Highlights: The Trump presidency on April 19 at 8:32 p.m. EDT/0032 GMT Thursday

U.S. President Donald Trump holds up a New England Patriots jersey as Head Coach Bill Belichick watches during an event honoring the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots at the White House in Washington

(Reuters) – Highlights for U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration on Wednesday:


Vice President Mike Pence says in Japan that Washington will work with its allies and China to put economic and diplomatic pressure on North Korea but that the United States would defeat any attack with an “overwhelming response.”

The Trump administration denies being misleading about a U.S. carrier strike group’s push toward the Korean peninsula, saying it never gave an arrival date and that the ships still are on their way.


Sources tell Reuters a Russian government think tank controlled by Vladimir Putin developed a plan to swing the 2016 U.S. presidential election to Trump and undermine voters’ faith in the American electoral system.


Secretary of State Rex Tillerson accuses Iran of “alarming ongoing provocations” to destabilize countries in the Middle East as the Trump administration launches a review of its Tehran policy.


Trump on Thursday will sign a directive asking for a speedy investigation into whether imports of foreign-made steel are hurting U.S. national security, two administration officials say.


Trump’s choice for deputy secretary of commerce, Chicago Cubs baseball team co-owner Todd Ricketts, has withdrawn his nomination, a source says, amid reports of difficulties untangling his financial holdings to the satisfaction of the government ethics watchdog.


The Environmental Protection Agency says it will reconsider a rule on emissions from oil and gas operations and delay its implementation, marking the administration’s latest effort to dismantle Obama-era environmental regulations.


The International Monetary Fund warns that Trump’s proposed tax cuts and rollback of financial regulations could spark a new round of financial risk-taking of the type that preceded the last crisis in 2008.

The Trump administration would be working against its “America First” agenda if it diminishes the United States’ leadership role in multilateral institutions including the World Bank, the lender’s second-ranking executive says.

Trump is “absolutely not” trying to talk down the strength of the dollar, the Financial Times quotes Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin as saying.


Large U.S. companies and their executives helped Trump raise a record-setting $106.7 million for his inauguration festivities, according to a U.S. government filing.


While some players stay away in protest, the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots make the traditional visit to the White House where team owner Robert Kraft lauds longtime friend Trump and likens his long-shot victory to the Patriots’ own.

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