Trump accuses Dems of creating 'phony crime'; Dems at crossroads on impeachment

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Fox News exclusive: Trump accuses Dems of creating a 'phony crime,' calls Mueller investigation a 'treason' and 'high crime' 
Following former Special Counsel Robert Mueller's testimony on Capitol Hill on Wednesday, President Trump accused Democrats of creating a "phony crime" by alleging he committed obstruction of justice in the Russia investigation. "I didn't do it. They create a phony crime," Trump said during an exclusive interview Thursday night with Sean Hannity. "And then, they say, 'He obstructed.' They said there was no collusion but 'He obstructed,' and there has never been anything like this ever in this country." During the interview, Trump reiterated his desire to "investigate the investigators" over the origins of the Russia probe and said Attorney General William Barr would be "looking into it." Though Mueller's probe did not reach a conclusion of whether Trump committed a crime, the president is no fan of the investigation, calling it a high crime, treason and a "disgrace to our country." Click on the video above and watch the interview.

Dems at crossroads on Trump impeachment push; Pelosi to meet with AOC as she struggles to bridge party divide
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Thursday warned congressional Democrats who support impeachment proceedings against President Trump not to “disparage” colleagues who don't, a source familiar with the conversation told Fox News. Pelosi's guidance came on the heels of former Special Counsel Robert Mueller's rocky testimony, which left in doubt the future of the effort to oust Trump. Pelosi, for her part, mostly has resisted impeachment pressure from the start. In recent weeks, the lawmaker from San Francisco has been trying to tamp down the infighting in the caucus between far-left and more moderate elements of the party. As part of that effort, she is set to meet Friday with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y. (The freshman lawmaker's chief of staff is among the Hill figures who've been antagonizing centrist Democrats.)

However, Pelosi still suspects Trump has been compromised by Russia. She told a "Tucker Carlson Tonight" producer that she wonders what Putin has on Trump "politically, financially, or personally."

House approves Trump-backed budget and debt limit package
House lawmakers on Thursday approved a budget and debt deal that President Trump had endorsed, although most Republicans voted against the package. While not funding the government, the measure would stave off another government shutdown by permitting the Treasury to borrow freely to pay the government’s bills and solidify recent budget gains for military and domestic programs. The measure would tackle two big items on Washington’s agenda: increasing the debt limit through 2021, thus averting a default on U.S. payments, and setting overall spending limits to prevent $125 billion in automatic spending cuts from hitting military and domestic programs, with 10 percent cuts beginning in January.

Ocasio-Cortez supports 'decolonization process' of Puerto Rico after governor's resignation
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., expressed support for the "decolonization process" of Puerto Rico following the announced resignation of its embattled governor, Ricardo Rosselló. In an Instagram livestream on Thursday night, Ocasio-Cortez took questions from her followers. The first asked how she felt about what's happening in Puerto Rico. Ocasio-Cortez, who is of Puerto Rican descent, suggested that the U.S. commonwealth become independent. "I'm really proud of everyone that's out there, but of course there's a lot of work to be done," Ocasio-Cortez said. "This is just the beginning of a decolonization process, a process of self-determination where the people of Puerto Rico begin to start taking their own self-governance into their own hands."

Frat boys could face federal charges after posing with guns at Emmitt Till memorial
Three fraternity brothers at the University of Mississippi have been suspended — and are possibly facing federal charges — for taking a photo in front of a bullet-riddled sign honoring slain civil rights icon Emmett Till while holding a shotgun and AR-15 semi-automatic rifle. “The photo is on Instagram with hundreds of ‘likes,’ and no one said a thing,” says a complaint filed with the UM Office of Student Conduct. The Mississippi Center for Investigative Reporting, which is a member of the ProPublica Local Reporting Network, reviewed the complaint and obtained a copy of the photo in question, which was taken earlier this year. Kappa Alpha Order officials reportedly suspended the three fraternity brothers on Wednesday after the photo was brought to their attention by the Center for Investigative Reporting.

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SOME PARTING WORDS

Tucker Carlson calls for someone to be held accountable for lies told in the Russia investigation.

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