FOX NEWS FIRST: Trump says caravan crisis could involve 15K troops; New scandal for Fla. gov. hopeful Gillum

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Developing now, Thursday, Nov. 1, 2018

  • Loopholes that enable illegal immigrants to stay in the U.S. have caused a 'crisis' at the U.S.-Mexico border, Homeland Security officials say. Meanwhile, President Trump says he may send as many as 15,000 troops to the border to block migrant caravans from entering the country
  • Trump, at a rally in Florida, accuses the 'far-left media' of trying to sow division during his visit to Pittsburgh synagogue shooting victims
  • New ethics questions arise for Florida Democrat Andrew Gillum, running for governor, after an investigation suggests he used city funds for a private trip
  • Top secret documents, including a 'Watergate Road Map,' could help the Mueller investigation into President Trump, legal analysts say
  • The flight recorder for the Indonesian jet that crashed on Monday with 189 people aboard was recovered Thursday

THE LEAD STORY - CARAVANS, 'CATCH AND RELEASE' AND A CRISIS AT THE BORDER: The Department of Homeland Security is sounding the alarm over what it calls an “unprecedented crisis” at the border, stemming from "catch-and-release loopholes" that allow some illegal immigrants to remain in the country  -- as a migrant caravan of almost 4,000 people makes it way toward the U.S. ... “Knowledge of these loopholes has led to a dramatic transformation in the population of those seeking to enter our country illegally,” Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said in a statement Wednesday. “Whereas previously, [U.S. Customs and Border Protection] was primarily apprehending single adults, now CBP is experiencing an influx of minors and adults traveling with minors seeking to enter illegally.”

Meanwhile, President Trump warned on Wednesday that the number of U.S. troops deployed to the Mexico border in response to the approach of a caravan containing an estimated 4,000 Central American migrants could go as high as 15,000. Trump told reporters at the White House that “we’ll go up to anywhere between 10 and 15,000 military personnel on top of Border Patrol, ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) and everybody else at the border.” However, the Pentagon also said its initial estimate was for 7,000 troops at the border. - Reported by Paulina Dedaj (@PaulinaDedaj on Twitter) and Frank Miles 

TRUMP BASHES 'FAR-LEFT MEDIA': Speaking Wednesday night at a rally in Fort Myers, Fla., President Trump condemned the "far-left media" for "once again using tragedy to sow anger and division" shortly after his visit to Pittsburgh in the wake of Saturday's deadly synagogue shooting ... The crowd at Hertz Arena erupted in a chant of "CNN sucks!" as Trump paused. He then accused the media of overblowing a protest in Pittsburgh during his visit, and "doing everything in their power to play it up and push people apart." CNN host Don Lemon drew fierce criticism earlier in the day after ranting that “white men” are the biggest terror threat to the United States, adding that "there is no white-guy ban" and wondering aloud, "What do we do about that?" - Reported by Gregg Re (@gregg_re on Twitter)

NEW SCANDAL FOR FLORIDA DEM? – Florida Democrat Andrew Gillum, the Tallahassee mayor who’s running for governor,  may have broken state law by using city funds for a private round-trip flight on a developer's plane to meet campaign donors, contradicting his previous account of the flight, emails released earlier this week as part of a state ethics probe show ... The controversy marks the latest headache for Gillum, coming days after it was revealed that he had accepted pricey tickets to the Broadway musical "Hamilton" from an undercover FBI agent in the summer of 2016. Gillum has maintained he got the tickets from his brother, Marcus, and assumed his brother had paid for them.

The document releases from GOP-connected lawyer Chris Kise, who represents Gillum backer and former campaign treasurer Adam Corey, followed a subpoena by the Florida Commission on Ethics, which along with the FBI has investigated potential corruption at the highest levels of the Tallahassee city government. Gillum has not been formally identified as a target of either probe, and he has not been accused of criminal wrongdoing. - Reported by Gregg Re (@gregg_re on Twitter)

A WATERGATE 'GUIDE' FOR MUELLER: Highly secretive documents finally released Wednesday, including a draft of a would-be criminal indictment against former President Richard Nixon, could provide guidance for Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into President Trump, according to a group of legal analysts that sued to unearth the materials ...  Stephen Bates, who worked for independent counsel Ken Starr, and legal bloggers Jack Goldsmith and Benjamin Wittes won their battle to force the National Archives to unseal the so-called "Watergate Road Map" and its related documents last month in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, as they argued that the materials had significant political implications today that overrode any government interest in keeping them secret. The materials from Nixon special prosecutor Leon Jaworski are strikingly sparse and predominately factual, which could counsel Mueller against issuing long-winded legal conclusions or opinions. And the documents have largely been kept out of the public eye for decades, avoiding the political spectacle of the report released by independent counsel Ken Starr decades later, after his investigation of former President Bill Clinton.

POSSIBLE ANSWERS IN JET CRASH: Navy divers on Thursday recovered the flight recorder of the two-month-old Indonesian Lion Air jet that crashed into the sea minutes after takeoff earlier this week, killing all 189 passengers and crew members on board ... Two navy divers found the flight recorder at the bottom of the Java Sea and swam it to a ship on the surface. The bright orange device was seen on TV being placed inside a large container. The navy said the aircraft’s fuselage was also seen on the sea floor during recovery of the device, about 400 yards northwest of where the plane lost contact with air traffic personnel. - Reported by Stephen Sorace.


A MORE 'SOPHISTICATED' CARAVAN - "This is national security. This is more than illegal immigration."  – Thomas Homan, former acting ICE director, on "Outnumbered Overtime," arguing that the migrant caravans heading to the U.S.-Mexico border are highly organized and are aware of the legal loopholes the U.S. Have failed to fix. WATCH

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The FOX News Rundown podcast: With the midterm elections five days away, the governor's race in Florida continues to tighten and is becoming heated. Jeanette Nunez, running mate of Republican gubernatorial hopeful Ron DeSantis, discusses the race with FOX News Radio's Eben Brown. President Trump has asked the Pentagon to send at least 15,000 U.S. troops to the southern border in response to the approaching migrant caravan. Lucas Tomlinson, FOX News Pentagon reporter and General Jack Keane, FOX News senior strategic analyst, discuss the president's handling of the migrant caravans. Plus, commentary by Judge Andrew Napolitano.

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1973: Following the "Saturday Night Massacre," Acting Attorney General Robert H. Bork appoints Leon Jaworski to be the new Watergate special prosecutor, succeeding Archibald Cox.

1968: The Motion Picture Association of America unveils its new voluntary film rating system: G for general, M for mature (later changed to GP, then PG), R for restricted and X (later changed to NC-17) for adults only.

1952: The United States detonates the first hydrogen bomb, code-named "Ivy Mike," at Enewetak Atoll in the Marshall Islands.

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.