Trump hopes for 'great things' in Kim summit; Michael Cohen to deny direct evidence of Trump collusion

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Developing now, Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2019

TRUMP HOPES FOR 'GREAT THINGS' FROM VIETNAM SUMMIT WITH KIM: President Trump was hopeful for "great things" as he and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un were set to meet Wednesday in Hanoi, Vietnam, in a closely-watched second summit between the two leaders ... Though Trump and his administration at times tamped down expectations ahead of their planned two-day summit, the president remained optimistic about progress being made in efforts to get Kim and his rogue nation to denuclearize. Trump has praised Pyongyang for ceasing missile tests and has appeared to ease up on demanding a timeline for disarmament. He hopes that Kim, who is seeking relief from U.S. sanctions, will opt to give up his nuclear weapons program in exchange for help revitalizing his country's economy.

Trump's critics are skeptical that any real progress will be made in persuading Kim to denuclearize and believe, at worst, the president's summit with Kim will be nothing more than an elaborate, worldwide photo-op. Trump and Kim and scheduled to meet one-on-one before having a social dinner that will include Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney.

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COHEN TESTIMONY MAY OVERSHADOW TRUMP SUMMIT: Michael Cohen, President Trump's former personal lawyer and fixer, is set to testify publicly for the first time before the House Oversight Committee in a spectacle that could overshadow the president's second summit with Kim Jong Un ... According to reports, Cohen will call Trump a "racist" and a "con man"  in prepared testimony and will accuse the president of engaging in criminal activity related to a hush-money payment to former porn star Stormy Daniels while in office. He will reportedly also accuse Trump of knowing that his adviser Roger Stone was reaching out to WikiLeaks concerning the publication of stolen Democratic National Committee emails. However, Cohen will specifically assert that he lacks direct evidence of improper collusion by the Trump campaign with Russia -- a significant admission.

Cohen's testimony comes as he prepares to begin a three-year prison sentence in May after pleading guilty to lying to Congress in 2017 and committing campaign finance violations while working for Trump. He testified for nine hours behind closed doors Tuesday before the Senate Intelligence Committee and will appear in private before the House Intelligence panel on Thursday.

Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump's former lawyer, speaks to the media as he departs after testifying before a closed door hearing of the Senate Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill, Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump's former lawyer, speaks to the media as he departs after testifying before a closed door hearing of the Senate Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill, Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

NATIONAL EMERGENCY VETO  SHOWDOWN BREWS: Democrats on Tuesday pushed unprecedented legislation through the House to block President Trump's national emergency declaration to steer billions of extra dollars to the U.S.-Mexico border wall, raising the prospect that Trump might issue his first-ever veto to defeat the effort ... The vote was 245-182, with all Democrats voting yea and 13 Republicans joining them. Tuesday's vote marked the first time the House or Senate has tried to terminate a presidential declaration of a national emergency, using the provisions of the National Emergencies Act of 1976. Former Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., attempted a similar effort regarding a national emergency declared by then-President George W. Bush, but the measure never came to a vote on the House floor.

WHITE HOUSE SNUBS DEMS, 9TH CIRCUIT GETS ANOTHER TRUMP-PICKED JUDGE: The Senate on Tuesday confirmed President Trump's nominee to be a judge on the liberal 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in a party-line vote -- and, in a historic snub, the White House ignored the input of the judge's two Democratic home-state senators in the process ... The aggressive and unprecedented move to bypass the traditional "blue slip" consultation process and plow ahead with the confirmation comes as the Trump administration seeks to systematically erode left-wing dominance on the key appellate court, which Trump has called "disgraceful" and politically biased.

ALABAMA ISIS BRIDE'S LAWSUIT EXPEDITED: A hearing date reportedly has been set concerning the lawsuit from the family of the Alabama woman who wants to come back to the U.S. after having joined ISIS ... Federal Judge Reggie Walton slated the court date for Monday, March 4 after Hoda Muthana’s family requested that the case be hastened, considering her current placement at a refugee camp in Syria, according to the Associated Press. Muthana’s family launched a legal campaign against President Trump, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Attorney General William Barr after the administration said she was not an American citizen and would be prohibited from coming into the country with her young son.

THE SOUNDBITE

DEMS PLAY SPOILER WITH COHEN TESTIMONY - "For the Democrats to try to counter-program that kind of progress, to try to perhaps somehow distract him with this nonsense by a convicted felon who’s been lying to those same committees? It just goes to show you how much those Democrats really disdain Trump, but also America." – Donald Trump Jr., on "Tucker Carlson Tonight", on Democratic lawmakers scheduling former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen's testimony on the same day as the start of the Trump-Kim summit in Vietnam. WATCH

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On Fox News:

Fox & Friends, 6 a.m. ET: Fox News' Ed Henry and Daniel Hoffman, Fox News contributor, and former CIA chief of station, on the latest from the Trump-Kim summit in Vietnam; Kellyanne Conway, counselor to President Trump; U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio.

Special Report, 6 p.m. ET: Special guests include: U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio.

On Fox Business:

Mornings with Maria, 6 a.m. ET: Live coverage of President Trump's summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Varney & Co., 9 a.m. ET: Gen. Jack Keane, retired four-star general and former vice chief of staff of the U.S. Army.

Making Money with Charles Payne, 2 p.m. ET: Special guests include: Morgan Ortagus, Fox News contributor and national security and global affairs analyst.

Countdown to the Closing Bell with Liz Claman, 3 p.m. ET: Richard Haass, president of the Council on Foreign Relations

Kennedy, 9 p.m. ET: Andrew C. McCarthy, Fox News contributor and a contributing editor of National Review.

On Fox News Radio:

The Fox News Rundown podcast: "GOP Candidate Drops from N.C. New Election" - North Carolina Republican Mark Harris will not be running again following a decision by the state board to hold a new election because of ballot fraud claims. Bryan Llenas, Fox News' national correspondent, breaks down the latest developments. The "Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act," which requires doctors to provide medical care to infants born alive after a failed abortion attempt, faced much criticism from pro-choice advocates and ultimately failed in the Senate on Monday. Melissa Ohden, an abortion survivor, joins the podcast to share her story. Plus, commentary by Judge Andrew Napolitano, Fox News senior judicial analyst.

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 Trump-Kim summit and the Michael Cohen hearing will be debated with the following guests: Gen. Jack Keane, retired four-star general and former vice chief of staff of the U.S. Army; David Bossie, former deputy manager of the Trump campaign; Andrew C. McCarthy, Fox News contributor and a contributing editor of National Review.

The Todd Starnes Show, Noon ET: Todd Starnes will have live coverage of the Michael Cohen hearing and will talk to U.S. Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., about the defeat of his "Born Alive" bill in the Senate.

The Tom Shillue Show, 3 p.m. ET: Tom Shillue discusses his surprise appearance on "The Tonight Show," singing with Jimmy Fallon and Weezer! Plus, Fox Business host Kennedy discusses the top stories of the day.

#TheFlashback
1991: Operation Desert Storm comes to a conclusion as President George H.W. Bush declares that "Kuwait is liberated, Iraq's army is defeated," and announces that the allies would suspend combat operations.
1982:  Wayne Williams is found guilty of murdering two of the 28 young blacks whose bodies were found in the Atlanta area over a 22-month period. (Williams, who was also blamed for 22 other deaths, has maintained his innocence.)
1968: At the conclusion of a CBS News special report on the Vietnam War, Walter Cronkite delivers a commentary in which he says that the conflict appeared "mired in stalemate."

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