The Trump presidency on March 3 at 2:50 p.m. ET

(Reuters) - Highlights of the day for U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration on Friday:

U.S. President Donald Trump boards Air Force One for travel to Florida from Joint Base Andrews, Maryland, U.S. March 3, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst


Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal calls for U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions to be questioned by the Senate Judiciary Committee over his failure to disclose meetings with Russia’s ambassador during last year’s presidential campaign.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says the U.S. political scandal over contacts between the Russian ambassador and members of Trump’s administration looks like “a witch hunt.”

Less than five weeks after Trump took office, the chances of a thaw in relations between Washington and Moscow – once buoyed by an apparent “bromance” between Trump and President Vladimir Putin – are much dimmer, U.S. officials say.

A Kremlin spokesman says Trump’s proposed increase in U.S. defense spending is an internal matter for Washington and does not concern Russia unless it disrupts the existing strategic balance of power.


New Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke tells employees he will not sell off federal lands, as had been feared, but says he plans to review Obama-era measures that limited energy development on some federal land and undertake a “bold” reorganization of his 70,000-employee agency.


The Trump administration’s attempts to plug leaks creates unease among some career civil servants who say the campaign appears designed to limit the flow of information inside and outside government.


German Chancellor Angela Merkel will travel to Washington on March 14 to meet Trump, their first encounter after a rocky start to relations amid disagreements about trade, Trump’s travel ban and his comments about the media.


The Trump administration says it is suspending action on an Obama administration decision in October to investigate a long-time practice by some airlines of preventing various travel websites from showing their fares.


Mexico is prepared to negotiate changes to the North American Free Trade Agreement to modernize the 23-year-old open trade pact grouping the United States, Canada and Mexico, Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo says.

Mexico’s peso rallies to a nearly four-month high after the new U.S. commerce secretary offered support to the battered currency and said Mexico and the United States could reach a mutually beneficial trade deal.

Compiled by Bill Trott; Editing by James Dalgleish and Jonathan Oatis