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September 14, 2018

For once, the most dramatic moment of Thursday's Big Brother was the signoff.

At the close of the episode, which was the first time host Julie Chen had appeared on television since CBS fired her husband, former CEO Les Moonves, due to allegations of sexual misconduct, she signed off by saying, "I'm Julie Chen Moonves. Goodnight." This might seem innocuous, but it sent a clear message because it was the first time the host had ever closed the show by using Moonves as part of her last name, People reports.

People also reports that Chen's signoff made the show's production crew gasp. One source said, "Everyone knows that it’s a big 'f— you' to CBS that she did it, because she never, ever refers to herself as anything but Julie Chen."

When Moonves initially faced allegations of sexual misconduct in July, Chen released a statement on Twitter saying that she fully stands behind her husband, and she briefly mentioned this statement on an episode of The Talk. But following new allegations published on Sunday, and Moonves' ultimate firing, she sat out the next several episodes of The Talk, releasing a statement saying she was going to spend time with her family. You can watch Chen's signoff below. Brendan Morrow

10:23 a.m.

Joe Biden is already proving President Trump's "Sleepy Joe" nickname wrong.

After months full of teases, the former vice president launched his presidential campaign on Thursday with a video tweeted at an absurdly early 6:00 a.m. ET. Sure, most of America was probably still in bed, but that's just what makes Biden's timing a shrewd, agenda-setting move.

With reports already indicating that Biden would announce Thursday, it made sense that he would ditch any pretenses and get the big news out first thing. That timing meant Biden dominated news alerts and publications' morning newsletters, and that he secured a top trending spot on Twitter even as the midwest was still waking up. It also meant Biden slid right into Trump's typical morning tweet storm, which goes on to suggest the president sees him as a threat. Perhaps Biden even took a cue from Trump in that respect, seeing as what the president tweets during his early executive time often dominates the news cycle all day.

Before Biden, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) had the earliest announcement video drop at 7:02 a.m ET. He's also — though probably unrelatedly — falling into second place behind Biden in most polls. Sens. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), and Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) also shared announcement videos in the 7 a.m. hour. Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Pete Buttigieg, meanwhile, gave in-person speaking announcements in reasonable mid-afternoon time slots.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) secured some of the latest announcement times, both revealing their runs around 7 p.m. ET on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. Former congressmember Beto O'Rourke also came in pretty late, spoiling his formal morning announcement with a text to a TV station the night before. Maybe, just maybe, that could play into why his campaign has stalled in the month since. Kathryn Krawczyk

9:48 a.m.

Will the media make the same mistake with Joe Biden as it did with President Trump in 2016?

FiveThirtyEight's Nate Silver wondered as much on Thursday after Biden officially entered the 2020 race. The statistician and election expert writes that "there's a case to be made" that the media is "overlooking the obvious front-runner in Biden," instead chasing "shiny new objects like Pete Buttigieg" and ignoring "older, more working-class and more moderate Democrats."

Silver suggests media elites might have the "same blind spots for Biden that they had for Trump," meaning that although "journalists' social circles" may not be chock-full of Biden voters, "that doesn't mean they aren't out there." The fact that Biden's poll numbers have been largely unaffected by accusations of inappropriate touching also suggests "it's possible that the media is underestimating how robust Biden's support might turn out to be," Silver says.

This isn't to say that Silver sees Biden as a shoo-in for the Democratic nomination, though. He refers to Biden as an "underdog" in the field and points out a number of potential liabilities, including his age. Unfriendly media coverage could also hurt Biden, Silver believes, as his candidacy will be seen within the mainstream media as "boring and anticlimactic."

Still, Silver assesses that while Biden is not the "odds-on favorite," he is the race's front-runner, and he has clear paths to the nomination before him. Read Silver's analysis of Biden's 2020 chances at FiveThirtyEight. Brendan Morrow

9:16 a.m.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un met with Russian President Vladimir Putin on an island off Vladivostok, Russia, on Thursday for their first summit, Reuters reports. Kim arrived Wednesday in an armored train after saying during a stop en route that he hoped he and Putin could "discuss concrete questions about peace negotiations on the Korean peninsula, and our bilateral relations." Putin said he and Kim discussed the situation on the Korean Peninsula.

