Evan Vucci / AP

President Trump met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for a photo opportunity this morning, where he held the press pool back to refute last week's reports that he disclosed sensitive Israeli intelligence on ISIS to Russian officials in the Oval Office.

I never mentioned the word or the name Israel during that conversation. They're all saying I did, so you have another story wrong. Never mentioned the word Israel.

Okay, but... the initial reporting from May 15 on Trump's conversation with the Russians never claimed that he mentioned Israel at all, only that he disclosed information given to the United States by a key ally — which was reported to be Israel the next day — that was not intended to be shared. And of course, National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster said last week that Trump "wasn't even aware of where that information came from."

Go deeper

The hazy line between politics and influence campaigns

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The recent firestorm over the New York Post’s publication of stories relying on data from a hard drive allegedly belonging to Hunter Biden shows the increasingly hazy line between domestic political “dirty tricks” and a foreign-sponsored disinformation operation.

Why it matters: This haziness could give determined actors cover to conduct influence operations aimed at undermining U.S. democracy through channels that just look like old-fashioned hard-nosed politics.

54 mins ago - World

"I stood up for that": Pope Francis voices support for same-sex civil unions

Pope Francis at St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City. Photo: Vatican Pool - Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images

Pope Francis voiced his support for same-sex civil unions for the first time as pope in the documentary “Francesco,” which premiered Wednesday at the Rome Film Festival, per the Catholic News Agency.

Why it matters: The pope’s remarks represent a break from the position of the Roman Catholic Church, which has long taught that homosexual acts are “intrinsically disordered" and contrary to natural law.

2 hours ago - World

Countries waiting to see if Trump wins before moving on Israel normalization

The delegation lands at Israel's Ben Gurion airport. Photo: Jack Guez/AFP via Getty

The White House is attempting to leverage momentum from Israel's normalization deals with Bahrain and the UAE to get more Arab countries on board before the U.S. election.

Driving the news: President Trump wants Sudan's removal from the U.S. state sponsors of terrorism list to be accompanied by a pre-election announcement on Israel.