FOX NEWS FIRST: Shutdown pressure mounts as workers again prepare to go without pay, Trump weighs options

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Developing now, Friday, Jan. 25, 2019

TRUMP MULLS THE NATIONAL EMERGENCY OPTION: President Trump is considering the option of declaring a national emergency to force the construction of his border wall and the partial government shutdown, a White House adviser told Fox News ... In an interview with Laura Ingraham on "The Ingraham Angle" Thursday night, Mercedes Schlapp, the White House director of strategic communications, said it is clear Congress will not come up with a solution to effectively address the illegal entry at the border and that the president is “seriously considering other options,” which include declaring a national emergency.

The White House has reportedly begun drafting a proclamation to declare the emergency and found the funds to construct the barrier. The move – all but certain to draw a legal fight -- could, in theory, allow the president to circumvent Congress and end the budget stalemate. Trump has said he wants $5.7 billion for the project.

News of Trump's possible national emergency declaration comes as the Senate on Thursday rejected dueling Democratic and GOP proposals to end the ongoing partial government shutdown. The impasse, now entering its 35th day, is the longest in U.S. history, and approximately 800,000 federal workers on Friday will miss another paycheck.

After the bills failed in the Senate, White House signaled that a "large down payment" on border wall funding would be enough to end the shutdown. They even suggested that Trump would request less than $5.7 billion for the wall. But House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who has rejected any kind of funding for a wall, dismissed the proposal as a nonstarter.

Pelosi has canceled Friday session of Congress and sent lawmakers home for a “three-day weekend,” drawing outrage from House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy. Still, the pressure on both parties will continue to mount as federal workers continue to go without pay.


TRUMP ATTEMPTS TO CLARIFY ROSS' REMARKS: Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross sparked a firestorm Thursday when he suggested federal workers needing assistance for food during the partial government shutdown should take out a loan ... In an interview on CNBC, Ross, one of the richest people in Trump's Cabinet, was asked to comment on reports that some of the federal workers currently not receiving paychecks are going to homeless shelters to get food.

"Well, I know they are and I don't really quite understand why," he said. "The obligations that they would undertake, say borrowing from a bank or a credit union, are in effect federally guaranteed. So the 30 days of pay that some people will be out — there's no real reason why they shouldn't be able to get a loan against it."

Ross' comments were immediately criticized as insensitive. Trump attempted to clarify the remarks by telling reporters, "Local people know who they are when they go for groceries and everything else,” the president told reporters. “I think what Wilbur was trying to say is that they will work along. I know banks are working along.”

Trump was alluding to several banks helping customers who are struggling financially as a result of the shutdown.

JARRETT: EVIDENCE OF FBI, DOJ MISCONDUCT AGAINST TRUMP IS CLEAR - According to testimony in newly confirmed congressional transcripts, the chances of securing a 2016 surveillance warrant for Trump campaign aide Carter Page were only "50/50" without the controversial and discredited anti-Trump "dossier" ... The newly uncovered testimony, Fox News legal analyst Gregg Jarrett says, proves that FBI and Justice Department officials abused their power in obtaining warrants and moving forward with an investigation of President Trump, conducted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

In an op-ed on, Jarrett writes: "The plain truth is that the spying on Page should never have occurred. Information gathered by the spying was eventually turned over to Mueller, who is investigating allegations that the Trump campaign -- or perhaps Trump himself -- may have worked with Russia to help Trump win the presidential election."

DEMOCRATS FRET OVER VENEZUELA: Venezuela is in political chaos after opposition leader Juan Guaido temporarily assumed presidential powers in a bid to unseat dictator Nicolas Maduro, whose powerful loyalists went on the offensive Thursday in support of the embattled leader ...  President Trump on Wednesday announced the United States officially recognizes Guaidó as the country's interim president, escalating tension with Maduro. Guaido has disappeared from view since being sworn in before tens of thousands of cheering supporters to uphold the constitution and rid Venezuela of Maduro's dictatorship, and his whereabouts remained shrouded in mystery.

U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, a Vermont independent and self-described Democratic socialist, acknowledged Thursday that the "economy is a disaster" in Venezuela -- but he cautioned against U.S. involvement in that county's affairs and condemned what he called "inappropriate" past interventions. Meanwhile, far-left Minnesota Democratic freshman Rep. Ilhan Omar tweeted Thursday, without evidence, that President Trump has personally engaged in "efforts to install a far right opposition [that] will only incite violence and further destabilize the region" and that "a US backed coup in Venezuela is not a solution to the dire issues they face."


