FOX NEWS FIRST: White House 'bloodbath' could come with more Trump changes; Inside the Obama-Fusion GPS ties

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Developing now, Thursday, March 15, 2018

  • More Trump administration personnel could leave soon as the president continues a White House shakeup, sources tell Fox News
  • Student activists, or political pawns? Nationwide walkout over gun violence and school safety stirs debate over the protest’s authenticity
  • President Obama's 2012 campaign hired the firm behind the Trump dossier to find damaging information on Mitt Romney, a new book claims
  • Documents tie the Trump Organization to a deal to hush up a porn star who says she had an affair with President Trump, the Wall Street Journal reports
  • United Airlines faces more outrage as the death of a puppy in an overhead storage bin sparks a criminal investigation

THE LEAD STORY - POTENTIAL TRUMP WHITE HOUSE 'BLOODBATH': President Trump could be making more changes to his Cabinet this week in the wake of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's firing, multiple sources told Fox News on Wednesday evening ... The potential changes -- described by sources as a "bloodbath" -- include the departure of National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster and his replacement by John Bolton, a former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. Other departures from the administration would include Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin and Chief of Staff John Kelly. The sources have cautioned that Trump will make the ultimate decision about all staff changes. However, the departure of McMaster has been described by multiple sources as "imminent." Kelly would be replaced as chief of staff by Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney, the sources said, with Energy Secretary Rick Perry replacing Shulkin at the VA. Ray Washburne, chairman of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, would replace Perry as energy secretary.

PLAYING POLITICS WITH KIDS?: Thousands of students walked out of their classrooms Wednesday to demand action on gun violence and school safety in a wave of nationwide protests ...  The demonstrations extended from Maine to Hawaii as students remembered the victims of the Feb. 14 massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. Students around the nation left class at 10 a.m. local time for at least 17 minutes — one minute for each of the dead in the Florida shooting. However, the walkout had its critics. Some argued that anti-gun activists were using children to advance their ideological and political agendas. The Chicago Republican Party filed a complaint with Chicago Public Schools and considered suing over an anti-gun violence student walkout it called “political” and an “indoctrination.”

THE OBAMA-FUSION GPS CONNECTION: President Barack Obama’s 2012 campaign hired controversial research group Fusion GPS to dig up dirt on then-Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, a new book claims -- raising questions about Democrats’ possible long-standing ties to the group ... Fusion GPS is the opposition research firm behind the much-discredited Trump dossier, which contained "salacious" and "unverified" allegations about then-candidate Donald Trump. The dossier cited Russian sources who said Russia had information that compromised Trump. The firm was retained by Marc Elias, an attorney representing both the Hillary Clinton 2016 campaign and the Democratic National Committee. But “Russian Roulette: The Inside Story of Putin's War on America and Donald Trump’s Election," written by Yahoo’s Michael Isikoff and Mother Jones’ David Corn and published Tuesday, reports that the relationship between Democrats and Fusion goes back a lot further, to at least 2012. “In 2012, Fusion GPS was hired to do opposition research on Mitt Romney for Barack Obama’s re-election campaign,” the book claims. According to the book, the 2012 Obama campaign’s payments to the group were never publicly disclosed.

STORMY DEVELOPMENT: Documents marked “HIGHLY CONFIDENTIAL PROCEEDING” for the first time tie President Trump’s flagship holding company, the Trump Organization, to the continuing effort to silence a former adult-film actress who says she had an affair with him, the Wall Street Journal reported ... Jill A. Martin, a Trump Organization lawyer, is listed as counsel in an arbitration demand for Essential Consultants LLC, a Delaware company formed by Mr. Trump’s personal lawyer and used to pay $130,000 to Stephanie Clifford in exchange for her silence, according to Feb. 22 arbitration documents filed in Orange County, Calif. At issue is a high-profile battle between Trump’s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, and Ms. Clifford, also known as Stormy Daniels. Cohen has obtained a temporary restraining order against Ms. Clifford in the arbitration to stop her from talking about an alleged 2006 sexual encounter with Trump. Ms. Clifford has asked a judge to declare the nondisclosure agreement invalid.

UNITED IN OUTRAGE: United Airlines is facing a criminal investigation in the death of a puppy on one of its flights and questions about its track record with pets ... A French bulldog named Kokito died on a United Airlines Houston-to-New York flight after being forced into an overhead bin by a flight attendant. United Airlines said the flight attendant did not know a dog was inside the bag stored in  the overhead bin; Kokito's owner and family and passengers said the flight attendant is lying. Late Wednesday, the district attorney's office in Harris County, Texas, said a criminal investigation has been launched into the dog's death. United Airlines' recent troubles in handling pets may prove troublesome. Last year, 18 animals, mostly dogs, died while being transported on United, according to the Department of Transportation. The airline, which promotes its pet-shipping program called PetSafe, carries more animals than any of its competitors, but its animal-death rate is also the highest in the industry. Alaska Airlines, which carries only 17 percent fewer animals, had just two deaths last year.

