FOX NEWS FIRST: School shooting survivor refuses to stick to CNN 'script'; Trump to speak at CPAC

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Developing now, Friday, Feb. 23, 2018

  • A Parkland, Fla., massacre survivor tells Fox News he pulled out of a CNN town hall because producers rewrote his question and told him to 'stick to the script'
  • Outrage is growing after reports that a deputy never entered the Parkland, Fla., school where last week's shooting took place
  • Russia Special Counsel Robert Mueller indicts former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort and aide Rick Gates on tax and bank fraud charges
  • President Trump is expected to address CPAC on Friday
  • TUNE IN: 'Life, Liberty & Levin' hosted by Mark Levin premieres on Fox News this Sunday at 10 p.m. ET.

THE LEAD STORY - 'STICK TO THE SCRIPT': A Florida student says he chose not to participate in CNN's town hall debate on gun violence Wednesday because network producers rewrote his question ... Colton Haab, a junior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where 17 people were slain Feb. 14, told "Tucker Carlson Tonight" he did not attend the event when he realized it would be a "total waste of time." "They had taken what I had wrote and what I had briefed on and talked about, and they actually wrote the question for me," Haab said. "Originally, I had thought that it was going to be more of my own question and my own say. And then it turned out to be more of just a script. And [the producer] had actually said that over the phone, that I needed to stick to the script." 

CNN denies that it scripted questions for any of the participants at the town hall, which was attended by U.S. Sens. Marco Rubio and Bill Nelson, both of Florida, and National Rifle Association spokeswoman Dana Loesch.

'SICK TO MY STOMACH': Police are reportedly guarding the home of a deputy who was on patrol at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., after it was revealed he never entered the school when the Feb. 14 massacre took place ... Deputy Scot Peterson, of the Broward County Sheriff’s Office, resigned Thursday after video surveillance showed he never entered the school, even though he "clearly" knew there was a shooting taking place, officials said. He was stationed on the school’s campus when a suspect identified by authorities as Nikolas Cruz opened fire with an AR-15 rifle, killing 17 people. Sheriff Scott Israel said during a news conference Thursday that video showed Peterson took up a position but "never went in." The sheriff said he believes Peterson remained outside the building for roughly four minutes, while the shooting in total lasted around six minutes. Israel said the officer never fired his weapon.

A union official said Peterson thought he did a "good job" in his response to the shooting. Sheriff Israel disagreed, telling reporters he was "devastated. Sick to my stomach. There are no words." The revelation about the school deputy's failure to act came as President Trump floated the possibility of paying teachers a "bonus” to carry concealed firearms, stressing both the importance of school security and the strengthening of some gun laws in wake of the Parkland tragedy

MUELLER CASTS WIDE NET: Special Counsel Robert Mueller filed a 32-count indictment Thursday, hitting former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and aide Rick Gates with news charges of tax evasion and bank fraud ... Manafort is specifically charged with five counts related to filing false income tax returns and four counts of failure to report foreign bank and financial accounts. Gates is accused of 11 counts related to filing false income tax returns and three counts of failure to report foreign bank and financial accounts. Both men are accused of nine counts of bank fraud and conspiracy to commit bank fraud. The new indictment comes a week after Mueller filed charges against 13 Russians, accusing them of a vast conspiracy to undermine the U.S. presidential election.

TRUMP AT CPAC: President Trump is expected to address the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) for the second straight year on Friday ... While he was fresh off his inauguration and greeted as a conquering hero at last year's gathering, expect the president to use CPAC 2018 to highlight the accomplishments of his first year in office, attack the "fake news" of his detractors in the mainstream media and perhaps slam Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russia probe, Hillary Clinton and former President Obama. Trump may also address the gun control debate sparked anew by the school shooting in Parkland, Fla. Tune in to Fox News at 10 am ET to watch live coverage of President Trump's address at CPAC.

