FOX NEWS FIRST: New questions in Parkland massacre response; Hicks resignation among Trump White House changes

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Developing now, Thursday, March 1, 2018

  • White House shakeup: Presidential adviser Hope Hicks announces plans to resign; multiple aides reportedly lose intel access 
  • Attorney General Jeff Sessions defends assigning an Obama-appointee to investigate FISA abuse allegations, despite criticism from President Trump
  • EXCLUSIVE: Deputies responding to the Parkland, Fla., shooting massacre were thwarted in attempts to rush in and neutralize suspect Nikolas Cruz, sources tell Fox News
  • Justice Department says Oakland, Calif., mayor may face obstruction-of-justice charges after warning residents about an imminent ICE raid

THE LEAD STORY - A WHITE HOUSE REVOLVING DOOR: White House communications director Hope Hicks, one of the president's longest-serving and most loyal advisers, said Wednesday she is resigning from the administration to explore new opportunities ... The announcement came the day after she testified for nine hours before the House Intelligence Committee as part of its Russia investigation. Hicks acknowledged to the House intelligence panel that she occasionally told "white lies" for Trump but has not lied about anything relevant to the Russia investigation. An administration source told Fox News that Trump did not think Hicks' "white lies" comments were a good idea and spoke to her about them Tuesday night. However, the source added, contrary to other reports, Trump did not berate Hicks.

Hicks mostly avoided being in the headlines during her time with Trump. She found herself in the spotlight during the scandal over White House Staff Secretary Rob Porter’s past domestic abuse allegations. At the time, Hicks had been dating Porter, who has also resigned. Still, sources say, Hicks had been planning her departure before the Porter controversy surfaced.

Hicks' resignation comes as more than 30 aides to Trump reportedly have been stripped of access to top secret intelligence and downgraded to lower-level interim security clearances. Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, was among them. Fox News' Ed Henry reports that sources say the changes are a result of White House Chief of Staff John Kelly trying to consolidate power in the administration.

SESSIONS FEELS TRUMP'S WRATH OVER 'OBAMA GUY':  Attorney General Jeff Sessions is defending tapping Obama-appointed Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz to investigate government surveillance abuse allegations ... "We have initiated the appropriate process that will ensure complaints against this Department will be fully and fairly acted upon if necessary. As long as I am the Attorney General, I will continue to discharge my duties with integrity and honor, and this Department will continue to do its work in a fair and impartial manner according to the law and Constitution." Sessions found himself President Trump's political crosshairs Wednesdays when the Trump wondered over Twitter why an "Obama guy" was assigned to handle the FISA abuse investigation. Horowitz for months has been investigating the FBI and DOJ’s actions related to the probe of Hillary Clinton’s private email use while secretary of state.

EXCLUSIVE - NEW QUESTIONS ABOUT RESPONSE TO PARKLAND MASSACRE: A commanding officer on scene of the Feb. 14 Florida shooting massacre apparently ordered some of the critical initial responders to “stage” and set up a “perimeter” outside the school, instead of immediately allowing officers to rush in to neutralize the suspect, Nikolas Cruz, Fox News has learned ...  "It's atrocious,” a law enforcement source who was on the scene told Fox News. “If deputies were staging it could have cost lives.” The law enforcement source said responding deputies and officers called to an active shooting scene are trained to immediately “go, go, go” toward the direction of the shooter. “Every second is another life,” the source said. The Broward County Sheriff’s Office policy on active shooters indicates responding deputies may enter the building to preserve life without permission. That remains the priority until various objectives are met, such as the shooter being detained.

OAKLAND MAYOR'S TIP MAY LEAD TO OBSTRUCTION CHARGE: The Department of Justice is looking into whether Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf obstructed justice by warning Northern California residents of an impending raid by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) ... The agency’s acting director, Thomas Homan, told “Fox & Friends” that the DOJ is “reviewing” whether Schaaf broke any laws by telling her constituents ICE would be raiding the area in order to arrest people violating federal immigration laws. Schaaf, a Democrat and admitted member of "The Resistance," posted the warning to Twitter on Saturday, writing that “multiple credible sources” told her the immigration agency was “preparing to conduct an operation in the Bay Area, including Oakland, starting as soon as” Sunday. ICE arrested more than 150 people in the San Francisco Bay Area following Schaaf’s warning. Homan in a statement said that 864 illegal immigrants and public safety threats “remain at large in the community” and blamed Schaaf for their ability to dodge arrest.

