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Developing now, Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2019
TRUMP WH ‘EXPLORING EVERY LEGAL OPTION’ TO RECLAIM MONEY FROM DEFUNCT CALIFORNIA HIGH-SPEED RAIL PROJECT: The Trump administration announced Tuesday that it is exploring "every legal option" to reclaim $2.5 billion in federal funds spent by California on its now-defunct high-speed rail project, and also that it intends to cancel $928 million in federal grants not yet paid for the project to link Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area.
The move was a dramatic escalation in the ongoing war of words and policy between California and the White House. California Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, declared during his State of the State address last week that he was shelving plans for the $77 billion rail project that had been championed by environmental groups, admitting that "as currently planned, [it] would cost too much and take too long."
- Alec Baldwin, Donald Trump Jr. spar over ‘SNL’ bashing the president
- Trump, Giuliani deny president tried obstructing Michael Cohen investigation
- GOP threatens retaliation against Dems probing 'ridiculous conspiracy theory' on White House-Saudi nuclear tie
TRUMP TO NOMINATE JEFF ROSEN TO REPLACE ROD ROSENSTEIN AS DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL: President Trump will nominate Jeff Rosen to replace outgoing Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, White House officials announced Tuesday, confirming previous reports and seemingly cementing the ouster of the embattled No. 2 at the Justice Department.
A graduate of Northwestern University and Harvard Law School, Rosen previously served as general counsel and senior policy adviser for the White House Office of Management and Budget (2006-2009) and as general counsel at the Department of Transportation (2003-2006), according to his online biography.
- McCabe: Rosenstein’s offer to wear wire was ‘absolutely not’ a good idea
COVINGTON HIGH STUDENT'S LEGAL TEAM SUES WASHINGTON POST: Attorneys representing a Kentucky high school student involved in a confrontation that went viral on social media last month announced Tuesday that they were suing the Washington Post for $250 million in compensatory and punitive damages.
The lawsuit, which was filed in federal court in Kentucky, accuses the Post of practicing "a modern-day form of McCarthyism" by targeting Nicholas Sandmann and "using its vast financial resources to enter the bully pulpit by publishing a series of false and defamatory print and online articles ... to smear a young boy who was in its view an acceptable casualty in their war against the president."
COOK COUNTY STATE'S ATTORNEY RECUSES HERSELF FROM JUSSIE SMOLLETT CASE: The Cook County state's attorney has recused herself from the investigation surrounding Jussie Smollett, as Chicago police continue to dig into the alleged hate crime attack the actor claims occurred last month.
State's Attorney Kim Foxx recused herself Tuesday, but it was not immediately clear why. First Assistant State's Attorney Joseph Magats will take over the case as acting state's attorney, Fox News has learned.
- WATCH: Geraldo: Jussie Smollett 'played us'
A NARRATIVE TO BE PROMOTED – "A lot of people bought into the Jussie Smollett narrative, which is that Trump supporters are stalking black people all around America seeking to beat them, seeking to harass them, and this was a perfect story. Now when a story is too perfect to be true, it usually is." – Ben Shapiro, host of the nationally syndicated radio program and podcast, “The Ben Shapiro Show,” appearing on "The Daily Briefing with Dana Perino," discussing the media's coverage of the alleged hate crime attack on actor Jussie Smollett. WATCH
Bernie Sanders' presidential candidacy will further fracture Democratic Party
Kelsey Berreth case: Patrick Frazee to stand trial for murdering Colorado mom, judge rules
103 illegal aliens arrested at Arizona border; CBP alarmed at uptick in border crossings by large groups
'My 600-lb Life' star Sean Milliken dead at 29
MINDING YOUR BUSINESS
Tax refund shocker: I owe how much?
Tesla's Elon Musk: Full self-driving technology nearly complete
Elizabeth Warren proposes universal child care, funded by wealth tax
US student-loan delinquencies surged past $166 billion last quarter
Venezuela's Maduro threatened by Cuba: Mary Anastasia O'Grady
On Fox Nation:
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On Fox News:
Fox & Friends, 6 a.m. ET: Courtney English, 7-mos. pregnant waitress; Nathan Rubin, Democratic strategist, founder, Millennial Politics, author of "Boomers To Millennials: Moving America Forward"; Joseph Pinion, New York State Young Republicans, chair Of The Conservative Color Coalition; Allison Pillinger Choi, founder of Bleedingheartconservatives.com, the Flip Side board member; Malia Fisher, youth political strategist, founder of We Are Defiant; Jillian Cardarelli, country music artist.
Your World with Neil Cavuto, 4 p.m. ET: Guest: Melissa Armo, The Stock Swoosh.
The Story with Martha MacCallum, 7 p.m. ET: Guest: Jessica Tarlov, FNC contributor.
Tucker Carlson Tonight, 8 p.m. ET: Guests: Nigel Farage, former U.K. Independence Party leader, European Parliament Member; Dr. Marc Siegel, Fox News medical analyst.
Hannity, 9 p.m. ET: Monica Crowley, Washington Examiner; Gregg Jarrett, attorney, Fox News anchor and author, "The Russia Hoax"; Tammy Bruce, Fox News contributor.
On Fox News Radio:
The Fox News Rundown podcast: "Border Wall Battle Will Hit Courts" – Sixteen states have filed lawsuits against the national emergency declaration President Trump announced last week. Jonathan Turley is a professor of public interest law at George Washington University Law School, and he explains that presidents have the right to declare emergencies and states have the right to push back. U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont has announced he is giving his progressive political ideas a second shot and running for president in 2020. FOX News Washington correspondent Rachel Sutherland and FOX Politics Editor Chris Stirewalt discuss what we saw with his first run and what we can expect to be different this time around. Plus, commentary by FOXNews.com and New York Post columnist Karol Markowicz.
The Brian Kilmeade Show, 9 a.m. ET: Guests include: Andy McCarthy, Kevin McCarthy, Kevin Brock, and Fox News' Martha MacCallum to discuss, McCabe, Mueller, 2020, and the national emergency.
1987: A bomb left by Unabomber Ted Kaczynski exploded behind a computer store in Salt Lake City, seriously injuring store owner Gary Wright.
1907: President Theodore Roosevelt signed an immigration act that excluded "idiots, imbeciles, feebleminded persons, epileptics, insane persons" from being admitted to the United States.
1792: President George Washington signed an act creating the United States Post Office Department.
Fox News First is compiled by Fox News' Bryan Robinson. Fox News' Bradford Betz contributed to this edition. Thank you for joining us! Have a good day! We'll see you in your inbox first thing Thursday morning.