FOX NEWS FIRST: Trump takes stock of gun regulations; CPAC 2018 kicks off Wednesday

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Developing now, Wednesday, Feb. 21 2018

  • President Trump urges ban on gun modifiers such as 'bump stocks' in response to last week's school massacre in Parkland, Fla.
  • Democrats are taking heat from key financial donors for their midterm strategy targeting Trump and his tax plan
  • Could Michael Flynn be rethinking his guilty plea in Robert Mueller’s Russia probe? One legal scholar thinks so
  • North Korea cancels a secret meeting with Vice President Pence scheduled at the Winter Olympics, the Trump administration says
  • The annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) begins Wednesday in Maryland. Trump and other top Republicans are expected to speak.

THE LEAD STORY - TRUMP TAKES STOCK ON GUN LEGISLATION: President Trump on Tuesday directed Attorney General Jeff Sessions to craft new regulations to ban firearm modifiers including the "bump stock" used in the Las Vegas massacre, amid bipartisan calls to strengthen gun laws in the wake of recent shooting rampages ... During an event at the White House, the president announced he signed a memo ordering the regulations on "bump stocks" and told Sessions he wants new federal guidelines finalized “very soon." He also signaled support for additional changes to gun legislation, tweeting Tuesday evening, "Whether we are Republican or Democrat, we must now focus on strengthening Background Checks!" The memo, released by the White House on Tuesday, directs the DOJ to propose a rule "banning all devices that turn legal weapons into machineguns.”

DEMS' CAN'T-MISS STRATEGY MAY BE OFF-THE-MARK: Democrats are taking heat from some of their biggest financial supporters over a midterm-election strategy still focused on bashing President Trump and the Republican tax cut plan – as recent polls suggest the party's candidates could be losing their edge ... A few months ago, congressional Democrats thought they had a winning plan for taking control of the chamber by arguing the tax cuts were a gift to corporate supporters at the expense of the American worker. Within hours of the bill's passage, Democrats returned to their districts for the holidays, ready to trumpet the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s message of “House Republicans Sign Away Their Seats.” However, the extra money in employee paychecks since early January and bonuses related to the cuts appear to be winning over voters. Those outside the Capitol Hill bubble are taking note, and urging Democrats to reconsider their message. 

BUYER'S REMORSE?: Former national security adviser Michael Flynn may be rethinking his guilty plea due to lack of evidence of collusion between then-candidate Donald Trump and Russia, one legal scholar says ... "The broader collusion case appears to be thin," George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley said on "The Story with Martha MacCallum" Tuesday. Flynn, Trump's first national security adviser, pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his communications with Russia as part of special counsel Robert Mueller's collusion investigation. Turley added that there are new questions as to whether prosecutors even initially believed Flynn did anything wrong involving Russia. Stay with Fox News Digital for a special report on new questions about Flynn's plea deal later Wednesday. 

BEHIND THE CANCELED NORTH KOREA MEETING: Vice President Mike Pence was set to secretly meet with North Korean officials at the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, earlier this month, but North Korea canceled at the last minute, the Trump administration said Tuesday ... "North Korea dangled a meeting in hopes of the Vice President softening his message, which would have ceded the world stage for their propaganda during the Olympics,” Nick Ayers, Pence’s Chief of Staff, said. Pence "was ready to take this opportunity," according to State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert, and would have used the meeting to emphasize U.S. concerns about North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs. The meeting with Kim Yo Jong, regime leader Kim Jong Un’s sister, and Kim Yong Nam, North Korea’s nominal head of state, was supposed to take place on Feb. 10, according to the Washington Post, which first reported the news.

CPAC 2018: Thousands of conservatives are expected to descend upon National Harbor in Maryland as the annual Conservative Political Action Conference begins on Wednesday ... Vice President Pence, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, Energy Secretary Rick Perry, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and Fox News' Sean Hannity are among the luminaries slated to speak this week. President Trump is expected to address CPAC for the second consecutive year on Friday.



DO-NOTHING, 'NO-DRAMA' OBAMA: "Whose job was it to deal with that meddling? Barack Obama - It was his job, it was on his watch." – Piers Morgan, on "Tucker Carlson Tonight," blasting former President Obama for failing to properly combat Russian meddling in the 2016 election. WATCH

A MESSAGE FROM CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER: "I'm determined to make it back. I've got to. I can't let you guys have all the fun." –  Syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer, sending a message to viewers on "Special Report." Krauthammer has been absent from the air since Summer 2017, after suffering complications from a medical procedure. WATCH



Florida House aide fired after claiming Florida shooting survivors are 'actors.'