NEW SHOW: 'LIFE, LIBERTY & LEVIN':  Mark Levin makes his Fox News Channel hosting debut with the premiere of "Life, Liberty & Levin" this Sunday at 10 p.m. ET ...  The popular nationally syndicated radio host's program will explore the fundamental values and principles undergirding American society, culture, politics, and current events, and their relevance to the nation’s future and everyday lives of citizens. "Life, Liberty & Levin" will feature in-depth, long-form, thought-provoking interviews. On Sunday, Levin will talk to economist and syndicated columnist Walter E. Williams.



COLUMBINE'S LESSONS STILL NOT LEARNED: "I've heard 'it's never going to happen here, it's not going to happen here,' but guess what? It's happening everywhere, and it happens every month. So prepare for it, hire somebody to protect your children and let them go to school that way." – Grant Whitus, a former SWAT team leader who was the first officer to enter Columbine High School during the 1999 mass shooting, on "Your World with Neil Cavuto," arguing that any school district that doesn't have armed security will be "setting themselves up for a lawsuit."  WATCH

DEMS FIRING BLANKS: "The Democrats seem to want to ban bad guys and good guys from having weapons. I don't understand why we would ban good guys." –  Jesse Watters, on "The Five," arguing the GOP has been the "party of ideas" on how to prevent mass shootings, while Democrats have not. WATCH



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Ousted Ford executive Raj Nair to lose $10M in bonuses, keep retirement benefits and health care.

Feds want 'Pharma Bro' Martin Shkreli’s millions.

Ford F-150 wins top truck, Tesla is best American brand in Consumer Reports rankings.

After Florida massacre, bank ends NRA-logo credit card, rental car firm ends NRA member discount.


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On Fox News:

Fox & Friends, 6 a.m. ET: The Rev. Franklin Graham reflects on his life and death of his father, the Rev. Billy Graham; Secretary of Energy Rick Perry previews his CPAC speech; and a look at some of Consumer Reports' top cars.

Tucker Carlson Tonight, 8 p.m. ET: Ying Ma, author of "Chinese Girl in the Ghetto," on why China is the real threat to the United States.

Hannity, 9 p.m. ET: Judge Jeanine Pirro and Tomi Lahren break down President Trump's speech at CPAC.

The Ingraham Angle, 10 p.m. ET: Michelle Malkin sounds off on the latest in the gun debate in wake of the tragedy in Parkland, Fla.

Fox News @ Night, 11 p.m. ET: A special interview with Rick Harrison of "Pawn Stars."

On Fox Business:

Mornings with Maria, 6 a.m. ET: Guests include: Patrick Byrne, CEO; House Majority Whip Steve Scalise; Glenn Youngkin, Carlyle co-CEO; U.S Olympian skier Torin Yater-Wallace.

Varney & Co, 9 a.m. ET: Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto; Mike Bless, Century Aluminum CEO.

On Fox News Radio:

The Fox News Rundown podcast: Fox News correspondent Matt Finn and a Florida teacher on the debate over whether arming school officials will prevent mass shootings. On Monday, the Supreme Court will hear a challenge out of Illinois to public union payments. Fox News Radio Washington correspondent Jared Halpern details both arguments in the case and why Supreme Court observers are closely watching Justice Neil Gorsuch. Plus, commentary from "Fox News Sunday" host Chris Wallace.

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


This Weekend on Fox News:

Neil Cavuto Live, Saturday, 10 a.m. ET: Guests include: Parkland student Ariana Klein on her meeting with President Trump; House GOP Conference Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers will be live from CPAC on the gun control debate. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke on the recent announcement to expand oil and gas drilling off of California's coast. And Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr reflects of the life of the Rev. Billy Graham.



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1945: During World War II, U.S. Marines on Iwo Jima capture Mount Suribachi, where they raise two American flags (the second captured in the iconic Associated Press photo).

1927: President Calvin Coolidge signs a bill creating the Federal Radio Commission, the forerunner of the Federal Communications Commission.

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

EDITOR’S NOTE: After student Colton Haab said a CNN producer insisted he use a question that the network scripted for him, the student’s father, Glenn, forwarded an email to media outlets including Fox News, claiming it served as proof. On Tuesday, Feb. 27, Glenn Haab acknowledged he omitted words in that email, but added, “There was nothing malicious behind it.”