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HIGHLIGHTS-The Trump presidency on March 15 at 8:17 p.m. EDT/March 16 0017 GMT
March 15, 2017 / 7:04 PM / 8 months ago

HIGHLIGHTS-The Trump presidency on March 15 at 8:17 p.m. EDT/March 16 0017 GMT

    March 15 (Reuters) - Highlights of the day for U.S.
President Donald Trump's administration on Wednesday:
    A key Republican lawmaker says he does not believe the Obama
administration wiretapped Trump Tower during the 2016 election
campaign, adding to pressure on FBI Director James Comey to
provide evidence supporting or debunking Trump's claim.
    The top Republican and Democrat on the Senate Banking
Committee say sanctions imposed on Russia over its involvement
in Ukraine must not be lifted without drastic changes by Moscow.
    A U.S. federal judge in Hawaii deals another legal blow to
Trump, issuing an emergency halt to his revised travel ban just
hours before it was set to go into effect early on

    Trump will propose deep cuts for foreign aid and
environmental protection and a steep increase in military
spending in a budget plan to be released on Thursday, a
congressional source says.             
    Trump orders a review of tough U.S. vehicle fuel-efficiency
standards put in place by the Obama administration, handing a
victory to auto industry executives and provoking criticism from
Democrats and environmental groups.             
    Conservative U.S. Republican lawmakers say they are close to
embracing their party's healthcare overhaul plan after the White
House signaled openness to ending an expansion of the government
health insurance program for the poor even sooner than proposed.
    The Trump administration is contacting U.S. energy companies
to ask them about their views on the U.N. global climate accord,
sources say, a sign Trump is reconsidering his 2016 campaign
pledge to back out of the deal.                         
    The Sierra Club is asking the Environmental Protection
Agency's inspector general to investigate whether the agency's
head, Scott Pruitt, violated internal policies by saying he did
not believe carbon dioxide was a major contributor to climate
    One of Trump's most protectionist trade advisers is striking
a more conciliatory tone with Mexico, saying he wants the two
countries and Canada to form a regional manufacturing
"powerhouse" with stricter rules of origin.             
    One of the Trump administration's first major tests of its
confrontational approach to trade will bring Vice President Mike
Pence head to head with his pugnacious Japanese counterpart.

    The Senate votes overwhelmingly to confirm former Republican
Senator Dan Coats to be Trump's director of national
intelligence and to approve Army Lieutenant General H.R.
McMaster as his national security adviser.             

 (Compiled by Bill Trott and Jonathan Oatis; Editing by Chris
Reese and Peter Cooney)

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