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Trump news today: What you need to know on March 15

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to auto workers at the American Center for Mobility March 15, 2017 in Ypsilanti, Michigan. Trump discussed his priorities of improving conditions to bolster the manufacturing industry and reduce the outsourcing of American jobs.

Bill Pugliano/Getty Images

Trump's tax returns: What happened and what did we learn?

On Tuesday night, it was announced that journalist David Cay Johnston, who runs a website called DCReport.org, had obtained without solicitation U.S. President Donald Trump's tax returns from 2005. They were reported on MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. The documents showed that Mr. Trump earned $153-million (U.S.) and paid $36.5-million in income taxes in 2005, paying a roughly 25-per-cent effective tax rate. Mr. Trump also reported a business loss of $103-million that year, although the documents don't provide detail. If you're unsure what this whole tax debacle really means, we've got a great explainer right here. The reveal on MSNBC was also criticized as being a blatant case of ratings-bait, which resulted in other outlets breaking the news before host Rachel Maddow had a chance to. Instead of coming out with any real revelations from Mr. Trump's 2005 tax return, Ms. Maddow and her producers teased, toyed and played with the audience, sending them to multiple commercials before actually revealing the news. Mr. Trump tweeted Wednesday morning, saying, "Does anybody really believe that a reporter, who nobody ever heard of, "went to his mailbox" and found my tax returns? @NBCNews FAKE NEWS!"

Trump hits back at Snoop Dogg over mock shooting in music video

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After a few days of silence, Mr. Trump finally attacked rapper Snoop Dogg for pointing a fake gun at a clown-like Trump figure in his recent music video. "Can you imagine what the outcry would be if @SnoopDogg, failing career and all, had aimed and fired the gun at President Obama? Jail time!," Mr. Trump wrote on his Twitter account. Snoop Dogg's satirical video for Lavender references issues including immigration and police killings of unarmed black men, and features characters dressed as clowns, including one called Ronald Klump. Toward the end, the rapper points a fake handgun at the head of the Trump-like character and the replica weapon releases a flag saying "Bang."

Secret warrant may have caught Russia hacker contact: Roger Stone

Mr. Trump's long-time adviser Roger Stone says he believes his contacts with a Russian-linked hacker who took credit for breaching the Democratic National Committee may have been obtained through a FISA warrant, which allows the government to collect the communications of individuals suspected of being agents of a foreign power. Mr. Stone is under scrutiny for possible links to Russia during the U.S. presidential race. The Republican operative has acknowledged having a Twitter exchange with Guccifer 2.0, a hacker that U.S. officials believe has ties to Russia. Mr. Stone said he was "unaware at the time of the brief exchange of allegations that the hacker in question is suspected of being a Russian asset."

Trump seeks input from U.S. energy companies on Paris climate pact

According to two sources, Mr. Trump's administration has been contacting U.S. energy companies to ask about their views on the UN global climate accord, a sign Mr. Trump is reconsidering his 2016 campaign pledge to back out of the deal. Many of the companies reached by the administration reportedly said they would prefer the United States remain in the pact, but would also support reducing U.S. commitments in the deal. The accord, agreed to by nearly 200 countries in Paris in 2015, aims to limit planetary warming in part by cutting carbon dioxide and other emissions from the burning of fossil fuels. As part of the agreement, the U.S. committed to reducing its emissions by 26 to 28 per cent below 2005 levels by 2026.

Hawaii judge puts emergency halt on Trump's new immigration ban

Hours before Mr. Trump's revised immigration ban is set to take effect, several challenges to the executive order began Wednesday, with Maryland being the first and Washington state and Hawaii following suit. A federal judge in Hawaii ended up putting an emergency halt on the ban just five hours before it was set to take effect. Attorneys told a federal judge the measure still discriminates against Muslims even though government attorneys argued that the ban was revised substantially to address legal concerns, including the removal of an exemption for religious minorities from the affected countries. For more information on Mr. Trump's executive order, take a look at our explainer.

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In victory for auto makers, Trump orders review of vehicle emissions rules

The Trump administration ordered Wednesday at an event attended by auto industry executives and workers a review of tough U.S. vehicle fuel-efficiency standards put in place by the Obama administration, handing a victory to auto industry executives and provoking criticism from Democrats and environmental groups. Auto industry executives have said they are hopeful the administration will pursue tax and regulatory policies that would benefit U.S. manufacturers. Mr. Trump's event was attended by around 1,000 people, including auto executives and workers from Detroit's "Big Three" auto makers: General Motors Co, Ford Motor Co and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV (FCA).

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