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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

Big Tech's reputation takes a pandemic plunge

Expand chart
Data: Harris Poll; Chart: Danielle Alberti/Axios

Americans have fallen further out of love with Big Tech, the latest Axios/Harris 100 brand reputation poll shows.

Why it matters: Even though Americans were hyper-connected to their devices throughout the pandemic, their relationship with many of the world's biggest tech firms has continued on a downward trend, suggesting that people see their products as necessary evils.

There's an ETF for everything, except bitcoin

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Happiness. Weed. Robots. Water. Whatever the theme, there's probably an ETF promoting a basket of stocks related to it.

Why it matters: Thematic ETFs are an investment mania side effect. There's newfound retail investor interest in narrow exposure to hot corners of the stock market. More are launching to meet the moment.

A divided nation flocks to partisan brands

Data: Harris Poll; Chart: Danielle Alberti/Axios

Americans are leaning into companies that have strong political positions, in the wake of one of the country's most divisive election years.

Driving the news: New rankings from the Axios/Harris 100 poll — an annual survey to gauge the reputation of the most visible brands in the country — show that brands with clear partisan identifications are becoming more popular.