Woman who cared for Florida gunman reportedly wants to control his $800G inheritance.

Open letter: "I was almost a school shooter' | Survivor: Media pushing gun control agenda



U.S. men's hockey team eliminated from medal contention; U.S. women play Canada for the gold Wednesday night.

North Korean skater disqualified after falling in Olympic pre-heat; some onlookers claim dirty play.

Lindsey Vonn wins bronze in likely last Olympic downhill.

U.S. medal winners | Full coverage



Dems flip Kentucky House seat held by lawmaker who killed himself.

Pennsylvania GOP slams election-map 'power grab' as 'judicial activism,' will challenge.

VA Secretary Shulkin says 'there is no doubt' of staying in post.



Alabama police officer killed; suspect also dead after standoff, police say.

Americans could lose passports if 'seriously delinquent' on taxes.

Disturbing survey finds trash, needles, feces littering streets of San Francisco.

Retired sanitation worker makes $285K a year from pension.



Gasoline tax hike: These states would be hit hardest.

Amazon effect felt as two grocery chains on verge of bankruptcy | Building begins on Amazon CEO's $42 million passion project

Fed minutes may help clear confusion in stock and bond markets.


Sean Hannity: President Obama was warned about Russian meddling - and did nothing.

John Stossel: Unions think you should be forced to pay for their 'benefits' – will Supreme Court agree?

Jessica Tarlov: Trump and the ladies: An imperfect and enduring match.



William Shatner shames Texas Dem for using his photo in campaign newsletter

'Friday the 13th' campground auctioning overnight stay -- if you can handle it

Want to see Tim Allen take his Ford GT for a spin? You're kind of alone.



Millennials are using avocados to propose.

Pirate mystery: Does this 300-year-old bone belong to 'Black Sam' Bellamy?

Positive she saw Bigfoot, she's suing California.



On Fox News:

Fox & Friends, 6 a.m. ET: The Trump administration gears up to get rid of ObamaCare. Dr. Marc Siegel breaks down the administration's alternate insurance plans.  Then, Columbine survivor and Colorado House Minority Leader Patrick Neville explains why he wants to end gun-free zones at schools. And Rep. Brad Wenstrup sounds off on 'Phase 2' of the probe into the anti-Trump dossier.

The Story with Martha MacCallum, 7 p.m. ET: Mike Huckabee sounds off on the hot topics of the day.

Tucker Carlson Tonight, 8 p.m. ET: Tucker will have new insight on the notorious MS-13 gang.

Hannity, 9 p.m. ET: Sean will be live from CPAC 2018 with special guests Mark Levin, Tomi Lahren, Sean Spicer and more!

Fox News @ Night, 11 p.m. ET: Shannon Bream has a special interview with acting ICE Director Thomas Homan.

On Fox Business:

Mornings with Maria, 6 a.m. ET: Guests include: David Malpass, U.S. Treasury undersecretary for international affairs; RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel; Paul Christopher, Wells Fargo Investment Institute head global market strategist.

Varney & Co, 9 a.m. ET: Matt Schlapp, American Conservative Union chairman; John O'Rourke: CEO of Riot Blockchain; Thomas Lee, Fundstrat Global Advisors managing partner; John McLaughlin on the latest polls from McLaughlin & Associates; Andy Wiederhorn, Fatburger CEO.

Cavuto: Coast to Coast, Noon ET: Senate candidate Bob Hugin.

On Fox News Radio:

The Fox News Rundown podcastThe FBI has come under fire for not following up on tips it received about Florida school shooting suspect Nikolas Cruz. Former special agent John Ianarelli discusses how the FBI failed to follow protocol. The new congressional district map for Pennsylvania could have national repercussions. Fox News' Eric Shawn and Chris Stirewalt explain. Plus, commentary by Fox News medical correspondent Dr. Marc Siegel.

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: Rep. Bill Shuster on gun reform and why feds should double the gas tax to pay for Trump's infrastructure plan. Major Scott Huesing tells the story behind his new book, "Echo in Ramadi: The Firsthand Story of US Marines in Iraq's Deadliest City."



1972: President Richard M. Nixon begins his historic visit to China as he and his wife, Pat, arrive in Beijing.

1965: Malcolm X is shot to death inside Harlem's Audubon Ballroom in New York by assassins identified as members of the Nation of Islam.

1947: Inventor Edwin H. Land publicly demonstrates his Polaroid Land camera, which uses self-developing film to produce a black & white photographs in 60 seconds.

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