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FOX NEWS FIRST: Kavanaugh vows to continue to fight in FOX exclusive; Trump, Republicans blast Dem smear …

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Developing now, Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2018

  • In an exclusive interview with FOX News, Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh emphatically denied all the sexual misconduct allegations against him and vowed not to withdraw his name for consideration on the high court 
  • President Trump and Republican senators are throwing their full support behind Kavanaugh and have blasted Democrats for a ‘last-minute smear campaign,’ setting up a potentially explosive Senate hearing this Thursday with the judge’s first accuser, Christine Blasey Ford
  • After initial, widespread, conflicting reports, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and President Trump are scheduled to meet Thursday to discuss his role in recent controversies and possibly his future in the administration
  • President Trump will address the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday after raising hope for another summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Monday

THE LEAD STORY – FOX NEWS EXCLUSIVE: KAVANAUGH SPEAKS OUT: ‘I’VE NEVER SEXUALLY ASSAULTED ANYONE’ – Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh strongly denied accusations of sexual misconduct that have threatened to derail his confirmation in an exclusive interview with FOX News … "What I know is the truth, and the truth is I’ve never sexually assaulted anyone," Kavanaugh told Fox News’ Martha MacCallum. Kavanaugh’s wife, Ashley, said the allegations against her husband were "hard to believe." "I know Brett. I’ve known him for 17 years," she said. "He’s decent, he’s kind, he’s good. I know his heart. This is not consistent with Brett." 

California professor Christine Blasey Ford has accused Kavanaugh of covering her mouth and trying to remove her clothing at a party in the early 1980s, when both were in high school. Both are set to testify in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday.

In the interview, Kavanaugh emphatically denied Ford’s claim against him, telling MacCallum that he was a virgin through high school and for "many years after." He also told MacCallum that he would not withdraw his name from consideration over the allegations. Kavanaugh also denied a New Yorker report published Sunday night in which classmate Deborah Ramirez said he exposed himself to her while they were students at Yale, pointing out that the New York Times had said it could not corroborate her claims. In addition, the Supreme Court nominee said, claims by attorney Michael Avenatti that he and high school friend Mark Judge had plied women with drugs and alcohol at parties so other men could gang rape them were "totally false and outrageous."

TRUMP, REPUBLICANS DOUBLE-DOWN ON SUPPORT FOR KAVANAUGH: President Trump reaffirmed his support for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh in a tweet late Monday and blamed Democrats for working to destroy a “wonderful man” by casting a series of “false acquisitions" … “The Democrats are working hard to destroy a wonderful man, and a man who has the potential to be one of our greatest Supreme Court Justices ever, with an array of False Accusations the likes of which have never been seen before,” Trump tweeted. 

Trump’s tweet came after several Republican senators voiced their support for Kavanaugh and slammed what they characterized as last-minute ‘smear’ tactics by Democrats. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who delivered a nationally televised speech on the Senate floor Monday defending Kavanaugh, vowed an up-or-down vote on the nominee after the planned hearing on Thursday. In an interview on "Hannity," Sen. Lindsey Graham charged that Democrats’ complaints about "rushing" the Kavanaugh confirmation vote are "like an arsonist complaining about a fire."

Despite top Democrats’ calls to delay the hearing pending an FBI investigation, the Thursday Senate gathering with Kavanaugh and Ford still appears likely to occur.

ROD ROSENSTEIN STILL HAS A JOB – FOR NOW: President Trump is scheduled to meet with Rod Rosenstein on Thursday, the White House said, seeming to tamp down speculation that the deputy attorney general faces the prospect of an immediate firing over a damaging press report … The No. 2 Justice official, who frequently finds himself in the political crosshairs due to his role overseeing the special counsel’s Russia probe and involvement in other controversies, was the subject of numerous conflicting reports on Monday. One initial report indicated the embattled official had already quit, while sources told FOX News and other outlets that he was heading to the White House expecting to be fired — in the wake of a story claiming he suggested wearing a "wire" against Trump and invoking the 25th Amendment to remove him from office last year. 

But the White House put out a brief statement saying Rosenstein and Trump will meet Thursday when the president returns from New York.

PRESIDENT TRUMP ADDRESSING THE U.N. GENERAL ASSEMBLY: President Trump will address the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday and all eyes will be on how he addresses North Korea, as he seeks another summit with Kim Jong Un and progress in efforts to denuclearize the rogue nation and in how addresses the growing trade war with China …. On Monday, Trump and South Korean President Moon Jae-in signed a major agreement of Trump’s trade agenda. also revealed he’d meet again with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un “quite soon.” He struck a conciliatory tone one year after he used his debut at the U.N. to deride Kim as “Little Rocket Man” and threaten to “totally destroy North Korea.”

AS SEEN ON FOX NEWS

BRETT KAVANAUGH, IN HIS OWN WORDS: "I want a fair process where I can defend my integrity, and I know I’m telling the truth. I know my lifelong record and I’m not going to let false accusations drive me out of this process. I have faith in God and I have faith in the fairness of the American people."  – Judge Brett Kavanaugh, in his exclusive interview with Martha MacCallum on "The Story." WATCH

‘I KNOW BRETT’: "It’s very difficult to have these conversations with your children, which we’ve had to have. But they know Brett and they know the truth and we told them at the very beginning of this process, ‘This will be not fun sometimes. You’re going to hear things. People feel strongly and you need to know that and just remember, you know your dad.’" –  Ashley Kavanaugh, wife of Brett Kavanaugh, discussing how their two daughters are dealing with the accusations against their father in an exclusive interview on "The Story." WATCH

TRENDING

Philadelphia Flyers’ new mascot, ‘Gritty,’ sparks backlash, calls for euthanization.

