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October 11, 2018

While Kanye West had a ball on Thursday with President Trump in the Oval Office, bringing up everything from abolishing the 13th Amendment to why the "Make America Great Again" slogan on a hat makes him feel "like Superman," his friends and family watched in shock, People reports, and they're now worried he won't listen to them and go back on his medication.

The rapper told Trump he's been "misdiagnosed" with bipolar disorder, after earlier announcing he's "off medication." A person close to West told People his family and close friends have been urging him to start taking his medication again, "that he's not doing well, that he's not making sense. Now he's in the Oval Office, and he's doing the same rant, and that's going to validate his rants."

During a recent Saturday Night Live appearance, West dressed like a Perrier bottle, then delivered a pro-Trump rant while the credits rolled, claiming he was bullied for wearing a MAGA hat. He also recently deleted his Twitter and Instagram accounts after making controversial statements about abolishing the 13th Amendment. His wife, Kim Kardashian West, fully supports him and believes in his right to express his opinion, but "having all this backlash against Kanye is embarrassing for her and her family," the friend said. Now that he's had an audience with Trump, "no one close to him can tell him that he's sounding unhinged, because his answer is that the president of the United States doesn't think so." Catherine Garcia

4:24 p.m.

There's apparently a wide swath of cell phone users begging to be confused by a baffling array of camera lens options, and Samsung's got the market cornered.

Samsung put on a literal show on Wednesday, streaming the unveiling of its newest line of smartphones online for the world to see. The most startling new development in its line is the Galaxy Fold, a smartphone that literally folds into a tablet and back again, which would allow the user to view three apps at once, which is nothing compared to the Fold's six — yes, six — built-in cameras.

It is not, apparently, the first foldable smartphone produced, but it is expected to be the first made widely available when it hits shelves on April 26, per The Verge. And while some of the features may seem gratuitous, particularly the $1,980 price tag, Bloomberg reported that the Fold represents "a leap that rivals the category shifts not seen since smartphones took off with a broad audience more than a decade ago." For prolific amateur photographers, snap-happy tourists, and angle-working selfie lovers alike, the innovation may be welcome news. Tim O'Donnell

4:01 p.m.

A woman who left America four years ago to join ISIS won't be allowed back into the country, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Wednesday.

In 2014, Hoda Muthana left her family in Alabama to marry an ISIS fighter in Syria. Now a widow living in a refugee camp, Muthana told The Guardian earlier this week she "deeply regret[s]" her decision and asked to come back and face the American justice system. But in contrast to what a lawyer for Muthana's family claimed, Pompeo said on Tuesday that Muthana is "not a U.S. citizen and will not be admitted into the United States."

The Muthana family's lawyer countered Pompeo's statement, telling The Associated Press Muthana was born in New Jersey. Muthana was a student at the University of Alabama when she flew to the Middle East, telling her family she was going on a school trip, per CBS News. Instead, she married an ISIS fighter and had a son. "I know I've ruined my future and my son's future," she told The Guardian when asking for a chance to return.

Muthana is one of about 1,500 women and children are staying at the north Syrian refugee camp, and The Guardian says she's probably the only American. A British citizen and "ISIS bride" similarly tried to return home, but the U.K. revoked her citizenship on Tuesday, AP reports. Kathryn Krawczyk

3:56 p.m.

Former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer is apparently a new correspondent for Extra, and he's making his debut by ... chatting with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo about Bohemian Rhapsody.

That is not a Mad Libs but rather a real description of events that happened Wednesday, when Extra teased a clip from an upcoming interview with Pompeo. It's conducted by Spicer, who Extra casually dubs their "special D.C. correspondent." Spicer hit Pomepo with a hard-hitting question to start, asking what he listens to on iTunes — Pompeo named AC/DC and Toby Keith. His wife, Susan, added that he's a big fan of Queen, though, so much so that they saw Bohemian Rhapsody opening weekend.

This led to a conversation about the Oscars. President Trump may think the Academy Awards are "a sad joke," but Pompeo apparently watches them every year and will even make sure he can do so during his flight this Sunday. And what's his pick for Best Picture? While Susan mentioned that they saw A Star Is Born, the secretary of state threw his weight behind Bohemian Rhapsody, which he "loved." The Queen biopic has been criticized for a wide variety of reasons, including its minimization of Freddie Mercury's sexuality, although considering Pompeo has suggested homosexuality is a "perversion," perhaps that wasn't a concern.

Watch the clip below. Brendan Morrow

3:49 p.m.

Several Democratic members of Congress are preemptively pushing back on Attorney General William Barr's handling of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's final report.

