FOX NEWS FIRST: Covington High School teens, families fight back; Shutdown fuels State of Union confusion

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Developing now, Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2019

COVINGTON TEENS, PARENTS FIGHT BACK: The Kentucky teenagers smeared by the media over a videotaped encounter with a Native American protester in Washington, D.C., last weekend are fighting back, and they reportedly could be considering taking legal action ... Nick Sandmann, the Covington Catholic High School junior at the center of the videotaped encounter, told NBC's "Today" show that he did nothing to provoke anyone and sought to calm the situation. “As far as standing there, I had every right to do so," he said in the interview. "My position is that I was not disrespectful to [Native American protester] Mr. (Nathan) Phillips. I respect him. I’d like to talk to him. I mean, in hindsight, I wish we could’ve walked away and avoided the whole thing.”

Meanwhile, some parental chaperones who witnessed the encounter say the Covington students were targeted because they were Catholics at a March for Life rally who were wearing Trump "Make American Great Again" hats. “I think they were targeted for what they stood for... which is Christianity, the right for life," parental chaperone Jill Hamlin told Fox News. "And they were singled out, and I believe, partially because of the color of their skin they were targeted.”

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Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin, in an interview with Fox News' Tucker Carlson, blasted the media for an "incredible amount of bigotry" against President Trump and his supporters. "This fit the narrative of the stereotype of bigotry that they would be able to run with," Bevin said. Maybe make the type of bigotry clearer here? Against trump fans? Against Kentuckians? Etc.

Covington Catholic High School was closed Tuesday due to multiple threats. Robert Barnes, a Los Angeles-based lawyer, has reached out to several families and offered to help them pursue a lawsuit against several media outlets, according to reports.

STATE OF CONFUSION: The state of President Trump's State of the Union Address, scheduled for next Tuesday, appears to be uncertain because of the ongoing partial government shutdown ... The White House still plans to proceed with the president’s traditional report to Congress, but the details remain up in the air after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi strongly urged President Trump to delay the speech -- or submit it in writing or from the Oval Office.

According to multiple sources, Trump intends to be at the Capitol next Tuesday to deliver his speech as scheduled. However, it remained unclear where the address would take place. Ultimately, Pelosi decides whether to open the House floor for the president's address. The White House is planning for the possibility of Trump delivering the State of the Union outside of Washington. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer did not clear up any confusion when he told Fox News' "Your World with Neil Cavuto" on Tuesday that he would have no objections to Trump delivering the address in the House of Representatives, despite Pelosi's objections.

BACK TO SCHOOL IN L.A.: Tens of thousands of Los Angeles teachers planned to return to work Wednesday after voting to ratify a deal between their union and school officials, ending a six-day strike in the nation's second-largest district ... A crowd of teachers roared its approval after the tentative deal was announced at City Hall following a 21-hour bargaining session. While all votes hadn't been counted by Tuesday night, union President Alex Caputo-Pearl said preliminary balloting showed educators overwhelmingly approving the proposal. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti called the deal a "historic agreement" that will usher in a "new day" for public education in the city. The agreement came as teachers in Denver voted to go on strike as soon as Monday.

HIGH COURT TAKES FIRST GUN RIGHTS CASE IN 10 YEARS: The Supreme Court on Tuesday agreed to hear a case that will have implications for the rights of the nation’s gun owners, examining the scope of the Second Amendment for the first time in nearly 10 years ... The case, known as New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. City of New York, New York, involves restrictions on gun owners’ ability to transport their licensed firearms. Three gun owners and the firearms group are challenging a New York City law that prohibits individuals from transporting an unloaded firearm that is locked in a container to a shooting range or a second home beyond city limits.

AMERICAN PRISONER - AND 'PAWN': The brother of an American man being held by the Russian government on suspicion of espionage told Fox News on Tuesday "there’s no way" his sibling is a spy. Rather, he's being used as a “pawn" ... Speaking to Fox News' Martha MacCallum on "The Story," David Whelan said he believes Paul, his brother, is being set up.

