TOP OF THE MORNING
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Developing now, Thursday, Oct. 19, 2017:
- Gold Star families caught in the middle of liberals’ war on Trump
- Ellen DeGeneres fails to get key answers in Las Vegas guard interview
- University of Florida braces for mass protests over white nationalist’s speech
- Former President Obama returns to campaign trail for Dems
- Fox News exclusive: North Korea escapee tells her story
THE LEAD STORY: Gold Star families have become ammunition in the political war between Democrats and President Trump … Earlier this week, Trump sparked outrage among Democrats and many in the mainstream media when he said former President Obama and past presidents didn’t always call the families of soldiers who died while serving the country. Trump then doubled-down on his allegations by pointing out that Obama apparently did not call now-White House Chief of Staff John Kelly after his son was killed in Afghanistan in 2010. The controversy escalated when Democratic Rep. Frederica Wilson alleged that Trump told the widow of Army Sgt. La David Johnson during a phone call that “he knew what he signed up for” – a claim the president said was fabricated. (Rep. Wilson, it should be noted, is no friend of veterans, according to her voting record.) The debate over the commander-in-chief as consoler-in-chief has become the Trump hot topic of the week. From CNN to the Washington Post to the New York Times, mainstream media outlets have recruited Gold Star widows and parents to mostly criticize Trump.
ELLEN’S ‘GET’ GOES NOWHERE: Ellen DeGeneres scored a big “get” when the Mandalay Bay security guard who was shot and wounded during the Oct. 1 Las Vegas massacre agreed to sit down for a national interview. However, answers to key questions proved to be elusive … DeGeneres failed to pin Jesus Campos down on the constantly changing timeline of the worst mass shooting in U.S. history. Too bad Campos didn’t agree to sit down with a real journalist. Expect the conspiracy theories to continue. (Police still have not been able to find a motive.)
UNWELCOME FREE SPEECH: The University of Florida is bracing for mass protests and the Sunshine State is in a state of emergency ahead of a scheduled speech today by white nationalist leader Richard Spencer … Florida Gov. Rick Scott declared the state of emergency Monday, warning “that the threat of potential emergency is imminent,” and that recent events involving Spencer often led to “civil unrest.” Spencer often called a founder of the “alt-right” movement, attended the infamous white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va., in August, where three people were killed.
OBAMA’S BACK: Former President Barack Obama is scheduled to stump today for Democratic gubernatorial candidates in New Jersey and Virginia as they prepare for next month’s elections … Some critics say Obama has never truly gone away since leaving the White House. He has publicly weighed in on President Trump’s moves on ObamaCare and DACA. (And Trump tends to blast him in remarks about ObamaCare, North Korea, and Iran.) Unlike more low-key appearances earlier this year, Obama’s events today won’t be his only stops. He’s planning more fundraising and campaigning in preparation for the 2018 midterm elections.
FOX NEWS EXCLUSIVE – A NORTH KOREAN’S STORY OF SURVIVAL: When Grace Jo walks along the leafy paths of Montgomery College in Rockville, Md., she is indistinguishable from any other American college student … But the 26-year-old’s astounding journey took her from the gulags of North Korea’s brutal dictatorship – and the very edge of starvation – to a new, unimaginable life in the United States. “America is the greatest country in the world,” Grace told Fox News in advance of today’s forum at the George W. Bush Institute in New York City, called “The Spirit of Liberty: At Home, In the World.” Grace is a recipient of the North Korean Freedom Scholarship program run by the Bush Institute.
Tune in to Fox News at 9 a.m. ET for live coverage of remarks by former President George W. Bush at “The Spirit of Liberty” forum.
ABOUT LAST NIGHT
NFL COMMISSIONER – OR NAG? “[Roger Goodell] acted like a parent who says to his child you really ought to eat your vegetables, but I’m not going to make you. And, if you’d rather eat ice cream, go ahead because there’s no consequences.” – Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, on “The Story with Martha MacCallum,” weighing in on NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell opting not to make NFL players stand during the national anthem. WATCH
HILLARY CAN STILL BE PRESIDENT … REALLY: “You can’t have a new election, you can’t have a new electoral college vote, all of that is fixed, there’s no way to go back. But there is this path given the way the 25th Amendment works that it could actually work.” – Lawrence Lessig, Harvard Law professor, on “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” detailing a scenario in which Hillary Clinton could be installed as president of the United States. WATCH
MINDING YOUR BUSINESS
Senate poised for crucial vote related to tax reform.
Dow closes above 23,000 as IBM surges.
Stock market crash inevitable, financial historian says.
NEW IN FOX NEWS OPINION
Gregg Jarrett: The Clinton cover-up, brought to you by the same guys who are investigating Trump.
Judge Andrew Napolitano: President Trump, ObamaCare and the big picture.
Mitch McConnell, where are you? Maybe the Senate should stick around and get its work done.
Chelsea Handler’s Netflix talk show to end after Season 2.
Pussycat Dolls deny ‘prostitution ring’ and ‘abuse’ claims.
Jessica Chastain: Hollywood is ‘an industry rife with racism, sexism and homophobia.’
DID YOU HEAR ABOUT THIS?
PHOTO: Granny bags gator while on hunt with son, grandchildren.
Burger King goes after bullying in strange new ad.
Google Maps removes cupcake calorie-counting feature after harsh backlash.
On Fox News:
Fox & Friends, 6 a.m. ET: Rep. Marsha Blackburn explains what weakened the DEA’s ability to go after drug distributors at the height of the opioid epidemic.
Your World with Neil Cavuto, 4 p.m. ET: Jack Welch, former GE CEO, and Bernie Marcus, Home Depot co-founder, reflect on the 30th anniversary of 1987 stock market crash; House Majority Whip Steve Scalise sounds off on what happens if Trump’s tax cut plan does not pass in Congress.
On Fox Business:
Mornings with Maria, 6 a.m. ET: David Stockman, former Reagan budget director, and Nelson Griggs, president of Nasdaq, give the lowdown on a key budget measure that would help Republicans pass tax legislation without Democratic support
Varney & Company, 9 a.m. ET: Drew Greenblatt, Marlin Steel CEO, sounds off on how Trump’s tax reform plan would impact his business.
On Fox News Radio:
The Brian Kilmeade Show, 9 a.m. ET to Noon ET: House Ways and Means Committee Chair Kevin Brady talks tax reform and Purdue President Mitch Daniels addresses the scandal rocking the NCAA.
1987: The Dow plunges 508 points in what becomes known as “Black Monday.”
1982: Automaker John Z. DeLorean is arrested in Los Angeles, accused of conspiring to sell $24 million in cocaine to salvage his business.
1953: The Ray Bradbury novel “Fahrenheit 451,” is first published by Ballantine Books.
Thank you for joining us on Fox News First! Enjoy your Thursday, and we’ll see you in your inbox first thing Friday morning.