FOX NEWS FIRST: Trump supports changes to gun background checks, urges 'insecure' Oprah to run in 2020

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Developing now, Presidents Day, Monday, Feb. 19, 2018

  • President Trump would support efforts to improve the nation's system for background checks for gun buyers, the White House says 
  • Trump and critics trade barbs over the president's weekend comments on Friday's Russia indictments, the FBI and Florida school shooting
  • Some who knew Nikolas Cruz are shocked that he could have carried out the school shooting massacre in Parkland, Fla., despite his troubled history and warning signs
  • Trump attacks 'very insecure' Oprah Winfrey in tweet, says he hopes she runs for president in 2020
  • Austin Dillon wins the 60th Daytona 500 in a dramatic overtime finish

THE LEAD STORY - TRUMP BACKS IMPROVING GUN BACKGROUND CHECK SYSTEM: The White House revealed on Sunday that President Trump would support a push to improve the nation's system of background checks for would-be gun buyers, days after the shooting massacre at the high school in Parkland, Florida ... White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said Trump spoke on Friday to Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn about a bill the Texas Republican had introduced alongside Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., which would “improve federal compliance with criminal background check legislation."

FIRESTORM OVER TRUMP TWEETSTORM: As criticism is mounting against the FBI for failing to act on multiple warnings about Nikolas Cruz. President Trump is getting pushback for suggesting the agency was too distracted by the Russian collusion investigation ... Trump on Saturday urged the FBI to “get back to the basics” on Saturday after an embarrassing series of mistakes in connection with the Parkland, Fla., massacre. The president then asserted that the agency was perhaps distracted by the investigation into possible Trump administration ties to Russia. “They are spending too much time trying to prove Russian collusion with the Trump campaign,” the president wrote. “There is no collusion. Get back to the basics and make us all proud!” Trump's comments earned the ire of critics such as Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who said, "It's an absurd statement. What we need is leadership from the executive [office]."

Critics were also outraged by Trump's tweets suggesting he had been vindicated by a grand jury's indictment of 13 Russian nationals and three Russian companies for allegedly interfering in the 2016 presidential elections. Trump fired back at these critics, tweeting the following: “I never said Russia did not meddle in the election. I said ‘it may be Russia, or China or another country or group, or it may be a 400-pound genius sitting in bed and playing with his computer.’ The Russian ‘hoax’ was that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia -- it never did!” Trump also said Russians are "laughing their a---s off" over the collusion probe.

A 'MONSTER' IN OUR MIDST: As the Parkland, Fla. community continues to mourn its dead and heal from last week's mass shooting, some who may have known shooting suspect Nikolas Cruz best are expressing shock and say they never thought he could have carried out such a massacre ...  Junior ROTC instructor Jack Ciaramello said he knew Cruz was troubled and had a thing about guns — but he’d never suspected the teen was capable of mass murder. The couple that took in Cruz after his mother died last fall said they had a “monster living under our roof" but saw no warning signs the night before the bloodbath — despite the 19-year-old’s history of trouble in school.

TRUMP: RUN, OPRAH, RUN!: President Trump went after Oprah Winfrey on Sunday, tweeting that he hopes to see her run for president so “she can be exposed and defeated" ... "Just watched a very insecure Oprah Winfrey, who at one point I knew very well, interview a panel of people on 60 Minutes," Trump tweeted Sunday night. "The questions were biased and slanted, the facts incorrect. Hope Oprah runs so she can be exposed and defeated just like all of the others!" Winfrey appeared on CBS’ “60 Minutes” leading a discussion with 14 people from Grand Rapids, Mich. Half of people from the group voted for Trump in the 2016 presidential election, the other half did not.

ICONIC VICTORY AT DAYTONA: Austin Dillon won the 60th Daytona 500 in overtime on Sunday — and didn't lead the race until the final lap ... The win for Dillon, 27, came as he raced in the iconic No. 3 car, which was made famous 17 years ago today after racing icon Dale Earnhardt was killed in his last lap at NASCAR's famed International Speedway. Dillon's win in the No. 3 car also came two decades after Earnhardt's victory in the Daytona 500.

