Photo: Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images

President Trump will meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House on Monday and host him for dinner the following night, the White House has announced.

Why it matters: Netanyahu will arrive at the White House two weeks before Israel's April 9 elections. Netanyahu wants to use the meeting with Trump in his election campaign in order to stress their close ties and the fact that his chief opponent, Benny Gantz, lacks foreign policy experience.

The White House statement said Trump and Netanyahu "will discuss their countries’ shared interests and actions in the Middle East."

Netanyahu also met today in Jerusalem with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who will not meet any other political leaders during the visit.

  • Pompeo and Netanyahu will visit the Western Wall together tomorrow, providing another important photo op for Netanyahu's election campaign.
  • In a briefing to reporters on Tuesday, Pompeo pushed back on claims that his visit to Israel is intended to interfere in the Israeli elections in Netanyahu's favor.

Behind the scenes: Netanyahu and Israeli Ambassador to Washington Ron Dermer urged the White House to put on a state dinner for Netanyahu. In the end, the White House settled on a working dinner with Trump, Pence and several members of the Cabinet.

The big picture: This has been an extremely bitter election campaign in Israel with Netanyahu, who is facing corruption and fraud charges, desperate to hold on to power.

Go deeper

IG report: Saudi arms sales were legal but didn't weigh civilian casualties

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Photo: Gabriel Kuchta/Getty Images

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo acted legally when he bypassed Congress to approve $8 billion in arms sales to Saudi Arabia, but failed to "fully assess risks and implement mitigation measures to reduce civilian casualties" that resulted from the deal, according to a report by the State Department inspector general.

Why it matters: The 2019 sale drew bipartisan ire among lawmakers, who worried it could lead to a pattern of the administration using "emergency declarations" to circumvent Congress to approve weapons deals. The report comes two months after former Inspector General Steve Linick testified that he was pressured by a top Pompeo aide to drop the investigation.

55 mins ago - Health

Florida reports another daily record for coronavirus deaths

Nurse practitioner Barbara Corral and a research assistant conduct a COVID-19 vaccination study on August 7 in Hollywood, Florida. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Florida's health department on Tuesday reported 276 new coronavirus deaths, surpassing the state's record from July 31.

The big picture: The state also recorded over 5,800 new cases — on the low side for a state that is one of the domestic epicenters for the virus.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 12:30 p.m. ET: 20,130,206 — Total deaths: 737,394 — Total recoveries: 12,382,856Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 12:30 p.m. ET: 5,100,636 — Total deaths: 163,681 — Total recoveries: 1,670,755 — Total tests: 62,513,174Map.
  3. States: Florida reports another daily record for deaths State testing plans fall short of demand.
  4. Axios-Ipsos poll: 1 in 2 has a personal connection to COVID-19.
  5. Business: Moderna reveals it may not hold patent rights for vaccine.
  6. World: New Zealand reports first local cases for 102 days — Why you should be skeptical of Russia's vaccine claims.