President Donald Trump hugs Kanye West during a meeting Thursday in the Oval Office. Credit: Oliver Contreras/Pool/Getty Images
"The Most Bullied Person" in the World: Melania Trump's inspiration behind fighting cyberbullying
Michelle Obama Continues to Make Girls a Priority: Former first lady launches Global Girls Alliance
It's Trump-Ye Summit Day and Kid Rock Was Also at the White House: Kanye West is there for a working lunch, Kid Rock for a signing
What the White House Is Talking About: President Donald Trump will sign two acts,and then deliver remarks at the Interagency Task Force to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons meeting.
What the White House Press Corps Is Talking About: But who are we kidding ... we're pretty much focused on Trump's White House sit-down with Kanye West (who goes by "Ye" now). And another day, another schedule without a White House press briefing.
The Khashoggi Mystery Deepens: There is a lot to take in with this horrible story of the disappearance of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, who entered the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul more than a week ago and never came out. It's now even more complicated, with talk of FBI involvement, and Trump's comments that he's going to get to the bottom of it, and Jared Kushner's friendship with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. The Washington Post is reporting the prince organized a ruse to lure Khashoggi back to Saudi Arabia. And The New York Times has a piece taking a closer look at Kushner's relationship with bin Salman. Saudi Arabia has repeatedly said that Khashoggi left the consulate on the same day he arrived.
Aftermath of Hurricane Michael: Our hearts go out to the people in Florida and Georgia waking up today to the news that their homes and lives might be devastated by the hurricane. This photo gallery is, ugh.
Our Daily Melania: The teaser clips for ABC News' "20/20" Melania Trump special keep coming, and today's was about bullying. The first lady says, "I could say I'm the most bullied person" in the world. She's talking about why she chose to do her Be Best campaign and why she is focusing on cyberbullying as part of that -- sort of a twist to talk about her own bullying experiences. She's not getting a ton of sympathy, ironically, on social media.
She says that she hasn't trusted everyone who works for her husband in the West Wing, and when you govern, "You always need to watch your back." I guess she's been watching Trump's because she said, "Well, some people, they don't work there anymore."
I have a lot of thoughts about the whole interview -- I'm thinking about writing a longer piece for the weekend. I will keep you posted.
Fox News and Rally Ratings: Donald Trump called into Fox News on air twice in the span of several hours -- Wednesday night he spoke with Shannon Bream, and this morning he did "Fox & Friends" via phone for almost an hour. It's interesting, especially in light of the recent position Fox has taken not to air Trump's rallies, which it had been doing. According to Politico, Fox isn't all that interested in them anymore because their airings have caused a dip in prime-time ratings.
Michelle Obama Continues to Make Girls A Priority: In a CNN op-ed today, Michelle Obama announced her new initiative, the Global Girls Alliance. She picked today because it is officially International Day of the Girl.
And in a "Today" show appearance this morning, she reiterated her "when they go low, we go high" slogan still stands, even though former Attorney General Eric Holder changed it to "when they go low, we kick them." She also talked about her friendship with George W. Bush, which is adorable. "I didn't realize at the time that anybody noticed what we were doing," Obama said, discussing Bush handing her a cough drop at John McCain's funeral. "He is my partner in crime at every major thing where all the formers gather. … I love him to death."
Olivia Nuzzi Had a Really Weird Day: So basically the President called New York magazine writer Olivia Nuzzi into the Oval Office in an attempt to convince her the story she was working on -- chief of staff John Kelly's contentious relationship with Trump -- wasn't a thing. He talked to her for about 30 minutes. And Vice President Mike Pence was also there. Oh, and Mike Pompeo. And Sarah Sanders. And Kelly himself, who told Nuzzi the french fries at the White House were the best in the world. The whole thing was like the vivid dreams I've been having every night on this anti-malaria medication that I've had to take for Africa -- except it was real and it happened to Nuzzi.
Dress Like the (Former) First Lady: I thought that fringe looked familiar. Michelle Obama has worn the white wrap dress with belt and fringe bottom that she wore on the "Today" show before -- I'm pretty sure it's the same one she wore in May for the United State of Women conference. Right? Take a look: The top two images are from May, and the bottom two are from this morning. Also, yes, I know I'm a weird savant of this sort of stuff. Try not to judge.
What Washington Is Talking About: A bipartisan group of senators, including top members of the Foreign Relations Committee, sent a letter to Trump asking for an investigation into the disappearance of Washington Post contributing columnist Jamal Khashoggi; Chief Justice John Roberts said he's transferred judicial misconduct complaints against Justice Brett Kavanaugh to the Judicial Council of the 10th US Circuit Court of Appeals for review; and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy is expected to introduce legislation this week to fund a $23.4 billion border wall.
What America Is Talking About: At least two have been killed and more than 350,000 are without power in the Florida Panhandle after Hurricane Michael's landfall; the Dow had its third worst drop in history Wednesday, falling nearly 832 points, and in Georgia, voting rights groups are speaking out against more than 53,000 voter registration applications that are on hold. Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp, a Republican, is running for governor against Democrat Stacey Abrams, who accused Kemp in a statement of "maliciously wielding the power of his office to suppress the vote for political gain and silence the voices of thousands of eligible voters," per The Atlanta Journal Constitution.
Poll of the Day: Most Americans agree that openness to people outside the United States is a good thing. A Pew poll out this week found 68% believe openness to people from all over the world is essential to who we are as a nation, while 26% believe America is too open and risks losing its identity as a nation.
