The Trump presidency on Feb 16 at 8:08 p.m. EST

(Reuters) - Highlights of the day for U.S. President Donald Trump's administration on Thursday: RUSSIA 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 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. SECURITY Trump says he will issue a new executive order to replace his controversial directive suspending travel to the United States by citizens of seven mostly Muslim countries. CABINET AND ADMINISTRATION 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. Trump's choice for national security adviser, retired Vice Admiral Robert Harward, has turned down the offer, a senior White House official says. The Senate moves closer to approving President Donald Trump's pick to head the Environmental Protection Agency even as nearly 800 former officials urge the chamber to reject the nominee. U.S.-ISRAEL 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. 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. 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. SUPREME COURT 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. IMMIGRATION Businesses shut their doors, students skip class and thousands of demonstrators take to the streets in cities across the United States on Thursday to Trump's immigration policies. HEALTHCARE 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. (Compiled by Bill Trott and Jonathan Oatis; Editing by Lisa Shumaker and Peter Cooney)