Girl, 7, belts out national anthem at LA Galaxy game in viral video.

Viral video shows man trying to bathe feet in Yellowstone’s thermal hot springs: report.

THE SWAMP

Judge appears ready to dismiss Stormy Daniels lawsuit against Trump: report.

Ted Cruz heckled by protesters in DC restaurant: video.

April Freeman, Dem House candidate in Florida, dies unexpectedly.

ACROSS THE NATION

Ex-Facebook content moderator claims disturbing images gave her PTSD, sues.

Florence not done swamping the Carolinas.

Murders, violent crimes dipped in 2017, FBI says.

Judge restores protections for grizzly bears, blocking hunts.

MINDING YOUR BUSINESS

Fed expected to raise interest rates again as hiring, wages grow.

Trump tariffs: Higher prices possible for these products.

Instagram co-founders to step down.

Are companies putting your credit card data at risk?

Starbucks plans layoffs, ‘significant changes’ to company.

Will Tiger Woods’ tour championship win lure back sponsors?

America’s shale boom may have a shelf life.

Weight Watchers changes its name, shifts focus.

FOX NEWS OPINION

Jason Chaffetz: Democrats fundraise off Kavanaugh smears — is this the country we want to live in?

Liz Peek: Kavanaugh confirmation chaos — Liberals, especially liberal women, should be careful what they wish for.

Pastor Rick McDaniel: How Tiger made his comeback — and how you can do it, too.

HOLLYWOOD SQUARED

Bill Cosby prosecutor asks for five to 10 years in state prison.

PHOTO: Jada Pinkett-Smith, 64-year-old mom and teen daughter serve up ‘body goals’ in ab-revealing gym selfie.

Asia Argento says she and Anthony Bourdain cheated on each other in tearful new interview.

DID YOU HEAR ABOUT THIS?

Country’s first ‘robot sex brothel’ set to open in Texas prompts backlash.

Galileo got sneaky in bid to fend off the Inquisition.

World’s second-largest shark can jump just as high and as fast as great whites.

STAY TUNED

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On FOX News: 

FOX & Friends, 6 a.m. ET: Special guests include: Judge Andrew Napolitano; White House press secretary Sarah Sanders; and Tomi Lahren. Plus, "Dog the Bounty Hunter" takes us inside the capture of Sarah Palin’s convicted stalker. Clint Harp opens up about his new memoir, "Handcrafted."

Your World with Neil Cavuto, 4 p.m. ET: Special guest: U.S. Sen. John Kennedy, R-La. 

Special Report, 6 p.m. ET: Don’t miss Bret Baier’s must-see interview with South Korean President Moon Jae-in.

Hannity, 9 p.m. ET: Sean Hannity will be live in Washington, D.C. with the latest developments in the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation battle. Special guest: Newt Gingrich.

On FOX Business:

Mornings with Maria, 6 a.m. ET: Special guests include: House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy; U.S. Sens. David Perdue, R-Ga. and John Kennedy, R-La; Peter Navarro, director of the Office of Trade and Manufacturing Policy; Richard Boucher, former ambassador to Cyprus.

Varney & Co., 9 a.m. ET: Newt Gingrich; Kayleigh McEnany, RNC spokeswoman; Bjorn Lomborg, president of the Copenhagen Consensus Center; U.S. Rep. Tom Reed, R-N.Y.

Cavuto: Coast to Coast, Noon ET: Steve Forbes, Forbes Media chairman; Jens Stoltenberg, NATO secretary general.

The Intelligence Report, 2 p.m. ET: Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch; David Nelson, Belpointe chief strategist; Ben Stein, best-selling author and economist.

Countdown to the Closing Bell, 3 p.m. ET: John Hannah, Foundation for Defense of Democracies senior counselor; Ray Washburne, Overseas Private Investment Corporation CEO and president; John Chambers, "Connecting the Dots" author and CISCO chairman emeritus.

On FOX News Radio:

The FOX News Rundown podcast: Last week, The New York Times reported Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein suggested wearing a wire to secretly record President Trump and possibly invoking the 25th Amendment to remove him from office. Rosenstein has denied the allegations and is scheduled to have a meeting with Trump on Thursday. Jonathan Turley, George Washington University Law School professor, joins the podcast to discuss. 

After a year of turbulence, Congress announced a bill that would reauthorize the Federal Aviation Administration, aimed to fix some of the major problems plaguing airline passengers.  FOX Business Network’s Hillary Vaughn and Krystin Goodwin, FOX New Headlines 24/7 trending reporter, discuss some of the provisions of the bill and the reaction it has received from consumers. Plus, commentary by FOX News medical correspondent, Dr. Marc Siegel.

Want the FOX News Rundown sent straight to your mobile device? Subscribe through Apple PodcastsGoogle Play, and Stitcher.

The Brian Kilmeade Show, 9 a.m. ET: "Big Game" author Mark Leibovich on the latest in the Kavanaugh and Rosenstein controversies. Martha MacCallum gives her takeaway from her interview with Brett Kavanaugh and his wife. Steve Forbes on Trump tariffs, trade and the economy. Erica Keswin on her new book, "Bring Your Human to Work." Ian O’Connor on his new biography on New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick.

The Tom Shillue Show, 3 p.m. ET: Former U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., joins Tom Shillue to discuss spending accountability in Washington and the latest news of the day!

#OnThisDay

1981: Sandra Day O’Connor is sworn in as the first female justice on the Supreme Court.

1956: The first trans-Atlantic telephone cable officially goes into service with a three-way ceremonial call between New York, Ottawa and London.

1911: Ground is broken for Boston’s Fenway Park

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 Wednesday morning.

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