 

AS SEEN ON FOX NEWS WEEKEND

BLOOD ON THE FBI'S HANDS: "The killing of young innocents, their teachers and coaches, gunned down at school... lays at the hands of the FBI. The potential slaughter twice reported to the FBI could have been prevented, had they bothered to lift a finger." – Judge Jeanine Pirro, in her "Opening Statement" on "Justice with Judge Jeanine," slamming the FBI for apparently missing credible tips on Nikolas Cruz. WATCH

DEMANDING AN APOLOGY FROM ABC: "This is incomprehensible and we can't let it pass by." –  Trump Evangelical Advisory Board member Johnnie Moore, on "Fox & Friends Weekend," saying there is a double standard when it comes to condemning or criticizing religion in America. WATCH

 

THE SWAMP

California Democrat, and #MeToo activist, allegedly urged staffers to play 'spin the bottle': report.

Republicans to use Pelosi against vulnerable Dems in midterm elections.

Sen. Bob Casey: Mueller would be 'mistaken' to release final Russia report close to midterms.

 

2018 WINTER OLYMPICS

NBC still going for the gold in on-air blunders.

First Olympian to win skiing medal for UK was born in U.S.

U.S. medal winners | Full coverage


ACROSS THE NATION

Major intelligence, strategic failures helped spur US soldiers' deaths in Niger, report says.

GOP candidate in Maryland raffles off AR-15 in fundraiser.

Woman accused of fatally shooting driver for cutting her off.

 

MINDING YOUR BUSINESS

Which markets are closed on Presidents Day?

Three stocks that posted big gains during volatile market.

American International Toy Fair 2018: Small startups make big splash.


NEW IN FOX NEWS OPINION

Frederick Douglass was a Christian and a patriot – why is this so hard for the left to accept?

The desperate cry of America's boys.

What do Christians mean when they say 'God spoke to me?'

 

HOLLYWOOD SQUARED

'Black Panther' exceeds high expectations, becomes fifth highest-grossing debut ever

Fergie's national anthem at NBA All-Star Game draws laughs.

Omarosa explains why she left Hillary Clinton's campaign for Trump's on 'Celebrity Big Brother.'

 

DID YOU HEAR ABOUT THIS?

Fight over man's flatulence forces flight to make emergency landing.

Disney announces opening date for Toy Story Land.

Elon Musk's Tesla Roadster headed for Earth or Venus crash (in a few million years).

 

STAY TUNED

On Fox News:

Fox & Friends, 6 a.m. ET: Ainsley Earhardt joins Vice President Mike Pence at the border for an exclusive interview!

Tucker Carlson Tonight, 8 p.m. ET: Former Trump campaign adviser Michael Caputo and Mark Steyn will sound off on the latest fallout from the indictment of 13 Russian nationals for meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

On Fox Business:

Mornings with Maria, 6 a.m. ET: More of Maria Bartiromo's exclusive interview with Attorney General Jeff Sessions from "Sunday Morning Futures"; Brittany Williams, Legoland Florida Resort public relations manager; Dan Emmett, former CIA counterterrorism officer.

Cavuto: Coast to Coast, Noon ET: Chris Swecker, former FBI assistant director.

Risk & Reward, 5 p.m. ET: Former Fla. congressman Allen West.

On Fox News Radio:

The Fox News Rundown podcastAs Florida school shooting survivors demand tougher gun laws, one nation has found a way to enforce them. Fox News' Eric Shawn talks with Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Danny Danon about how Israel is increasing school safety with stricter gun restrictions. They'll also discuss the growing global threat of Iran. Plus, commentary from Heritage Action for America CEO Michael Needham.

Want the Fox News Rundown sent straight to your mobile device? Subscribe through Apple PodcastsGoogle Play, and Stitcher.

The Brian Kilmeade Show, 9 a.m. ET: Former attorney general Michael Mukasey on the latest in the Russian collusion probe; Dr. Gordon Wood on the meaning of Presidents Day; Dr.Thomas Kersting on the implications of the Florida school massacre.

 

#OnThisDay

2008: An ailing Fidel Castro resigns the Cuban presidency after nearly a half-century in power; his brother Raul is later named to succeed him.

1968: "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood," created by and starring Fred Rogers, makes its network debut on National Educational Television, a forerunner of PBS, beginning a 31-season run.

1942: During World War II, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs Executive Order 9066, which paves the way for the relocation and internment of people of Japanese ancestry, including U.S.-born citizens.

Fox News First is compiled by Fox News' Bryan Robinson. Thank you for joining us! Enjoy your Monday, and we'll see you in your inbox first thing Tuesday morning.