Kim wants to denuclearize, Putin said, but he needs "security guarantees" before he can do it. The meeting came after Kim's second summit with President Trump collapsed without a deal on denuclearization, leaving Trump's push for diplomatic progress with Pyongyang in limbo. Harold Maass

8:53 a.m.

President Trump has offered a not-so-warm welcome to his possible 2020 opponent.

After former Vice President Joe Biden officially announced his presidential campaign on Thursday, Trump wasted little time in going on the offensive, tweeting that it has long been in doubt whether Biden has the intelligence to wage a successful primary campaign.

Once again, Trump also used the nickname "Sleepy Joe" and warned Biden the 2020 race will be nasty because he'll be "dealing with people who truly have some very sick and demented ideas."

In the months leading up to Biden's announcement, Trump viewed him as his "most formidable" potential opponent, Politico reported in February. But Trump's aides have reportedly assured him that Biden isn't a threat and probably won't make it through the Democratic primaries. Trump has said publicly that he would love to run against Biden, saying in 2018 that doing so would be "a dream."

Biden in his announcement video on Thursday went directly after Trump for his response to the 2017 Charlottesville protests, saying that if Trump is re-elected, "he will forever and fundamentally alter the character of this nation." Brendan Morrow

7:49 a.m.

Former Vice President Joe Biden already racked up two Senate endorsements within an hour of entering the 2020 race.

Biden's long-awaited announcement that he is running for president in 2020 was quickly followed by an endorsement by Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.), whose Senate seat was formerly held by Biden. Coons in a statement says that Biden "doesn't just talk about making our country more just, he delivers results."

After Coons' endorsement came one from Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.), who said that Biden "has delivered results for the middle class, kept our country safe and strengthened our standing in the world."

Biden is the only 2020 Democratic candidate who has been endorsed by more than one U.S. Senator, according to a tally by FiveThirtyEight. Previously, Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) each received an endorsement from one of their Senate colleagues.

More Senate endorsements look to be on the way for Biden, with Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Thomas Carper (D-Del.) having signaled they will back him. Politico previously reported that Biden was "planning to solidify his front-runner status with a wave of high-profile organizing, fundraising and endorsement news when he enters the race."

One endorsement Biden didn't receive on Thursday, however, was that of former President Barack Obama. A statement from Obama's spokesperson praises Biden's "knowledge, insight, and judmgent" but stops short of endorsing him. CNN's Jeff Zeleny reports Obama has no immediate plans to endorse any candidate, as he wants them to "make their cases directly to the voters." Brendan Morrow

7:23 a.m.

Joe Biden kicked off his presidential campaign on Thursday as the clear frontrunner not only in the Democratic field but also the general election, according to Politico/Morning Consult polling. In a head-to-head contest with President Trump, Biden draws 42 percent to Trump's 34 percent, an 8-percentage point lead that puts Trump in a much worse position than former President Barack Obama when he was running for re-election in 2012. Morning Consult conducted the poll April 19-21 among 1992 registered voters; the poll has a ±2-point margin of error.

Biden is ahead of closest Democratic rival Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), 30 percent to 24 percent, in Morning Consult's weekly tracking polls. Biden and Sanders are followed by South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg (9 percent), California Sen. Kamala Harris (8 percent), Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren (7 percent), and Beto O'Rourke (6 percent). The tracking poll covers April 15-21, is based on 14,336 interviews with Democratic primary voters, and has a margin of error of ±1 percentage point.

Biden's coalition is older, more racially diverse, and more moderate than Sanders voters, Morning Consult found. Biden just edges out Sanders in favorability ratings, though his net favorability dropped 5 points from January, a period in which he was accused of inappropriate handsiness. Peter Weber

6:39 a.m.

Former Vice President Joe Biden announced in a video Thursday morning that he's making a third bid for president. Unlike in 1988 and 2008, though, he starts out as one of the frontrunners in a diverse field of 19 other Democrats. In a conference call with donors on Wednesday, Biden stressed the importance of notching strong fundraising numbers in the first 24 hours of his campaign, Politico reports. But in his launch video, Biden steered away from the prosaic, vowing to protect the core values and ideals that America stands for from President Trump, centering his pitch on Charlottesville, Virginia,

Biden, 76, starts out with strong name recognition, support from organized labor and other Democratic constituencies, and strong ties to former President Barack Obama, who is not endorsing anyone in the Democratic primary. He is expected to officially kick off his campaign at a Pittsburgh union hall on Monday. Peter Weber

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