AS SEEN ON FOX NEWS

SCHIFF THE 'SHILL': "It is Schiff who is a propagandist for the Russian government."–  "Life, Liberty & Levin" host Mark Levin on "Hannity," slamming House Intelligence Committee ranking member Adam Schiff, D-Calif, as a "shill for the Russian government."  WATCH

'DESPICABLE GRANDSTANDING': "[If critics] still want to pick at this scab and not allow a woman with an amazing record of public service to be able to serve, that really chaps my hide." – Dana Perino, on "The Five," defending President Trump's choice of Gina Haspel to lead the CIA. WATCH

THE SWAMP

DNC chair says Pa. election outcome is clear, moves on to key Senate race.

Haley calls for UN action over 'atrocious' poisoning of ex-Russian spy in U.K.

Conservative McDaniel switches races in Mississippi’s double-barreled Senate contest.

REMEMBERING STEPHEN HAWKING

Michael Guillen: Stephen Hawking led a brilliant life of contradictions.

VIDEO: Stephen Hawking in his own words.

Lawmaker's tweet after Hawking's death draws outrage.

ACROSS THE NATION

Couple fleeing from ICE agents die in crash.

Man who claimed he cremated Natalee Holloway killed while attempting kidnapping, police say.

Federal judge dismisses lawsuit filed by 'clock boy's' father.

Navy F/A-18 jet crash off Key West leaves 2 aviators dead.

MINDING YOUR BUSINESS

Dodd-Frank rollback wins Senate approval.

Toys ‘R’ Us to sell or close all U.S. stores: Report.

Equifax exec charged with insider trading after massive data breach.

St. Patrick's Day spending to hit record $5.9 billion.

FOX NEWS OPINION

Judge Andrew Napolitano: President Trump and the freedom of speech.

Republicans need to start calling the Democrats' bluff if they want to win elections.

Peter Morici: Ten years after the financial crisis, Uncle Sam could trigger the next one.

HOLLYWOOD SQUARED

CNN slashes Anderson Cooper’s program as network hopes to make room for anti-Trump Chris Cuomo.

Katy Perry surprises 'Idol' contestant with kiss and he says he was 'uncomfortable.'

Multimillionaire Robert De Niro slams 'rich,' 'spoiled' Trump at charity event.'

DID YOU HEAR ABOUT THIS?

More than 100 years later, the 'great mystery' of the vanished USS Cyclops remains unsolved.

Baker fined for working too much.

Scientists discover 15 new planets, including 'super-Earth' that could harbor liquid water.

STAY TUNED

On Fox News:

Fox & Friends, 6 a.m. ET: A Boeing employee is here to react to President Trump's visit to Missouri plant; former DOJ official Tom Dupree provides insight as the widow of the Pulse nightclub gunman goes on trial; Dave Ramsey answers viewers' finance questions; musician Doug Leahy and his family perform live.

The Story with Martha MacCallum, 7 p.m. ET: Olympic figure skating coach Craig Maurizi on why he believes there has been a widespread cover-up of sex abuse in the sport.

Tucker Carlson Tonight, 8 p.m. ET:  Tucker takes on a lawsuit filed on behalf of illegal immigrants against the Trump administration

Fox News @ Night, 11 p.m. ET: House Intelligence Committee Chair Devin Nunes on the committee's findings in the Russia collusion investigation and Democrats' refusal to accept the report.

On Fox Business:

Mornings with Maria, 6 a.m. ET: Guests include: Wall Street Journal assistant editor James Freeman; Gen. Jack Keane; Rep. Will Hurd; Sen. David Perdue; Caroline Ghosn, founder and CEO of Levo; White House Principal Deputy Press Secretary Raj Shah.

On Fox News Radio:

The Fox News Rundown podcastThe House Intelligence Committee is shutting down its investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. But some House Democrats say there is "significant evidence" of collusion and the investigation should remain open. Fox News chief intelligence correspondent Catherine Herridge weighs in. President Trump is on the campaign trail to garner support for GOP midterm candidates. Fox News correspondent Peter Doocy has more from Missouri, where Republicans are trying to prevent a Senate Democrat from gaining a third term. Plus, commentary from 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: Allen West on Trump administration shakeups; Bill Browder on the Russian poisoning case in the U.K.; John Heubusch, executive director of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute, on Trump-Reagan comparisons; RealClearPolitics' A.B. Stoddard on the controversy over the Pennsylvania special election.

The Tom Shillue Show, 3 p.m. ET: Should Democrats dump House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi before the midterms?  former State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf joins Tom for insight!

#OnThisDay

1998: CBS' "60 Minutes" airs an interview with former White House employee Kathleen Willey, who says President Bill Clinton made unwelcome sexual advances toward her in the Oval Office in 1993, a charge denied by the president.

1985: The first internet domain name, symbolics.com, is registered by the Symbolics Computer Corp. of Massachusetts.

1937: America's first hospital blood bank is opened at Cook County Hospital in Illinois.

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.