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Good morning and welcome to Fox News First. Here’s what you need to know as you start your day …
Robert Mueller on the hot seat, front and center
All eyes will be on former Special Counsel Robert Mueller when he testifies Wednesday on Capitol Hill about his investigation on Russia’s interference in the 2016 election and how he came to the findings in his report. Mueller is expected to be questioned by lawmakers for at least four hours. He is scheduled to testify publicly before the House Judiciary Committee for at least two hours and then the House Intelligence Committee another two hours. On Tuesday, the House Judiciary Committee decided to allow Aaron Zebley, Mueller’s top aide, to accompany him during his testimony, a move President Trump blasted as “unfair.”
If anyone is looking for a “West Wing” made-for-TV moment at Mueller’s hearing, they may be disappointed. The Justice Department has told Mueller that he “must remain within the boundaries” of the public, redacted version of his report. These limitations hamstring both Democrats who are seeking to damage Trump in any way that hurts his chances at re-election in 2020 and Republicans seeking to defend the president and show that Russia investigation was a politically-motivated witch hunt. Former U.S. Rep. Trey Gowdy, now a Fox News contributor, predicted on “Hannity” Tuesday that Mueller would not stray at all from his report. He may not want to account for what he “didn’t bother” exploring in his investigation, Gowdy said.
TUNE IN: Don’t miss Fox News’ special all-day coverage of Mueller’s testimony, anchored by Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum, starting at 8 a.m. ET today.
FILE – In this May 29, 2019, file photo, Special counsel Robert Mueller speaks at the Department of Justice in Washington, about the Russia investigation. House Republicans are pledging tough questioning of special counsel Robert Mueller when he testifies before Congress this week as Democrats plan to air evidence of wrongdoing by President Donald Trump in a potentially last-ditch bid to impeach him. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)
What should Mueller be asked?
Some critics of Wednesday’s scheduled congressional hearings with Robert Mueller argue that they are a waste of time. If Mueller sticks to the parameters of his publicly released report, there will likely be no new revelations. The findings of the report will remain the same: Mueller found no evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia and did not come to a conclusion on allegations of obstruction on part of President Trump in the Russia investigation. So, what should lawmakers ask Mueller? How can they make the most out of their time?
Sean Hannity, in a warning to “feckless Republicans,” listed a series of questions for Mueller on Tuesday’s “Hannity.” Solomon Wisenberg, former Deputy Independent Counsel in the Whitewater and Monica Lewinsky investigations, has a list of 25 questions for Mueller in the Opinion section on Fox News Digital.
Big Tech in the crosshairs: DOJ opens sweeping antitrust review
In a shot across the bow of online titans like Facebook, Google and Amazon, the Justice Department announced Tuesday it has opened a wide-ranging antitrust investigation of big technology companies and whether their online platforms have hurt competition, suppressed innovation or otherwise harmed consumers. President Trump has relentlessly criticized the big tech companies by name in recent months. He and other top Republicans frequently assert that companies such as Facebook and Google are biased against him and conservative politicians.
Racial hoax? Witness says lawmaker’s ‘go back’ claim is not what it appears
The Georgia Democratic lawmaker who went viral with her claim that she was told to “go back where you came from” at a grocery store was actually the person who made the statement, a Tuesday report said, citing witnesses. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that a police report documented witness testimonials who claimed they watched the altercation between state Rep. Erica Thomas and Eric Sparkes. Thomas took to social media to claim that Sparkes berated her for using the express lane with more than 10 items. At one point in the interaction, she claimed that he told her to “go back where you came from” — a phrase that has been publicized in the media amid President Trump’s ongoing feud with the four progressive congresswomen – Democratic Reps. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts.
Sparkes admitted to calling her an expletive but denied Thomas’ other claim. Gerald Griggs, Thomas’ attorney, told the AJC that the officer’s report does not tell the entire story because the two witnesses “didn’t hear the initial argument. According to the AJC, a Publix employee told a Cobb County deputy that she witnessed Thomas “continuously tell Eric Sparkes to ‘Go back where you came from,’” not vice versa.
High school football team attends autistic boy’s birthday party when almost no one else will
High school football players in Idaho surprised a 9-year-old boy with autism by coming to his birthday party after only one classmate accepted his invitation. Video taken by Lindsay Barrus Larsen at last month’s party showed the Nampa High School players giving her son Christian a football as a gift and playing with him. Lindsay Larsen explained on Facebook in May that she passed out invitations to Christian’s class of 25 students, but only one girl responded that she would come. In another Facebook post days later, Lindsay said that her friend reached out to Nampa High School Football Coach Dan Holtry after reading the first post about Christian’s birthday party. “Before I knew it, Coach Dan was reaching out to me, asking if he could come to the party with some of his best players,” Lindsay wrote, adding that she “happily accepted” the coach’s offer. Watch the video above to find out what happened next.
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PolitiFact stands by AOC ‘parking lot’ fact-check after online mockery.
House overwhelmingly OKs resolution opposing Israel boycott in rare bipartisan vote.
Disneyland guests involved in violent viral brawl face multiple charges.
MINDING YOUR BUSINESS
‘Rocky’ star, writer Sylvester Stallone squares off over franchise stake.
These are world’s most valuable sports teams, report reveals.
Macy’s ripped for line of ‘body-shaming’ plates.
#TheFlashback: CLICK HERE to find out what happened on “This Day in History.”
SOME PARTING WORDS
Laura Ingraham explores the “culture of disrespect” as outrage grows over videos of NYPD officers being assaulted with thrown objects and buckets of water.
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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 Thursday morning.
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