Barr could reportedly announce the completion of Mueller's probe "as early as next week," bringing the investigation into whether President Trump's campaign was involved with Russian election interference to a close. But he will reportedly withhold the majority of the findings, and will instead only provide Congress with a summary.

House Democrats have already launched an effort to combat that. Appearing on CNN, Rep. John Garamendi (D-Calif.) said that “the full report needs to be available — not just to Congress — but the American public." He added that Congress will need to hold its own public hearings based on the report.

Some of Garamendi's Democratic colleagues have already taken to Twitter to echo the demand, including Reps. Gwen Moore (Wisc.), Shiela Jackson Lee (Texas), and Sean Patrick Maloney (N.Y.).

President Trump himself weighed in on the matter, insisting that the timing and manner of the report's release "will be totally up to the Attorney General."

The timing of the announcement has also stirred a reaction, with some speculating that Barr (who has criticized the Mueller investigation in the past) might be shutting the special counsel's office down prematurely. Tim O'Donnell

3:15 p.m.

Jussie Smollett is not being written out of Empire, 20th Century Fox says.

Fox said in a statement Wednesday that Smollett "continues to be a consummate professional on set," and the network reiterated that he's "not being written out of the show." This followed reports from Deadline and TMZ that Smollett was having his role on Empire reduced. When these reports first emerged, Fox declined to comment.

Still, the original reports did not exactly claim that Smollett was being written out of the series entirely. Rather, the reporting was that his role was being minimized, with TMZ saying that scenes focused on Smollett were being cut but that the actor would still have a presence in ensemble scenes.

These questions about Smollett's future come as questions emerge about his claims that he was the victim of a hate crime last month. CNN has reported that Chicago police believe he paid two men to assault him, while Smollett continues to deny these claims. Brendan Morrow

2:53 p.m.

Dutch historian Rutger Bregman rose to progressive stardom last month when he declared the wealthy need to face higher taxes — right in front of those wealthy people at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

Fox News' Tucker Carlson later interviewed Bregman about his Davos discussion. Things didn't exactly go well.

Carlson's interview with Bregman started out civil, with Carlson even saying, "If I was wearing a hat, I'd take it off for you." That's because Bregman brought up what he called Davos attendees' "hypocritical" avoidance of wealth taxes — something Carlson compared to billionaires "flying private" on carbon-spewing planes "to talk about global warming." Carlson even remained calm as Bregman pointed out that Fox News, like those billionaires, isn't considering higher taxes for the rich a "mainstream" idea.

But when Bregman brought up Fox News' billionaire owner Rupert Murdoch and suggested Carlson himself has "been taking ... dirty money" from the "Koch billionaires," things got heated. Carlson called Bregman a "tiny brain" and "moron," and told him to "go f--k yourself" after Bregman said that he was a "millionaire funded by billionaires" and told him he was "part of the problem."

After the interview was recorded, Bregman tweeted that he got an email from Carlson telling him it wouldn't air — along with a couple more insults. Check that out below. Kathryn Krawczyk

2:25 p.m.

Four days out from the 2019 Oscars, pundits are generally in agreement about what is likely to win in the top categories. But could some stunning upsets be in store?

A few scenarios are plausible, if still unlikely. Here are five potential outcomes to brace yourself for this Sunday:

1. Black Panther wins Best Picture: Roma is the clear frontrunner, but a foreign film has never won Best Picture, and there are some who believe its status as a Netflix movie may hold it back. If so, in years when no film runs away with the top prize, the Oscars' preferential balloting system can favor one with broad appeal. Green Book is controversial, though, and may not have the broad appeal of the $1.3 billion phenomenon Black Panther, which already picked up a win at the SAG Awards.

2. Spike Lee wins Best Director: The frontrunner here, Alfonso Cuarón, won five years ago, while the Academy has repeatedly whiffed on even nominating Lee. This year, voters could decide his time has finally come.

3. Bradley Cooper wins Best Actor: This would be the wildest upset of the night, since Rami Malek likely has this category locked up. But Cooper was shut out throughout awards season and snubbed for Best Director, which could actually work in his favor, earning him enough sympathy votes for a shocking victory, Argo style.

4. Olivia Colman wins Best Actress: This is Glenn Close's to lose, but don't fully count out Colman. There's plenty of affection in the Academy for The Favourite, which tied with Roma for the most nominations, and Colman already won an acting award at the Golden Globes and the BAFTAs.

5. Rachel Weisz wins Best Supporting Actress: A potential red flag for this category's frontrunner, Regina King, is that she wasn't even nominated at the SAG Awards. If this sets her back, perhaps the Favourite love will continue and Weisz, who won the BAFTA, really is in contention. Brendan Morrow

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