FOX NEWS FIRST: Comey's new scrutiny; Mystery illness afflicts Americans in China; Rudy: Kim 'begged' for summit

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Developing now, Thursday, June 7, 2018

  • Fired FBI Director James Comey faces new scrutiny after a Justice Department watchdog reportedly blasted his handling of the Hillary Clinton email probe
  • President Trump's June 12 summit with Kim Jong Un is back on because Trump’s cancellation forced the North Korean dictator to 'beg' for the meeting, Rudy Giuliani reportedly says
  • A mystery illness similar to one in Havana, Cuba, has afflicted U.S. personal in China, prompting their evacuation
  • ‘Full Frontal’ host Samantha Bee apologizes to viewers for using the c-word to insult Ivanka Trump in her first show since the controversy erupted last week
  • Carrie Underwood makes history and Blake Shelton takes the top honor at the CMT Awards on Wednesday night

THE LEAD STORY - COMEY'S LEADERSHIP UNDER THE MICROSCOPE: A media report that the Justice Department's watchdog has prepared a draft assessment that chastises James Comey for defying authority is putting the former FBI boss' leadership style under the microscope ... Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz has been exploring the DOJ's and FBI's actions during the 2016 presidential campaign, including whether Comey exceeded his authority in July 2016 when he publicly discussed the Hillary Clinton email investigation and recommended against charges. That decision angered Democrats because the responsibility for the criminal case ultimately rested with his boss at the time, former Attorney General Loretta Lynch.

Comey has since explained that Lynch's infamous June 2016 Phoenix tarmac meeting with former President Bill Clinton during the probe, as well as other non-public and unconfirmed intelligence that may have suggested Lynch would short-circuit the investigation, led him to go public with the FBI's findings that Hillary Clinton had been "extremely careless." A source cited by ABC News claimed the report by the DOJ watchdog specifically called Comey "insubordinate," with much of the criticism centering on the way he handled the reopening of the Clinton email probe in the days leading up to Election Day in 2016.

'ON HIS HANDS AND KNEES': North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un "begged" for the summit with President Trump to go on after Trump canceled it last month, Rudy Giuliani reportedly said ... Speaking in Tel Aviv, Giuliani claimed that after Trump sent a letter to Kim Jong Un calling off the June 12 talks in Singapore, Kim “got back on his hands and knees and begged for it, which is exactly the position you want to put him in.” Trump has since announced that the meeting with Kim is back on and White House press secretary Sarah Sanders announced Tuesday that it would be held at the Capella Hotel on Sentosa Island in Singapore. The former New York City mayor, who is also part of Trump’s legal team handling special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation, defended his sharp comments in an interview with the Associated Press, dismissing the notion that they could affect the mood before the historic meeting.

MYSTERY SYMPTOMS IN CHINA: The United States has evacuated several more government workers out of the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou after medical testing revealed they might have been affected by unexplained health incidents that have already hurt U.S. personnel in Cuba, the State Department said ... State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said "a number of individuals" have been brought to the U.S. They are in addition to a U.S. worker in Guangzhou who was evacuated earlier, as the Trump administration had already disclosed. The new evacuations come after the U.S. sent a medical team to Guangzhou to screen American government workers. Nauert said the screenings were being offered to "any personnel who have noted concerning symptoms or wanted baseline screening."

The China incidents have raised fears the unexplained incidents that started in Cuba in 2016 have expanded. The U.S. government has deemed those incidents "specific attacks" on American workers but hasn't publicly identified a cause or culprit. Most of the incidents were accompanied by bizarre, unexplained sounds that initially led U.S. investigators to suspect a sonic attack.

‘FULL FRONTAL’ APOLOGY: Samantha Bee opened Wednesday night’s episode of her TBS show, “Full Frontal,” by addressing the firestorm that erupted after last week’s show, in which she referred to Ivanka Trump as "a feckless c---" during a segment on immigration policy ... It was the late-night comedian’s first show since drawing the ire of advertisers, viewers and President Donald Trump -- and she told viewers that her insult directed at the first daughter “crossed a line.” "It is a word I have used on the show many times, hoping to reclaim it,” Bee said. “This time, I used it as an insult. I crossed a line. I regret it and I do apologize."

HONORING COUNTRY MUSIC'S BEST: Blake Shelton may have taken home the top honor at Wednesday night's CMT Awards, but it was Carrie Underwood that made history with her 18th win ... Underwood extended her run as the most decorated artist in the history of the fan-voted award show when she won Female Video of the Year. The singer also received a standing ovation for her performance of "Cry Pretty." Hosts Little Big Town, also winners of Group Video of the Year, kicked off the night with a spoof of the royal wedding that included Darius Rucker dressed up as Queen Elizabeth and Florida Georgia Line as Princes William and Harry. After the royal sketch, Little Big Town took the stage to perform their hit single "Summer Fever" live from Nashville's Bridgestone Arena.

