Alex Brandon / AP

President Trump is preparing for his first foreign visits with a trip that starts in Saudi Arabia and includes stops in Jerusalem and the Vatican — to visit the Pope — before ending in Brussels.

Senior administration officials said they're working to build a framework in the Middle East to counter ISIS, counter Iran and provide a security blanket for America's allies in the region.

Big topics:

  • Israel/Palestine: The level of interest from the Saudis and Jordanians in the conflict "feels different to me" because they're "running out of time," said one official.
  • Syria: The administration is beginning to engage with Russia in a way it hasn't before to resolve the Syrian civil war.
  • Trump wants better "burden sharing": (translation: Arab allies to foot more of the bill for the war against radicalization in the region.)
  • A change in rhetoric: "Radical Islamic Terrorism" wasn't said at the briefing.
  • The key sentence, from a senior administration official: "We chose these three places because we really want to focus on how we can unite all the different countries and all the different religions in the fight against intolerance and radicalization."

Go deeper

Updated 51 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: Chris Christie: Wear a mask "or you may regret it — as I did" — Senate Democrats block vote on McConnell's targeted relief bill.
  2. Business: New state unemployment filings fall.
  3. Economy: Why the stimulus delay isn't a crisis (yet).
  4. Health: FDA approves Gilead's remdesivir as a coronavirus treatment How the pandemic might endMany U.S. deaths were avoidable.
  5. Education: Boston and Chicago send students back home for online learning.
  6. World: Spain and France exceed 1 million cases.

FBI: Russian hacking group stole data after targeting local governments

FBI Headquarters. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Energetic Bear, a Russian state-sponsored hacking group, has stolen data from two servers after targeting state and federal government networks in the U.S. since at least September, the FBI and Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency said on Thursday.

Driving the news: Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe announced Wednesday that Iran and Russia had obtained voter registration information that could be used to undermine confidence in the U.S. election system.

FDA approves Gilead's remdesivir as a coronavirus treatment

A production line of Remdesivir. Photo: Fadel Dawood/picture alliance via Getty Images

Gilead Sciences on Thursday received approval from the Food and Drug Administration for remdesivir, an antiviral treatment that has shown modest results against treating COVID-19.

Why it matters: It's the first and only fully FDA-approved drug in the U.S. for treating the coronavirus.