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Mikhail Metzel, Pool via AP

President Trump said Wednesday that Vladimir Putin would have preferred Hillary Clinton win the 2016 election, in part because the U.S. is exporting more energy than it would have under Clinton.

He's right that the U.S. is probably going to export more natural gas and oil under his administration than it would have under Clinton — as for the broader point about Putin wanting Clinton to win, I'll leave that to others to debate.

Why it matters: The never-ending story of the day seems to be how deep ties run between Trump and Russia. On energy, Trump doesn't seem to be softening plans that go against what Putin wants. The president appears genuinely serious about encouraging more oil and natural gas production and exports that will hurt Russia, whose economy is heavily dependent upon such exports.

The quote: "We're going to be exporting energy – he doesn't want that," Trump said in an interview with CNB published in part on Wednesday. "He would like Hillary where she wants to have windmills. He would much rather have that because energy prices would go up and Russia as you know relies very much on energy."

The other candidate: As secretary of state, Clinton was actually quite aggressive in touting how American oil and natural gas can be used as a geopolitical tool influencing other nations. But during the presidential election, Clinton adopted more liberal policies against fossil-fuel production as she responded to Bernie Sanders' campaign. Maybe Clinton would have moved back to the center on this issue as president, but she nonetheless would have been more susceptible to giving into pressure from environmental groups in a way Trump isn't.

To be sure:

It's still early in the Trump administration, and its policies toward energy exports could still evolve. What's more, the administration's power over Russia's influence in energy is limited, as I reported in my

Harder Line column

this week about natural-gas exports.

Go deeper

Updated 19 mins ago - Science

Blizzard likely to hit New England this weekend as "bomb cyclone" forms

Computer model projection of the precipitation and wind field from the weekend storm in the Northeast. (Earth.nullschool.net)

A powerful blizzard is likely to strike parts of New England and the Mid-Atlantic beginning Friday and lasting into the weekend, with snow totals that are likely to be measured in feet.

The big picture: The joining of weather systems embedded in both the polar, or northern branch, of the jet stream and the southern branch is projected to create a bomb cyclone. Such storms undergo a process known as bombogenesis, with their minimum central air pressure readings plunging at least 24 millibars in 24 hours.

Schumer vows to confirm Breyer replacement "with all deliberate speed"

Chuck Schumer. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer responded Wednesday to reports that Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer will retire, commending his time on the bench and promising to confirm President Biden's nominated replacement "with all deliberate speed."

Why it matters: The opportunity to appoint a new Supreme Court justice will be one of the longest-lasting pieces of Biden's legacy and could energize Democrats ahead of the midterms.

1 hour ago - World

Scoop: Israel's "top priority" mission to discredit UN probe

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett addresses the UN. Photo: John Minchillo/Pool via Getty

Israel is planning a campaign to discredit a UN commission formed to investigate the violence in Gaza last May and the root causes of the protracted conflict in the occupied West Bank and Gaza, according to an Israeli Foreign Ministry cable seen by Axios.

Why it matters: Israeli officials say they are highly concerned that the commission’s report will refer to Israel as an "Apartheid state" and that its findings could damage Israel's reputation, particularly among progressives in the West. The report is expected in June.

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