Israel election deadlock, Lewandowski's testimony, and a 'Princess Bride' remake? Inconceivable!: The Morning Rundown

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's leadership hangs by a thread with Israel's elections too close to call.
Image: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is confronted by the press as he arrives to address supporters at his Likud party's electoral campaign headquarters in the coastal city of Tel Aviv
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is confronted by the press as he arrives to address supporters at his Likud party's electoral campaign headquarters in Tel Aviv on Wednesday. Menahem Katana / AFP - Getty Images

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By Petra Cahill

Good morning, NBC News readers.

The Israeli elections appear too close to call, the Trump administration is considering action against Iran, and Democrats are fuming over former Trump aide Corey Lewandowski stonewalling Congress.

Here's what we're watching today.


Israeli election deadlock leaves Netanyahu's fate uncertain

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appeared to fall short of a governing majority in Israel's election Wednesday, raising doubts over whether he can maintain his decadelong grip on power.

Partial results suggested Netanyahu's right-wing Likud party and its main rival, the centrist Blue and White party, were expected to win 32 seats each, according to Israel's election committee.

Final results are expected Wednesday and could swing either way — setting up a period of uncertainty in Israeli politics at a time of renewed tension between the United States' Mideast allies and Iran.

The results could also result in dire consequences for Netanyahu, who is facing possible indictments in three corruption cases.

If he remains prime minister Netanyahu may be able to pass legislation that would grant him immunity, but if he loses he may face jail time.


Trump admin weighing retaliatory action against Iran after Saudi oil attack

In a national security meeting on Monday, U.S. military leaders provided President Donald Trump with a menu of possible actions against Iran in response to the attack on Saudi Arabian oil facilities.

The options included a cyberattack or physical strike on Iranian oil facilities or Revolutionary Guard assets, U.S. officials and others briefed on the deliberations told NBC News.

There were no indications that any U.S. military action was imminent, and officials said that no decision has been made.

Trump's call for options comes amid growing confidence by the U.S. intelligence community that Iran was behind Sunday's unprecedented attack on Saudi oil facilities.

But any U.S. military action to retaliate for a strike against Saudi Arabia could face resistance in Congress.

"We don't have a defense treaty with Saudi Arabia," said Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn. "We are under no obligation to defend Saudi Arabia and we have no interest in getting involved in an escalating regional conflict between those two countries."


'You're not going to stonewall me!': Dems press Lewandowski at fiery hearing

Democrats pressed Corey Lewandowski at a contentious House hearing on Tuesday, with Chairman Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., threatening contempt against Trump's former campaign manager for following a White House directive to limit the scope of his testimony.

While the congressional testimony may have felt a bit circus-like at times for House Democrats, NBC News' Jonathan Allen writes in an analysis that Lewandowski put flesh on the bones of special counsel Robert Mueller's report.


Draining Arizona: Residents say corporate mega-farms are drying up their wells

A battle for water in Arizona is pitting some longtime residents and family farmers against big corporations.

Those who can afford to drill the deepest wells are the ones who get the water, while those who can’t are forced to abandon their property.

“They’ve just taken the water,” one displaced resident said of the big farms, “and when they use up the water, they’ll be gone.”


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Plus


THINK about it

Trump finally deserves credit for something: Making the Middle East worse, Brett Bruen, former director of global engagement in the Obama White House, writes in an opinion piece.


Science + Tech = MACH

NBC News reporter Denise Chow planned a day trip to one of Greenland's fast-melting glaciers with scientists who are studying climate change in Greenland.

But then the weather turned, and she got stuck. Here's the story of her unexpected adventure.

The sun sets over Helheim Glacier in Greenland. Not a bad place to spend the night.Denise Chow / NBC News

Live BETTER

Almost every successful person has failed. Here's why it matters. (Video)


One fun thing

A remake of the "The Princess Bride"?

"Inconceivable!"

The rumor, started after Sony Pictures CEO floated the idea in an interview, set the Twitterverse and loyal fans of the 1987 cult classic into pits of despair.

Cary Elwes, who played Westley in Rob Reiner's famously quotable film, succinctly dismissed the notion.

"There’s a shortage of perfect movies in this world," Elwes tweeted. "It would be a pity to damage this one."

Cary Elwes and Robin Wright in The Princess Bride.MGM

Thanks for reading the Morning Rundown.

If you have any comments — likes, dislikes — drop me an email at: petra@nbcuni.com

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Thanks, Petra Cahill