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President Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron shake hands before a joint press conference at the White House. Photo: Ludovic Marin/AFP via Getty Images

French President Emmanuel Macron said Tuesday that he wants a "new agreement" on the 2015 Iran nuclear deal during a joint press conference with President Trump at the White House.

Why it matters: The unanswered question is whether Macron has convinced Trump to remain in the Iran deal while a broader agreement is negotiated, rather than pulling the U.S. out of the current deal on May 12th as he is widely expected to do. Trump said, "nobody knows what I’m going to do on the 12th, although Mr. President you have a pretty good idea."

"We want sustainable stability and I believe the discussions we’ve had together make it possible to open the way, to pave the way for a new agreement."
— French President Emmanuel Macron

What Macron is looking to change with regards to the Iran nuclear deal: Containing Iran's regional influence, blocking Iran's nuclear activity until 2025, and putting an end to the country's ballistic missile tests.

Highlights:

  • North Korea: Trump says the purpose of his summit with Kim Jong-un is the denuclearization of North Korea, meaning "they get rid of their nukes."
  • Syria strikes: Trump thanked Macron for his "leadership" on launching strikes in Syria following the chemical weapons attack, and touted the coordinated effort from the U.S., U.K., and France.
  • Pulling U.S. troops from Syria: Trump said he still wants U.S. troops "to come home" but "I want [them] to come home with having accomplished what we have to accomplish.” Note: Macron has previously tried to convince Trump to keep the U.S. military presence in Syria for a longer period of time.
  • Ronny Jackson's confirmation hearing: Trump acknowledged that there's an "experience problem" with Jackson, and said it'll be up to Jackson on whether he removes himself from consideration as VA Secretary.

Go deeper: What Macron gains from this visit.

Go deeper

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

House cancels Thursday session as FBI, Homeland Security warn of threat to Capitol

Photo: Eric Baradat/AFP via Getty Images

The FBI and Department of Homeland Security predict violent domestic extremists attacks will increase in 2021, according to a report obtained by Axios.

Driving the news: The joint report says extremists have discussed plans to take control of the Capitol and "remove Democratic lawmakers" on or about March 4. The House canceled its plans for Thursday votes as word of the possible threats spread.

2 hours ago - World

Pope Francis set to make first papal visit to Iraq amid possible turmoil

Data: Vatican News; Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios

Pope Francis is forging ahead with the first papal trip to Iraq despite new coronavirus outbreaks and fears of instability.

The big picture: The March 5–8 visit is intended to reassure Christians in Iraq who were violently persecuted under the Islamic State. Francis also hopes to further ties with Shiite Muslims, AP notes.

"Neanderthal thinking": Biden slams states lifting mask mandates

States that are relaxing coronavirus restrictions are making "a big mistake," President Biden told reporters on Wednesday, adding: "The last thing we need is Neanderthal thinking."

Driving the news: Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) said Wednesday he will end all coronavirus restrictions via executive order, although some businesses are continuing to ask patrons to wear face masks. Mississippi is lifting its mask mandate for all counties Wednesday, per Gov. Tate Reeves (R).