NO WINNERS IN SHUTDOWN FIGHT - "I don't really care anymore about whose winning, whose fault it is, because if you ask regular people, they don't care whose fault it is, either. It no longer matters which political person's gonna win, because no one's gonna win, honestly." – Tyrus, Fox Nation co-host, on "Outnumbered," reflecting on the standoff between President Trump and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi over the government shutdown and who will be blamed by the American public. WATCH

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On Fox Nation:

In case you missed it: "No Interruption with Tomi Lahren: 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: Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch, on travel expenses for political leaders; Tony Katz, a radio talk show host; Brian Kilmeade, previewing his Fox News town hall special, "Battle at the Border," from a diner in Texas; Lee Smith, senior fellow at the Hudson Institute; Dan Bongino, former Secret Service agent and host of "The Dan Bongino Show"; Robert Wolf, former chairman and CEO of UBS Americas, on how Democrats can defeat Trump; Diamond & Silk, Fox Nation hosts, talk about Dem 2020 hopefuls getting cozy with Al Sharpton.

Your World with Neil Cavuto, 4 p.m. ET: U.S. Reps. Ben McAdams, D-Utah and Jeff Van Drew, D-N.J.

The Story with Martha MacCallum, 7 p.m. ET: Actor Dean Cain; Wendy Osefo, a Democratic Party strategist; Penny Nance, CEO and president of Concerned Women for America.

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: Adena Friedman, president and CEO of Nasdaq; Matt Murray, editor in chief of the Wall Street Journal; Bill Bowder, CEO of Hermitage Capital.

Countdown to the Closing Bell with Liz Claman, 3 p.m. ET: Stephan Paternot, co-founder and CEO at Slated Inc.

On Fox News Radio:

The Fox News Rundown podcast: Chad Pergram, Fox News senior producer for Capitol Hill, discusses the latest developments in the partial government shutdown. Attorney Frank D’Amico discusses his lawsuit against the NFL over a controversial call in the New Orleans Saints-Los Angeles Rams NFC Championship Game. Don't miss the good news with Fox News' Tonya J. Powers. Plus, commentary by Brad Blakeman, former adviser to former President George W. Bush.

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: The latest on the shutdown impasse with U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, and U.S. Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas; Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick on the need for border security reform; Fox News' Shannon Bream and Martha MacCallum take on the top headlines of the day. Actor Gary Sinise on his latest initiative to support the troops.

Benson & Harf, 6 p.m. ET: Special guests include: Josh Kraushaar, politics editor at National Journal; Lanhee J. Chen, David and Diane Steffy, research fellow at the Hoover Institution and director of domestic policy studies; Jessica Tarlov, Fox News contributor.

On Fox News Weekend:

Cavuto Live, Saturday, 10 a.m. ET: Ryan Krill, Cape May Brewing Company CEO, on how the partial government shutdown is hurting brewers; U.S. Reps Andy Biggs, R-Ariz. and Dan Kildee, D-Mich., on how to reopen the government; Frank D’Amico Jr., the attorney representing New Orleans Saints fans suing the NFL over last weekend’s NFC Championship Game.

Fox News Sunday, Sunday, 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. ET: Guests include: Jens Stoltenberg, secretary general of NATO; U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va.

"Battle at the Border," Sunday, 8 p.m. ET: Brian Kilmeade hosts a special Fox News town hall in San Antonio, Texas, on illegal immigration and border security.

Life, Liberty & Levin, Sunday, 10 p.m. ET: Mark sits down with attorney and author Sidney Powell to dissect the Mueller investigation into President Trump.

1971: Charles Manson and three women followers are convicted in Los Angeles of murder and conspiracy in the 1969 slayings of seven people, including actress Sharon Tate.
1961: President John F. Kennedy holds the first presidential news conference to be carried live on radio and television.
1915: America's first official transcontinental telephone call takes place as Alexander Graham Bell, who is in New York, speaks to his former assistant, Thomas Watson, who is in San Francisco, over a line set up by American Telephone & Telegraph.

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