Trump-Ye Summit: Kanye West met with Trump today in the Oval Office, and it went perhaps exactly how you expected it would. West wore his redesigned red "MAGA" hat to the meeting and again referred to it as a super hero cape, and spoke for about 10 rambling minutes.
He talked about the 13th Amendment, which abolished slavery, the plane he thinks the President should actually fly in, and being in a family he said doesn't have a lot of male energy.
"Let's stop worrying about the future, all we have is today," West said. "Trump is on his hero's journey right now. He might not have thought he'd have a crazy mother-f***r like (supporting him)."
West said of his own comments, "You are tasting a fine wine. It has complex notes to it."
"I tell you what, that was pretty impressive," Trump said after West spoke. "That was quite something."
He said West "can speak for me any time he wants. He's a smart cookie. He gets it" and that West "could very well be" a presidential candidate. "Only after 2024," West added.
West said his comments were "from the soul. I just channeled it" and said the Oval Office had "good energy."
West was scheduled to have a working lunch Trump, Jim Brown, Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump to discuss topics such as urban revitalization, workforce training and potential future clemencies. The lunch menu is caprese salad with balsamic glaze as an appetizer and roasted chicken with fingerling potatoes and sautéed asparagus for the main course, per the White House.
Credit: Oliver Contreras/Pool/Getty Images
Trump Says He's Serious About Criminal Justice Reform: Trump said Alice Johnson, the woman whose sentence he commuted after meeting with Kim Kardashian West, is "such a great person, such a great case. I'd like to find a lot of people like Alice Johnson. And there are a lot of people that are in a situation like that. And we are actively looking for those situations," according to the Washington Examiner.
When asked on "Fox & Friends" this morning if criminal justice reform critic Attorney General Jeff Sessions would stand in the way on the issue, Trump said, "If he doesn't (support criminal justice refrom), then he gets overruled by me 'cause I make the decisions, he doesn't."
Trump also said on "Fox & Friends" that he was open to bringing Kanye West to campaign with him and that what the rapper wants "more than anything" is prison reform.
"You have many people like Mrs. Johnson that are in jail for another 35 years on a charge that frankly, everything's serious, but you know you don't get life in prison because you're talking over a telephone," Trump said.
T.I. Talks How "Ye Vs. the People" Was Made: T.I. told Forbes he bumped into West in a hotel lobby this spring, and they agreed to work together on what ultimately became their song, "Ye Vs. the People." In the days between their hotel meeting and recording, West wrote his "dragon energy" tweet in support of Trump, and T.I. ended up talking to him for hours about politics before they recorded.
"I was like, 'Man, I can't just go in here and talk about music, I can't just go in here and do a song and shut up … I have a civic duty,'" T.I. said. "So we sat down and after we had the tour (of the studio), he sat us down, and he said, 'Okay, so I have some things I could play you.' And I said, 'Yes, I would love to hear them, but first let me speak to you.' "
That conversation turned into the song. T.I. also said when West was asked when America was great, "His thing is the boom of the industrial era. I'm like, 'Bro, you know you're black, right? You know what we were doing during the boom of the industrial era? "
T.I. said yes -- West is serious about running for president in 2024.
Kid Rock Was Also at the White House Today: He was there for the signing of the Music Modernization Act, which updates compensation for songwriters and musicians to get paid for their work and gives copyright protections to producers and engineers. Kid Rock was spotted by reporters entering the White House this morning, and one asked if he thought Trump should fire Attorney General Jeff Sessions. His response was, "Fire you."
The signing also was to include the Beach Boys' Michael Love, John Rich of Big & Rich, and Recording Academy President and CEO Neil Portnow.
You may remember Kid Rock visited the White House back in 2017, with Sarah Palin and Ted Nugent. Later that year he teased he was considering running for Senate in his home state of Michigan, but it turned out he was just trolling us.
Credit: Mark Wilson/Getty Images
Swift Doesn't Come Up in Blackburn-Bredesen Debate: Wednesday night was the final Senate debate in Tennessee between Republican Rep. Marsha Blackburn and former Democratic Gov. Phil Bredesen, and Taylor Swift's backing of Bredesen didn't come up. What did come up, however, was the phrase "Tennessee values," which Blackburn used in a closing statement. "I'm going to take Tennessee values to Washington, D.C., to represent you," she said. Swift used the phrase in her Instagram caption backing Democratic candidates. ("These are not MY Tennessee values," she wrote, after listing off Blackburn's votes against equal pay for women, the Reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act and opposition to same sex marriage.)
Credit: via C-SPAN
Matthew Shepard Will Be Interred at the National Cathedral: Matthew Shepard, whose killing in 1998 in near Laramie, Wyoming, brought attention to violence people face for their sexual orientation, will be interred at the National Cathedral in Washington on October 26. His parents were worried any final resting place for their son's remains could be desecrated, but they told The New York Times the cathedral would be "the perfect, appropriate place."
The Episcopalian cathedral has hosted funerals and memorial services for US presidents since 1893 and most recently hosted Sen. John McCain's funeral. Shepard was a former altar boy in the Episcopal Church, and the Rev. V. Gene Robinson, the first openly gay bishop in the church, will help preside over the ceremony.
"His death was a wound on our nation," Mariann Edgar Budde, the bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington, told the Times. "We are doing our part to bring light out of that darkness and healing to those who have been so often hurt, and sometimes hurt in the name of the church."
Street Art Sighting: These posters of Khashoggi were spotted this week on a police barricade in front of the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, where the journalist reportedly was last seen. They say, "We Will Not Leave Without Jamal Khashoggi."