The Trump presidency on Feb. 16 at 5:55 p.m. EST/2255 GMT

(Reuters) -

Highlights of the day for U.S. President Donald Trump's administration on Thursday:


Trump dismisses a growing controversy about ties between his aides and Russia as a "ruse" and a "scam" perpetrated by a hostile news media, and denies that any of his associates had contacts with Moscow before last year's election.

U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, at NATO headquarters in Brussels, says he does not see the conditions for military collaboration with Russia - a blow to Moscow's hopes for repairing ties with the United States following Trump's election.


Trump says he will issue a new version next week of his executive order banning citizens of seven mostly Muslim countries and all refugees from traveling to the United States. [nL1N1G11LL]


Trump announces his new choice to lead the Department of Labor, former National Labor Relations Board member Alexander Acosta, after his original pick withdrew under congressional pressure. [nL1N1G11BL]

Nearly 800 former Environmental Protection Agency officials urge the U.S. Senate to reject Trump's nominee to run the agency as the chamber moves closer to approving his pick. [nL1N1G11GK]


The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations says the United States still supports a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, a day after Trump suggested he was open to new ways to achieve peace. [nL1N1G11HK]

Trump's uttering the phrase "one-state" - rather than a two-state solution to the conflict, the bedrock of international diplomacy for two decades - took him to a place in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict where past presidents feared to tread. [nL8N1G14G6]

Trump's nominee to be ambassador to Israel faces repeated heckling at a Senate confirmation hearing before apologizing for his stinging criticism of liberal American Jews and promising to be less inflammatory in an official capacity. [nL1N1G118S]


The confirmation hearing for Trump's U.S. Supreme Court nominee, conservative federal appeals court Judge Neil Gorsuch, will begin on March 20, the panel's Republican chairman says. [nL1N1G1113]


Two leading House Democrats ask U.S. intelligence for an immediate briefing on contacts between Russian officials and Trump's ousted national security adviser, Michael Flynn. [nL1N1G110P]


Restaurants and other businesses around the United States shut their doors and thousands of demonstrators take to the streets across the country to protest Trump's policies. [nL1N1G111W]


Trump and Republicans in Congress say they will soon unveil plans to repeal and replace Obamacare, providing a timeframe for a legislative goal they have struggled with for weeks. [nL1N1G11Q0]

(Compiled by Bill Trott and Jonathan Oatis; Editing by James Dalgleish and Lisa Shumaker)