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Trump and Netanyahu at the White House. Photo: Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images

President Trump told French President Emmanuel Macron last month that he's ready to put pressure on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to accept his upcoming Middle East peace plan, four Western diplomats briefed on the meeting tell me. Trump specifically mentioned the fact the U.S. gives Israel billions of dollars in aid every year.

Why it matters: We haven’t previously heard Trump say anything about his willingness to put pressure on Netanyahu, perhaps his staunchest ally around the world. Three days after the meeting with Macron, which happened on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, Trump met with Netanyahu in New York and announced for the first time his support for the two state solution. In the same meeting, Trump said he was planning to present his peace plan in two to four months.

According to the four Western diplomats, Macron told Trump he has the impression Netanyahu doesn’t really want to move on the peace process "because he loves the status quo." Trump said he was very close to reaching the same conclusion.

Then Macron asked Trump why he only puts pressure on Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

  • According to the Western officials, Trump said he has been tough with the Palestinians because they don’t want to talk to the U.S. "peace team," and this is unacceptable. Then Trump explained he will be willing to pressure Netanyahu, if needed, when the moment comes.
  • Trump added that he has given Netanyahu a lot — like moving moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem. Trump even mentioned that every year the U.S. gives Israel $5 billion in military aid (the correct figure is $3.8 billion).
"I can be as tough with Bibi as I have been with the Palestinians."
— Trump to Macron, according to four Western diplomats.

The White House did not deny this account. A White House official told me: "The President believes that Prime Minister Netanyahu is committed to pursuing a comprehensive and lasting peace between Israel and the Palestinians."

Go deeper

First look: Senators propose bill to ban corporate PACs

Sens. Jon Ossoff and Mark Kelly. Photos: Chip Somodevilla (left), Courtney Pedroza/Getty Images

Sens. Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.) and Jon Ossoff (D-Ga.) will soon propose a bill prohibiting for-profit corporations from establishing and managing political action committees, according to a copy of the legislation obtained by Axios.

Why it matters: The introduction of "The Ban Corporate PACs Act" comes amid heightened scrutiny on Capitol Hill regarding money in politics, including efforts to bar companies from influencing political campaigns and federal elections. It would likely face a court challenge and First Amendment concerns.

2 hours ago - Technology

Exclusive: YouTube shuts down two Oath Keepers channels

Stewart Rhodes, founder of Oath Keepers. (Photo: Aaron C. Davis/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

YouTube has deactivated two channels linked to the Oath Keepers militia group whose members have been charged in relation to the January 6 Capitol riot, the company told Axios.

The big picture: Social media platforms that were used to plan or promote the Capitol attack have moved with varying degrees of speed to bar the accounts involved.

FAA clears more planes after 5G fears

Photo: David McNew/Getty Images

The Federal Aviation Administration said Thursday it had approved nearly 80% of the U.S. commercial fleet to perform low-visibility landings at airports with new 5G services after fears of signal interference limited 5G rollout.

Why it matters: The FAA approvals will help provide more certainty after the agency raised fears that 5G signals could reduce the accuracy of certain equipment, known as radio altimeters, that helps planes land and take off in inclement weather.

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