"We haven’t had any official information from the Russian government about why Paul was arrested, how he was arrested, what he received as far as what they’re alleging he did for spying,” Whelan said. Paul Whelan, 48, a Marine Corps veteran, was arrested in Moscow last month on suspicion of espionage. He reportedly possessed a flash drive that contained "state secrets." It was not immediately clear whom Whelan would be spying for, as he was born in Canada to British parents before the family moved to the U.S.; he holds British, Canadian, American and Irish passports.


THE SOUNDBITE

'COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS' - "I don’t usually give advice, but I think everyone should count your blessings. My family is tonight." – Bret Baier, on "Special Report", telling viewers how he and his family were doing after a car crash in Montana on Monday night. WATCH

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MINDING YOUR BUSINESS
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STAY TUNED

On Fox Nation:

“No Interruption with Tomi Lahren," Thursday, Jan. 24: "War Crimes" - After honorably serving their country, two American heroes now face war crime charges. Tomi sits down with their families to discuss the nightmare they are currently living, lack of evidence, and questionable motivations behind these allegations.

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On Fox News:

Fox & Friends, 6 a.m. ET: Special guests include: Tomi Lahren, Fox Nation host; Robert Barnes, in contact with Covington High School families for a possible lawsuit; Catherine Glenn Foster, president of Americans United for Life; James McDermott, Nassau County, N.Y., PBA president; Matt Walsh, columnist for the Daily Wire; Ruperto Escobar, a seventh-generation rancher, will talk about illegal immigration and the border wall debate; Sarah Sanders, White House press secretary.

Your World with Neil Cavuto, 4 p.m. ET: Special guests include: U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio.

The Story with Martha MacCallum, 7 p.m. ET: An exclusive interview with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo; Tony Dungy, Super Bowl-winning, Hall of Fame NFL coach; Jason Chaffetz, Fox News contributor and former Utah congressman; Jessica Tarlov, Fox News contributor.

Tucker Carlson Tonight, 8 p.m. ET: Tentative guests include: Dana Perino, host of "The Daily Briefing."

Hannity, 9 p.m. ET: Monica Crowley, Fox News contributor; Gregg Jarrett, Fox News legal analyst.

On Fox Business:

Mornings with Maria, 6 a.m. ET: Maria Bartiromo is live from Davos, Switzerland, at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting. Special guests include: Stephen Schwarzman, chairman, CEO and co-founder of Blackstone; Bob Dudley, BP Group chief executive; Brian Moynihan, chairman and CEO of Bank of America.

On Fox News Radio:

The Fox News Rundown podcastHow is Rudy Giuliani handling his job as President Trump’s attorney? Judge Andrew Napolitano, Fox News senior legal analyst, weighs in on this and the FBI having the ability to obtain FISA warrants. The Supreme Court has agreed to hear a New York City gun rights case that involves limits on a gun owners' ability to transport a licensed, unloaded firearms beyond the city limits. Tom King, president of the New York State Rifle and Pistol Association, and Bill Mears, Fox News' Supreme Court producer, weigh in on the case. Plus, commentary by Howard Kurtz, host of "Media Buzz" and "The Media BUZZmeter" podcast.

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

The Brian Kilmeade Show, 9 a.m. ET: Chris Mitchell, CBN News Middle East bureau chief, on the U.S. strategy in Syria; Andrew Roberts on his book, "Churchill: Walking with Destiny"; Chris Stirewalt, Fox News digital politics editor, and Brad Blakeman, former adviser to President George W. Bush on the latest in the government shutdown and its impact on Trump's upcoming State of the Union address.

The Todd Starnes Show, Noon ET: Kyle Kashuv, Parkland, Fla., student and director of High School Outreach for Turning Point USA, discusses how the media botched the Covington Catholic High School story. Plus, actor Stephen Baldwin stops by to discuss his new film, "The Least of These."

The Tom Shillue Show, 3 p.m. ET: PwC partner Mitch Roschelle and comedian Veronica Mosey join Tom Shillue to discuss the top stories of the day.

#TheFlashback
1962: Jackie Robinson is elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility. 
1932: New York Gov. Franklin D. Roosevelt announces his candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination.
1845: Congress decides all national elections would be held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November.

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 Thursday morning.