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Lawmakers reach ‘agreement in principle’ in border security talks, with $1.3B for wall

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Lawmakers reach 'agreement in principle' in border security talks, with $1.3B for wall

Congressional negotiators revealed Monday evening that they’ve reached “an agreement in principle” on border security funding that includes $1.3 billion for President Trump’s long-promised wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, much less than the $5.7 billion the White House has requested.

When asked if they had an agreement that President Trump would approve, Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., the chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, told reporters: “We think so. We hope so.” Rep. Nita Lowey, D-N.Y., the chair of the House Appropriations Committee, declined to give details of the deal but said a final text could be released by Wednesday.

Lawmakers have until 11:59 p.m. Friday to get the agreement through both houses of Congress and signed by Trump before several Cabinet-level departments shut down and hundreds of thousands of federal workers are furloughed in what would be the second partial government shutdown this year.

The administration had dangled the possibility that Trump would declare a national emergency and divert money from the federal budget for wall construction, but that move would certainly be challenged in Congress as well as in the courts.

TRUMP HOLDS RALLY IN TEXAS AMID BORDER WALL DEBATE

Talks almost collapsed over the weekend after Democrats pushed to reduce funding for detention beds to curb what they see as unnecessarily harsh enforcement by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). A House Democratic aide told The Associated Press that Republicans already had agreed to funding cuts that would require ICE to ramp down the number of detention beds to a range of 34,000-38,500 by the end of the year. ICE currently detains about 49,000 immigrants on average per day.

But a proposal to cap at 16,500 the number of detainees caught in areas away from the border — a limit Democrats say is aimed at preventing overreach by the agency — ran into its own Republican wall.

Shelby told reporters Monday night that the bed issue had been worked out, but declined to give details. “We think it’s going to work,” he said. “We had some hard negotiations.”

Sources told Fox News that the agreement called for a little more than 40,000 ICE beds, a cut of approximately 18 percent from current levels.

According to ICE figures, 66 percent of the nearly 159,000 immigrants it reported detaining last year were previously convicted of crimes. In 2016 under President Obama, around 110,000 immigrants were detained and 86 percent had criminal records.

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At the White House on Monday afternoon, Trump softened his rhetoric on the wall but ratcheted it up when alluding to the detention beds issue.

“We can call it anything. We’ll call it barriers, we’ll call it whatever they want,” the president said. “But now it turns out not only don’t they want to give us money for a wall, they don’t want to give us the space to detain murderers, criminals, drug dealers, human smugglers.”

Fox News’ Chad Pergram and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Top Congressional Democrats call for Mueller to testify publicly

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Top Congressional Democrats call for Mueller to testify publicly

Special Counsel Robert Mueller arrives at his office in Washington, U.S., April 15, 2019. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The top Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate on Thursday called on Special Counsel Robert Mueller to testify publicly about his investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election and whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer criticized Attorney General William Barr for writing what they called a “slanted” summary letter and for planning a press conference before the expected release of the report detailing the probe’s findings on Thursday.

“We believe the only way to begin restoring public trust in the handling of the Special Counsel’s investigation is for Special Counsel Mueller himself to provide public testimony in the House and Senate as soon as possible,” Pelosi and Schumer said in a statement.

(This story has been refiled to correct the sequence of events of press conference and report.)

Reporting by Makini Brice; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama

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Left will continue to ‘believe in Russia collusion’ even after Mueller report release, Byron York says

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Left will continue to 'believe in Russia collusion' even after Mueller report release, Byron York says

The Russia collusion narrative is unlikely to go away even after the Robert Mueller report is released later today, Washington Examiner chief political correspondent Byron York predicts.

“A lot of Democrats have invested the last two years of their life in believing that there was collusion between Russia to fix the 2016 election. Don’t think they gonna give it up just because of this,” York told “Fox and Friends”.

“A lot of Democrats have invested the last two years of their life in believing that there was collusion between Russia to fix the 2016 election. Don’t think they gonna give it up just because of this.”

— Byron York

The prediction comes as Washington, D.C. is bracing for the release of the Mueller report that according to Attorney General William Barr didn’t establish collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

IN MUELLER REPORT’S RELEASE, TRUMP LOOKS FOR VINDICATION, BUT NEW FIGHTS LOOM

York pointed out that after Barr outlined the report’s conclusions in a letter and quoted Mueller stating that the evidence didn’t establish a conspiracy or coordination between Russia and the Trump campaign, many Democrats began doubling-down on the collusion charges.

“Immediately people on the left said maybe he couldn’t prove a criminal conspiracy but maybe there was some other sort of conspiracy. Or maybe he couldn’t prove to beyond a reasonable doubt but maybe there is evidence that the rest of us can believe,” York said.

“I really think we have already seen and they already tipped their hands that they are going to continue to believe in collusion.”

“I really think we have already seen and they already tipped their hands that they are going to continue to believe in collusion.”

— Byron York

On the obstruction of justice charges, York says those opposing President Trump will have even more to talk about after the report release as Mueller himself didn’t reach a conclusion about obstruction charges.

“If the Barr summary is pretty accurate, Mueller did not reach a conclusion about obstruction. That’s a question right there. He is a prosecutor. He has all the evidence. Why didn’t he reach some sort of conclusion?” he said.

FOX NEWS POLL: TRUMP POPULARITY HOLDING STEADY AFTER MUELLER SUMMARY RELEASE

“There will be a lot of ammunition, we know that already for Trump’s critics who say that firing James Comey or the Lester Holt interview or something else was proof of obstruction right there in front of our eyes. So I don’t think that argument is going to go away at all.”

Lastly, even if the Mueller report doesn’t find wrongdoing by Trump, it’s unlikely to end the talk of impeachment by Democrats even as the 2020 election nears.

“If you believed in impeachment before the Mueller report, why would you stop believing in it now?,” York said, pointing that there’s a conflict within the Democratic Party on how to proceed with this.

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“You have a lot of the leadership like Nancy Pelosi wanting to move on, these are the more senior people wanting to move on, wanting to focus on the legislative agenda,” he continued.

“But you are going to have the investigative committees, the judiciary committee, the intelligence committee investigating this stuff all the way until the next election.”

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Fox Nation takes you behind the scenes of Bernie Sander’s Fox News town hall

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Bernie Sanders' plans will cost $20G per taxpayer, blow hole in budget, nonpartisan group's president says

2020 Democratic presidential frontrunner Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt.,  told voters and Fox News viewers why they should vote him into the White House in a special town hall event Monday night.

Sanders spent an hour answering questions from potential voters and Fox News hosts Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum, before thanking the audience and viewers.

WATCH: FOX NATION’S BEHIND THE SCENES LOOK AT BERNIE SANDERS’ TOWN HALL

The senator defended his wealth, outlined his health care plan, and critiqued President Trump in what was the most watched town hall event so-far this election season.

But that wasn’t the whole story…

HOW BERNIE WENT FROM SOCIALIST GADFLY TO FRONTRUNNER

Fox Nation took a behind the scenes look at Monday’s Town Hall as Fox News crews worked tirelessly setting up the event and reaching out to the local community about the important issues that Sanders needed to address.

The crew even dealt with a weather situation that threatened the event.

“Due to the weather conditions in the area they’re worried about a power cut from the local utility,” Roger Germinder, Coordinator Operations and Engineering for Fox News revealed in the Fox Nation special.

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To see how the Town Hall was put together, how the anchors prepared and more go to FoxNation.com.

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