Scoop: Trump told Netanyahu U.S. will pull out of Iran deal if big changes not made

President Trump told Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu in their meeting at the White House last Monday that he won't show flexibility in the negotiations with France, Germany and the U.K. on amending the Iran nuclear deal, two senior Israeli officials told me.

  • The officials say Trump told Netanyahu that until now the three European powers only proposed "cosmetic changes" that he doesn't find satisfactory. Trump said he demands "significant changes" in the Iran deal itself and not simply the addition of a supplemental agreement between the U.S. and the European countries, according to the officials.
  • The bottom line: Trump stressed that if his demands are not met, the U.S. will withdraw from the deal.

The Israeli officials who were briefed on the Trump-Netanyahu meeting spoke on the condition of anonymity due to the diplomatic sensitivity of the matter. The White House and Netanyahu's office didn't deny the details in this report and refused to comment on it.

Trump has set May 12th as the deadline to reach an agreement with France, Germany and the U.K. to "fix" the nuclear deal and avoid U.S. withdrawal. In the last 2 months, two rounds of talks were held in London and Paris between senior diplomats from the four countries. A third round is expected this Thursday in Berlin. Israel is not a party to the talks directly but is updated on their contents.

A few hours after Monday's Trump-Netanyahu meeting, Vice President Mike Pence gave a speech at the AIPAC conference in Washington and spoke about the Iran deal. He said:

"President Trump has called on the Congress and our European allies to enact real and lasting restraints on Iran’s nuclear and ballistic missile ambitions.  Earlier this year, the President waived sanctions to give our lawmakers and our allies time to act. But make no mistake about it: This is their last chance.  Unless the Iran nuclear deal is fixed in the coming months, the United States of America will withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal immediately. "
Axios 30 mins ago
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John Dowd resigns as Trump's personal lawyer

Photo: Kevin Dietsch, Pool / Getty Images

President Trump's personal lawyer John Dowd has resigned as the head of the president's legal team for Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation, per the NYT. A White House official confirmed the report to Axios.

The backdrop: Dowd spent last weekend personally attacking Mueller — going so far as to encourage an end to his investigation. He later told Axios' Mike Allen that his statement was "nothing against Bob," adding, "On St. Patrick's Day, can't an old Marine make a prayer? No big deal." After the news broke of his resignation, Dowd told NBC's Kristin Welker, "I love the president and wish him very well."

Ben Geman 1 hour ago
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Global carbon emissions are on their way back up

Chinese coal-fired plant from 2015 with lots of emissions. The country has made efforts to lower its emissions since then
Smoke billows from a coal-fired generator at a steel factory in Hebei, China, in 2015. Photo: Kevin Frayer/Getty Images

A new International Energy Agency report finds that worldwide carbon dioxide emissions from energy — which are the lion's share of global emissions — ticked upward by 1.4% in 2017 after a three-year plateau.

Why it matters: The findings underscore the immense challenge of reigning in heat-trapping emissions in an increasingly energy-hungry world. Carbon dioxide output is on pace to eventually bring about global warming levels that blow past the targets of the Paris climate agreement.