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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

Biden confronts mounting humanitarian crisis at the border

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photo: Pool/Getty Images     

Just over a month into his presidency, President Biden is staring down a mounting crisis at the border that could be just as bad as the ones faced by Barack Obama and Donald Trump, if not worse.

Why it matters: Immigration is an issue that can consume a presidency. It's intensely and poisonously partisan. It's complicated. And the lives and welfare of vulnerable children hang in the balance.

Erica Pandey, author of @Work
2 hours ago - Economy & Business

The rise of vaccine passports

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Vaccine passports were touted early in the pandemic as an important piece of the plan to get people back to normal life. Now they’re becoming a reality.

Driving the news: CLEAR, the secure digital identity app that you see in airports around the world, and CommonPass, a health app that lets users securely access vaccination records and COVID test results, have joined forces.

"Vaccine tourism" stretches states' supplies

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Americans who are highly motivated to get vaccinated are traveling across state lines after hearing about larger vaccine supplies or loopholes in sign-up systems.

Why it matters: "Vaccine tourism" raises ethical and legal questions, and could worsen the racial socioeconomic and racial inequalities of the pandemic.