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Kamala Harris rep denies Trump-GOP pressure forced VP into Friday’s border trip
Pressure from Republicans, including former President Trump, was not a factor in the decision by Vice President Kamala Harris to visit the El Paso, Texas, on Friday after months of avoiding the U.S.-Mexico border region amid a surge in migration, a Harris spokeswoman insisted Thursday. 

“This administration does not take their cues from Republican criticism, nor from the former president of the United States of America,” Symone Sanders, a senior adviser for Harris, told reporters. “We have said, over a number of different occasions … that she would go to the border. She has been before. She would go again. She would go when it was appropriate, when it made sense.”

Harris has been accused of avoiding the border to preserve her political future. Her recent trip to Guatemala and Mexico seemed to do her no favors and two awkward interviews after that trip made her absence from the border a national issue, they say. 

U.S. Rep. Tony Gonzales, R-Texas, recently told Fox News that former President Trump’s decision to visit the border next week put Harris in an even more challenging spot.

“We have put political pressure on her for months and months and months to show up,” he said. “You know, thankfully former President Donald Trump is coming down, and all of a sudden you put their head in a political vise, and then they start moving.” CLICK HERE FOR MORE ON OUR TOP STORY.

In other developments:
– Kamala Harris has gone 93 days without visit to border since being tapped for crisis role
– Two top Kamala Harris travel aides announce plans to leave as VP prepares for border visit
– Trump’s upcoming border visit forced VP Harris’ trip, Republicans say
– White House: ‘Appropriate time’ for Kamala Harris border visit after VP dismissed it as ‘grand gesture’
– Here’s what VP Kamala Harris has done in the 92 days she hasn’t been to the border

Surfside, Florida, mayor on building collapse: ‘A tragedy beyond any of our imaginations’
Surfside Mayor Charles Burkett warned Thursday that the “worst has yet to come” after the devastating collapse of the Champlain Towers in his South Florida town.

“We got the call at about 2 o’clock this morning and we came out and we’ve got a modern building that just collapsed. A large modern building, 12 stories, 130-unit condominium on the ocean just collapsed, it looks like there was an earthquake, it’s inexplicable and we are all scratching our heads trying to figure out what the problem is,” Burkett told Harris Faulkner on “Outnumbered.”

“We’ve got a tragedy here that’s beyond any of our imagination. We’ve got 15 families out this morning in the middle of the night, we’ve got a third or more of the building that collapsed like a pancake that I don’t even want to think about what we’d find in that area.”

Dozens of rescuers continued searching for survivors into the night Thursday, with at least one person dead and 99 other people unaccounted for. CLICK HERE FOR MORE.

In other developments:
– Biden approves federal emergency declaration after Surfside building collapse
– Miami hero bystander describes moment he found boy alive after collapse of condo
– Surfside, Florida building collapse: Miami’s pro sports teams lend helping hand to community in need
– Champlain Towers in Surfside, Florida: What to know

Biden says he won’t sign bipartisan spending deal without Democrats’ infrastructure wish list
President Biden on Thursday touted a new major bipartisan spending deal but warned he wouldn’t sign the roughly $1 trillion in roads, bridges and broadband investments unless Congress passes a separate bill on human infrastructure filled with Democratic priorities on expanding the social safety net. 

“If this (bipartisan deal) is the only one that comes to me, I’m not signing it,” Biden said at the White House. “It’s in tandem.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., have said the narrow bipartisan bill on traditional infrastructure must be paired with a sweeping new spending bill that could reach $6 trillion in order to secure the necessary votes for passage. Biden backed their approach Thursday by saying he won’t sign one into law without the other.

“I’m not just signing the bipartisan bill and forgetting about the rest that I proposed,” Biden said, noting the human infrastructure part is “equally important” to the physical infrastructure proposals.

Biden signaled both bills are needed to get support from his Democratic Party, which holds very slim majorities in the House and Senate. CLICK HERE FOR MORE.

In other developments:
– What’s in the bipartisan infrastructure deal reached by Biden, senators?
– AOC rips Senate infrastructure negotiators’ lack of diversity: ‘That’s how you get GOP on board’
– Manchin won’t commit to progressives’ infrastructure wish list putting passage in limbo
– McConnell: Biden’s ‘tale of two press conferences’ soured rare bipartisan ‘optimism’ on infrastructure

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TODAY’S MUST-READS:
– Murdaugh double murders: Former SC trooper speaks out about suspicions in 2015 cold case linked to family
– Biden’s bizarre behavior at news conference causes ‘Creepy Joe’ to trend on Twitter
– Illinois trio charged with beating, strangling police officer over traffic stop
– Suspect arrested after driving through gate onto LAX airfield as Prince Harry waited for flight to UK: reports
– US Marshals in Arkansas nab suspect in shooting of Texas police officer; girlfriend also arrested

THE LATEST FROM FOX BUSINESS:
– Microsoft enters the next generation with Windows 11
– Larry Kudlow reacts to newly unveiled bipartisan infrastructure deal
– Newly branded Aunt Jemima pancake mixes, syrups hit shelves
– Fast-food chain offers teen managers $50K to combat worker shortage
– FedEx suspended service for 1,400 freight customers

#TheFlashback: CLICK HERE to find out what happened on “This Day in History.”

SOME PARTING WORDS

Laura Ingraham on Thursday night accused the Biden administration of trying to give the U.S. military a “woke” makeover. She blasted Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, for getting defensive during a Capitol Hill hearing.

“Now yesterday, when Republican congressmen raised reasonable questions about whether it’s a good idea to expose our soldiers to anti-American propaganda in the form of this critical race theory stuff, he just ended up lashing out,” the host of Fox News’ “The Ingraham Angle” said about Milley. 

“Critical race theory is based on a lie,” she continued. “the lie that America is marred by racism in every aspect of society and therefore our entire system must be upended, and then remade.”

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Fox News First was compiled by Fox News’ Jack Durschlag. Thank you for making us your first choice in the morning! Have a great weekend, stay safe and we’ll see you in your inbox first thing Monday.

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