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AS SEEN ON FOX NEWS

GIVE US THE REPORT, 'ROUGH EDGES' AND ALL: "I share the president's concern that the actual substance of the report has likely been written for some time. Now, you may have people trying to sand off the rough edges and make it look like the conduct was more acceptable than it should have been."  – U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., on "Outnumbered Overtime," explaining his concern that officials may be trying to weaken the Justice Department inspector general's report on the FBI's handling of Hillary Clinton email case. WATCH

#METOO CATCHES UP WITH 'SLICK WILLIE': "Bill Clinton trashed NBC News for finally asking a tough question [about Monica Lewinsky]. The rest of the media is 30 years too late." – Sean Hannity, in his opening monologue on "Hannity," arguing that President Bill Clinton benefited from the alleged "two-tiered justice system" that has allegedly stymied Republicans like Trump. WATCH

SCANDALS

RFK Jr. wants all JFK assassination docs still under wraps to go public.

Stormy Daniels sues her former lawyer, says he became 'puppet' for Trump.

Frank Miniter: Democrats' IT scandal set to explode with possible plea deal.

TRENDING

Trump wishes Muslims 'Ramadan Mubarak' at White House iftar dinner.

Man reportedly admits he intentionally contracted HIV to infect others.

Severed rattlesnake head bites Texas man, nearly kills him.

Son who wrote viral revenge obituary about his mom explains why he did it.

Original Gerber Baby meets newest Gerber Baby.

THE SWAMP

Soros push to elect progressive DAs in California fails to attract voters

It wasn't McCain joke, but subsequent silence, that cost Sadler her White House job

Scott Pruitt aide, senior counsel exit: reports.

ACROSS THE NATION

Lawsuit challenging U.S. immigration policy on family separation may proceed, judge rules.

Parkland high school monitor who saw Nikolas Cruz before shooting is barred from grounds.

Hawaii's Kim vows to rebuild from volcano with help of FEMA, as scientists say the worst is yet to come.

MINDING YOUR BUSINESS

This city leads the U.S. in underwater homes | This Texas city is desperately looking for workers.

Pork producers fear being slaughtered by Mexico tariffs.

250K UPS union members teed up for massive potential strike.

Google co-founder's flying car company is taking pre-orders.

FOX NEWS OPINION

Newt Gingrich: The red wave is growing.

John Yoo: Trump has the power to pardon himself, but that could get him impeached.

Lauren DeBellis Appell: Bill Clinton thinks HE’S the victim… in the age of #MeToo -- Will he ever grow up?

HOLLYWOOD SQUARED

Kate Spade's husband Andy releases statement following her suicide, dispels misconceptions.

Trump commutes sentence of woman championed by Kim Kardashian West | Who is Alice Marie Johnson?

Chris Farley family settles lawsuit over bike name.

DID YOU HEAR ABOUT THIS?

Army prototypes new self-powering 'Iron Man' soldier suits.

Man eats 480 oysters to win World Oyster Eating Championship.

Florida's 'city of the future' is first solar-powered town in America.

STAY TUNED

On FOX News: 

FOX & Friends, 6 a.m. ET: Pete Hegseth breaks down new health care bill for veterans; additional guests include: HUD Secretary Ben Carson, Harvard law professor emeritus Alan Dershowitz, White House deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley.

The Story, 7 p.m. ET: EXCLUSIVE: Alice Marie Johnson, whose prison sentence was commuted by President Trump after her cause was championed by Kim Kardashian West, speaks out in her first bacle interview.

On FOX Business:

Mornings with Maria, 6 a.m. ET: Guests include: GOP strategist Mike Murphy; James Freeman, assistant editor of the Wall Street Journal editorial page; Reps. Sean Duffy and Tom Reed and more.

On FOX News Radio:

The FOX News Rundown podcastNewt Gingrich discusses his new book, “Trump’s America." California’s primary was closely watched Tuesday night, but Americans are still wondering what to expect from November’s midterm elections. John Cox, the Republican nominee for governor of California, talks about the biggest primary day of the year. Plus, commentary by Jessica Tarlov, senior director of research at Bustle.com and FOX News contributor.

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The Brian Kilmeade Show, 9 a.m. ET: Adam Geller looks at the latest polling for the midterms; Dan Abrams on the latest in the Mueller investigation and his new book, "Lincoln's Last Trial"; Howard Buffett on Congress' struggle to agree on an immigration bill.

#OnThisDay

2008: Hillary Rodham Clinton suspends her campaign for the presidency and endorses Barack Obama.

1998: In a crime that shocks the nation, James Byrd Jr., a 49-year-old black man, is hooked by a chain to a pickup truck and dragged to his death in Jasper, Texas.

1993: Ground is broken for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland.

FOX News First is compiled by FOX News' Bryan Robinson. Thank you for joining us! Enjoy your day! We'll see you in your inbox first thing Friday morning.