Trump and Netanyahu display the proclamation Trump signed on recognizing Israel’s sovereignty over Golan Heights. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

President Trump said today he felt bad for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, whose failure to form a coalition on Wednesday has forced Israel to call new elections.

Context: Two days before Israel's deadline for forming a new government, Trump publicly weighed in and tweeted that he hoped Netanyahu would succeed. Trump's intervention in this domestic political issue and his lobbying in favor of Netanyahu was unprecedented.

Today, Trump sounded disappointed by the fact Netanyahu could not form a coalition, despite his high-stakes election win less than two months ago. Trump told reporters this morning:

"It's too bad what happened in Israel. It looked like a total win for Netanyahu, who's a great guy, he's a great guy. And now they're back in the election stage. That is too bad. Because they don't need this, I mean they've got enough turmoil over there, it's a tough place. I feel very badly about that ... that's too bad."

Several hours earlier, Trump senior adviser Jared Kushner met Netanyahu in Jerusalem to discuss the White House Middle East peace plan. During the meeting, Netanyahu tried to play down his political defeat.

  • Netanyahu told Kushner: "We had a little event last night. It will not stop us, and we will continue working together. The U.S. under President Trump is bringing allies in the region closer against challenges."
  • Before leaving the prime minister's residence, Kushner wished Netanyahu success in Hebrew, likely in reference to the new elections. 

Go deeper: Trump publicly intervenes in Israeli crisis to help Netanyahu

Go deeper

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 6:30 a.m. ET: 30,199,007 — Total deaths: 946,490— Total recoveries: 20,544, 967Map
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 6:30 a.m. ET: 6,675,593 — Total deaths: 197,644 — Total recoveries: 2,540,334 — Total tests: 90,710,730Map
  3. Politics: Former Pence aide says she plans to vote for Joe Biden, accusing Trump of costing lives in his coronavirus response.
  4. Health: Pew: 49% of Americans wouldn't get COVID-19 vaccine if available today Pandemic may cause cancer uptick The risks of moving too fast on a vaccine — COVID-19 racial disparities extend to health coverage losses.
  5. Business: Retail sales return to pre-coronavirus trend.
Mike Allen, author of AM
2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Mike Bloomberg's anti-chaos theory

CNN's Anderson Cooper questions Joe Biden last night at a drive-in town hall in Moosic, Pa., outside Scranton. Photo: CNN

Mike Bloomberg's $100 million Florida blitz begins today and will continue "wall to wall" in all 10 TV markets through Election Day, advisers tell me.

Why it matters: Bloomberg thinks that Joe Biden putting away Florida is the most feasible way to head off the national chaos we could have if the outcome of Trump v. Biden remained uncertain long after Election Day.

Biden's hardline Russia reset

Photo Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Getty Images photos: Mark Reinstein

When he talks about Russia, Joe Biden has sounded like Ronald Reagan all summer, setting up a potential Day 1 confrontation with Russian President Vladimir Putin if Biden were to win.

Why it matters: Biden has promised a forceful response against Russia for both election interference and alleged bounty payments to target American troops in Afghanistan. But being tougher than President Trump could be the easy part. The risk is overdoing it and making diplomacy impossible.