected campaign billboards showing the 2 leaders shaking hands.

  • Yes, but: Trump appeared to distance himself from Netanyahu on Wednesday after the prime minister failed to earn a parliamentary majority in the latest election. Netanyahu is fighting for his political survival and needs to remain in power in order to avoid a possible indictment for fraud and bribery.

Go deeper: Tillerson says Jared Kushner repeatedly circumvented State Department

Go deeper

Biden confronts mounting humanitarian crisis at the border

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photo: Pool/Getty Images     

Just over a month into his presidency, President Biden is staring down a mounting crisis at the border that could be just as bad as the ones faced by Barack Obama and Donald Trump, if not worse.

Why it matters: Immigration is an issue that can consume a presidency. It's intensely and poisonously partisan. It's complicated. And the lives and welfare of vulnerable children hang in the balance.

Erica Pandey, author of @Work
2 hours ago - Economy & Business

The rise of vaccine passports

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Vaccine passports were touted early in the pandemic as an important piece of the plan to get people back to normal life. Now they’re becoming a reality.

Driving the news: CLEAR, the secure digital identity app that you see in airports around the world, and CommonPass, a health app that lets users securely access vaccination records and COVID test results, have joined forces.

"Vaccine tourism" stretches states' supplies

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Americans who are highly motivated to get vaccinated are traveling across state lines after hearing about larger vaccine supplies or loopholes in sign-up systems.

Why it matters: "Vaccine tourism" raises ethical and legal questions, and could worsen the racial socioeconomic and racial inequalities of the pandemic.