AS SEEN ON FOX NEWS

'WE HAD A CIVIL WAR OVER THIS': "The Constitution and the Supreme Court are quite clear, immigration law is the sole preserve of the federal government."  – John Yoo, on "Tucker Carlson Tonight" sounding off on the mayor of Oakland, Calif., warning illegal immigrants about a pending ICE raid. WATCH

BIAS AGAINST HOPE: "They cut her up like muggers." – Geraldo Rivera, on "Hannity," ripping the media's treatment of longtime Trump aide, Hope Hicks. WATCH

THE SWAMP

Hillary Clinton accuses Trump of 'surrender' over Russian election interference.

Trump faces rumblings of GOP primary challenge, as he rolls out 2020 team.

Some Dems disavow mega-donor amid probe of male escort’s death.

MAINSTREAM MEDIA MADNESS

ABC News silent after more than 30,000 calls over 'View' star Joy Behar's 'anti-Christian bigotry.'

NBC News sends misleading notice on Russian compromise of election systems.

Katie Couric slams her time at Yahoo: It 'was not fulfilling.'

ACROSS THE NATION

Multiple bodies found within minutes in Port St. Lucie, Fla.; cops say deaths connected.

Heritage report: Returning jihadis from West belong in criminal justice system, not counseling.

Red Sox ask Boston to change Yawkey Way's name back to Jersey Street, in nod to racial inclusion.

MINDING YOUR BUSINESS

Dow loses 381 points  as stocks shed early gains | Why March could be better for the markets.

IRS unveils tax calculator: Does your W-4 need to be updated?

Trump demeanor a Koch donor network topic of concern.


FOX NEWS OPINION

Judge Andrew Napolitano: In defense of the right to keep and bear arms.

Starnes: NRA members tell Democrats: Hands off our guns and our meatballs.

Liz Peek: Trump is ramping up for a 2020 run (but Democrats STILL don't get it).

HOLLYWOOD SQUARED

Kevin Smith forced to defend Chris Pratt after actor offered prayers for recovery.

Kelly Ripa's quip about Ryan Seacrest's shoes taken by some as subtle dig about sex harassment accusation.

Kristen Wiig reportedly in early talks for 'Wonder Woman 2' villain role.

DID YOU HEAR ABOUT THIS?

Women are marrying trees to help save them.

Big game hunter resigns from VP position at private club after backlash over trophy photos.

'Unprecedented' Native American burial site discovered in Gulf of Mexico off Florida.

STAY TUNED

On Fox News:

Fox & Friends, 6 a.m. ET: Sen. Pat Toomey discusses Trump's bipartisan meeting on gun safety; NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch sounds off; a mother whose daughter was killed by MS-13 gang speaks out; Todd Piro is having breakfast with 'Friends' in Bowling Green, Ky..

The Story with Martha MacCallum, 7 p.m. ET: Olympic gymnast Jordyn Wieber details her sex abuse allegations against disgraced national team doctor Larry Nassar.

Fox News @ Night, 11 p.m. ET: Attorney General Jeff Sessions talks to Shannon Bream in an exclusive interview!

On Fox Business:

Mornings with Maria, 6 a.m. ET: Guests include: Rep. Marsha Blackburn; country music star Craig Morgan on his new reality TV show 'Morgan Family Strong'; Kellyanne Conway.

Varney & Co., 9 a.m. ET: House Majority Whip Steve Scalise; Sen. John Kennedy.

Cavuto: Coast to Coast, Noon ET: Sen. John Thune.

On Fox News Radio:

The Fox News Rundown podcastEfforts to crack down on illegal immigrants in a sanctuary state have unleashed a battle between federal and local officials, as an Oakland mayor's warning of an ICE raid last weekend showed. Fox Correspondent Claudia Cowan discusses. President Trump once again criticized Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Wednesday after he revealed the Justice Department’s inspector general will investigate alleged government surveillance abuses. Former U.S. Rep. Jason Chaffetz weighs in on the ongoing investigation. Plus, commentary by Judge Andrew Napolitano.

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: Amb. John Bolton on Iran's new base in Syria; Marie Harf and Chris Wallace on Hope Hicks's resignation; Rep. Adam Kinzinger on the ongoing gun debate following the Parkland massacre.

#OnThisDay

1961: President John F. Kennedy signs an executive order establishing the Peace Corps.

1932: Charles A. Lindbergh Jr., the 20-month-old son of Charles and Anne Lindbergh, is kidnapped from the family home near Hopewell, N.J. (Remains identified as those of the child would be found the following May.)

1893: Inventor Nikola Tesla first publicly demonstrates radio during a meeting of the National Electric Light Association in St. Louis by transmitting electromagnetic energy without wires.

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.