Highlights: The Trump presidency on March 12 at 8:42 p.m. EST

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

U.S. President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence (L) attend a healthcare meeting with key House Committee Chairmen at the White House in Washington, U.S., March 10, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Barria


Aides to Trump attack the credibility of the nonpartisan agency that will analyze the costs of a replacement for Obamacare, as the White House seeks to quell opposition from many conservative Republicans.


Two days before U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara was fired, Trump tried to call the high-profile New York prosecutor in what a White House official says was an effort to “thank him for his service and to wish him good luck.”


German Chancellor Angela Merkel is controlled and cautious, a physicist from East Germany who takes her time making decisions and has never relished the attention that comes from being Europe’s most powerful leader. Trump is a wealthy real estate magnate from New York who shoots from the hip and enjoys the spotlight. On Tuesday, they meet for the first time.


When Trump unveils his budget for the 2018 fiscal year on Thursday, conservative Republicans will be cheering proposed cuts to domestic programs that would pay for a military buildup. But more moderate Republicans are less enthusiastic and worry they could be forced to choose between opposing the president or backing reductions in popular programs such as aid for disabled children and hot meals for the elderly.


White House economic adviser Gary Cohn says the Federal Reserve “has been doing a good job” and the Trump administration respects its independence, even if the U.S. central bank raises interest rates this week.

Compiled by Peter Cooney; Editing by Sandra Maler