Federal Reserve officials on Wednesday forecast that economic growth will be faster through 2019 than they had expected in December before Congress enacted large tax cuts — but signaled they did not plan to accelerate the pace of interest rate hikes this year to keep the economy from overheating.

Such an acceleration wouldn't come until 2019, when the Fed indicated it planned one more rate hike than it had forecast in December.

Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions
Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions (Paul J. Richards / AFP/Getty Images)

President Trump faulted the Justice Department on Wednesday for its handling of a case involving the young immigrants known as “Dreamers,” citing the punditry of Fox Business News analyst Lou Dobbs.

“Department of Justice should have urged the Supreme Court to at least hear the Drivers License case on illegal immigrants in Arizona,” Trump tweeted. “I agree with @LouDobbs. Should have sought review.”

Dobbs, long an anti-immigration hardliner, is not a lawyer.

President Trump faced new legal and political jeopardy Tuesday as a former Playboy Playmate and alleged paramour sued to break a confidentiality agreement and a judge rejected his move to quash a lawsuit stemming from a charge of sexual assault.

The developments, coming on opposite coasts, promised many more months — if not years — of legal skirmishing, keeping Trump's personal conduct at the fore of this election season and complicating GOP efforts to protect their congressional majorities in November.

Theodore Olson speaks while flanked by then-GOP presidential hopeful Rudolph Giuliani in Washington on March 12, 2007.
Theodore Olson speaks while flanked by then-GOP presidential hopeful Rudolph Giuliani in Washington on March 12, 2007. (Mark Wilson / Getty Images)

President Donald Trump's legal team reached out in recent days to Theodore Olson, one of the country's most high-profile and seasoned litigators, to join forces amid mounting challenges in the probe of Russian interference in the 2016 election, according to three people familiar with the discussions.

The overture came as Trump, feeling more vulnerable to the investigation led by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, has told confidants he wants to recruit top-tier talent and shake up his group of lawyers, the people said.

But after reviewing the offer and weighing potential conflicts with his clients at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, where he is a partner, Olson is not planning to join Trump's team, a top executive at the firm said Tuesday.

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  • Immigration
Rep. Martha McSally, an Arizona Republican, said Trump’s famous promise to build a wall with along the Mexican border should be extended — to protect her state from the liberals to the west.

President Trump hosted a round-table discussion at the White House on Tuesday in which conservative politicians and law enforcement officials from across the country and the federal government took turns one-upping each other with disgust over California’s “sanctuary city” law.

But one elected leader bested them all. Rep. Martha McSally, an Arizona Republican, said Trump’s famous promise to build a wall with along the Mexican border should be extended — to protect her state from the liberals to the west.

“As we look in Arizona, we often look into the dangers of the southern border,” McSally said. “But if these dangerous policies continue out of California, we might need to build a wall between California and Arizona as well.”

(Kevin Dietsch / EPA / Shutterstock)

Sen. John McCain on Tuesday blasted President Trump for his call earlier in the day congratulating Russian President Vladimir Putin on his reelection, saying Trump had “insulted every Russian citizen who was denied the right to vote in a free and fair election.”

McCain, the Arizona Republican who is undergoing treatment for brain cancer yet continues to be outspoken on Trump’s friendship with Putin, also said in a statement and on Twitter, “An American president does not lead the Free World by congratulating dictators on winning sham elections.”

Sen. Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican who is McCain’s close friend but less publicly critical of Trump, made a similar point about Putin’s reelection without commenting on Trump. “Congratulations to Russian President Putin on his Fake Victory in the Fake Election,” Graham said. “Heaven help the 25% who didn't vote for him!”

President Trump last month
President Trump last month (Associated Press)

President Trump said Tuesday that he would meet with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, “in the not too distant future” to discuss “the arms race, which is getting out of control.”

The president made the comment to reporters at the White House  as he confirmed that he’d congratulated Putin that morning in a phone call for the Russian’s “electoral victory.” Putin was reelected on Sunday with more than 77% of the vote against a weak field of opposition candidates.

Trump said they discussed Ukraine, North Korea and Syria. But he did not mention Russian hacking and disinformation efforts in the 2016 U.S. election, nor the recent nerve-agent assassination attempt in Britain against a former Russian spy and his daughter, which the British and others have blamed on Russia.

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  • Russia
(Yuri Kochetkov / EPA/Shutterstock)
(Yuri Kochetkov / EPA/Shutterstock) (Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks March 18 at a rally near the Kremlin.)

Russian President Vladimir Putin isn’t offended that President Trump hasn’t called to congratulate him on winning a decisive reelection victory on Sunday.

According to Kremlin spokeman Dmitry Peskov, people get busy, especially presidents. So, maybe Trump’s schedule just hasn’t allowed him to squeeze in a call to the Kremlin — yet.

"This should not be regarded as an unfriendly step,” Peskov told reporters Tuesday during a press call. “Some may be unable to make a phone call due to a tight schedule, and others, for a different reason. It’ll be wrong to exaggerate anything.” 

Congressional negotiators laboring to write a trillion-dollar plan to fund the federal government are caught up in last-minute partisan disputes over abortion rights, healthcare costs and the fate of a Northeastern railway tunnel that President Trump has sought to derail.

House and Senate leaders must agree on a package before Friday's deadline to avert another government shutdown, which would be the third this year.

As the Trump administration barrels ahead with its plan to apply stiff tariffs on imported metals starting Friday, governments and businesses across the globe are in a fog as to what is happening and are bracing for at least a short-term hit because of what many criticize as the administration's slapdash process.

When President Trump made his official announcement of the tariffs March 8 — 25% on steel and 10% on aluminum — he exempted Mexico and Canada, at least temporarily, and said that other nations could negotiate with the White House to get out of paying duties on tens of billions of dollars of imports.