Good morning and welcome to Fox News First. Here’s what you need to know as you start your Friday and the weekend …
Overstock CEO resigns amid ties to Russia investigation, says he received ‘fishy orders’ from ex-FBI official Strzok
Overstock founder and CEO Patrick Byrne resigned Thursday after 20 years at the company amid his ties to a government investigation related to the 2016 election, and he made a series of controversial allegations in interviews with Fox Business and Fox News. In an interview with Fox Business’ “Varney & Co.,” Byrne said the investigation is “all about political espionage” and that he thinks “we are about to see the biggest scandal in American history.”
Then, in an interview with Fox News’ Martha MacCallum on “The Story,” he said he had helped the federal government with investigations twice in the past, including to “help them take down people on Wall Street.” However, several years after his last contact with the government, Byrne said FBI officials – whom he characterized as “the Men in Black” — reached out to him in 2016 and asked him for a “third favor.” “I was given some fishy orders and I carried them out in 2015-2016, thinking I was conducting law enforcement,” he said.
“I didn’t know who sent the orders, but I did them. Last summer, watching television and some congressional hearings, I figured out where these orders came from. They came from a guy named Peter Strzok.” Byrne also named other individuals, with MacCallum reminding him those officials or former officials worked at the FBI. Byrne did not describe specific actions he was allegedly told to take, but characterized them as “political espionage.” Click on the videos above to watch the interviews.
Federal court ruling undercuts progressive efforts to nullify Electoral College
In a major blow to state-by-state progressive efforts to effectively replace the Electoral College with a nationwide popular vote, a federal appeals court has ruled that presidential electors in the Electoral College have the absolute right to vote for presidential candidates of their choice. Prominent Democrats, including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, have slammed the Electoral College in recent weeks, calling it a racist “scam.” Democrats have increasingly sought to erase the Electoral College’s influence by promoting state laws that would force electors to back the winner of the national popular vote. Those laws were now in jeopardy as a result of the court’s ruling, legal experts said. The decision on Tuesday, however, also raised the prospect that electors could legally defect at the last minute, and decide the occupant of the White House on their own in dramatic fashion, weeks after Election Day.
Leading House Dem slams ‘Squad’ members and Trump for allegedly spreading anti-Semitism
House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., called out both his fellow Democrats, Reps. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., and Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich, and President Trump on Thursday, claiming they helped further anti-Semitism in the nation’s “political dialogue.” “The growing anti-Semitism in our political dialogue is repugnant,” Nadler said. He pointed to Trump’s comments about “disloyalty” in Jews who voted for Democrats, as well as a cartoon forwarded by the two progressive congresswomen already in the news for a failed attempt to enter Israel. Last weekend, Tlaib and Omar both shared a cartoon from an artist who came in second in Iran’s International Holocaust Cartoon contest. The cartoon displayed a Star of David in the center and appeared to show Trump trying to silence Omar. It also showed Tlaib with what appeared to be Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s hand over her mouth.
Fox News Exclusive: Contractor shares pic of another disturbing Epstein painting
Odd and often creepy details continue to surface in the aftermath of accused sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein’s suicide, giving a glimpse of the twisted extravagance that was a staple of his life — right down to the art he chose to display on his walls. The latest revelation involves a massive painting showing a young woman of indeterminate age wearing a wedding ring and cuddled up beside a roaring big cat. A photo of the artwork was taken by a contractor who worked at Epstein’s sprawling New Mexico home in 2013 and provided exclusively to Fox News. The contractor requested anonymity in order to speak freely. Click here to read the rest of the exclusive Fox News Digital feature.
‘Star Wars’ could break the Internet on Friday
The Internet may break on Friday. Why? The first ‘trailer for the first live-action “Star Wars” TV series is expected to drop – and there will be a force with it. “Star Wars: The Mandalorian,” Disney’s newest entry into the iconic sci-fi property based on past experiences just might set a new YouTube record for views. Three of the “Star Wars” movies rank in the top 20 most-watched “previews” in 24 hours, reaching more than 330 million viewers. Also, “The Mandalorian” is the flagship franchise for its new streaming service Disney+.
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Obamas placed an offer on ‘mega-expensive’ estate in Martha’s Vineyard: report.
Restore migrant DNA collection, whistleblower says.
Woman sends mom picture of her new bedroom, forgets about raunchy detail.
FOX NEWS DIGITAL SERIES: LEFT BEHIND – THE HOMELESS CRISIS
San Francisco homeless stats soar: City blames big business, residents blame officials
LA residents fed up with officials, demand change after homeless crisis spirals in city.
Portland residents, business owners want city officials to ‘fix’ homeless problem.
Seattle residents blame inefficient elected officials for homeless problem, say they’ve ‘lost faith’ in system.
MINDING YOUR BUSINESS
Trump may offer ‘tax cuts 2.0’ during 2020 campaign, says economic adviser Kudlow.
Fed’s Powell likely to pave way for second interest rate cut at Jackson Hole.
Facebook, Google & Amazon: Is it time to create a digital FCC?
#TheFlashback: CLICK HERE to find out what happened on “This Day in History.”
SOME PARTING WORDS
The “Special Report” All-Star panel breaks down President Trump’s attempts to squash the perception that the U.S. economy is slowing.
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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.
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