The U.S. will not be endorsing any candidate in the April 9 elections in Israel, a senior White House official tells me.

A giant election billboard in Tel Aviv. Photo: Jack Guez/AFP/Getty Images

Why it matters: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is stressing his close relationship with President Trump in his election ads and on his campaign. The White House official was reacting to an ad published by Netanyahu's Likud Party that shows Netanyahu and Trump shaking hands. The ad was published on several huge billboards along the main highways in Israel.

"It’s no secret that President Trump and Prime Minister Netanyahu have a strong relationship based upon mutual respect and that they reflect the mutual admiration and affection of the American and Israeli people."
— Senior White House official

It is standard practice for presidents to decline to make public endorsements in elections overseas. Shared today from Trump's Instagram account, though, was a post from Netanyahu featuring the handshake ad. The White House official said that was not a political endorsement.

What's next: Netanyahu is planning a visit to Washington two weeks before the elections. He will give a speech at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) conference and is expected to have a meeting with Trump in the Oval Office — a perfect photo opportunity for Netanyahu on the eve of the elections.

Go deeper

Mitt Romney says he'll support moving forward with Supreme Court pick

Photo: Greg Nash/AFP/Pool via Getty Images

Mitt Romney announced Tuesday that he would support moving forward with a Senate vote on President Trump's selection to replace Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Why it matters: Barring any big surprises, Democrats have virtually no shot at stopping the confirmation process for the president’s nominee before November’s election.

Trump says he will announce Supreme Court pick on Saturday

Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump tweeted Tuesday that he plans to announce his Supreme Court pick on Saturday.

Why it matters: Republicans are moving fast to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, which would tilt the balance of the high court in conservatives' favor and have lasting impact on climate policy, immigration and the Affordable Care Act. Judge Amy Coney Barrett, who met with the president this week, is a frontrunner for the job.

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Wall Street fears stimulus is doomed

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The fight over a new Supreme Court justice will take Washington's partisan bickering to a new level and undermine any chance for needed coronavirus relief measures before November's election, Wall Street analysts say.

What we're hearing: "With the passing of Justice Ginsburg, the level of rhetorical heat has increased, if that seemed even possible," Greg Staples, head of fixed income for the Americas at DWS Group, tells Axios in an email.

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