Live Blog

Here is your live blog for the day.

A lot of the latest updates on the Jussie Smollett story are here:

 According to CWB Chicago, two Chicago brothers are “potential persons of interest” in the alleged hate crime against Smollett:

• At least one of the men has appeared as an extra on Smollett’s show, Empire, which airs on Fox. That man has a YouTube channel featuring three audition reels. In one reel, he performs the part of a man who has received the finger of a loved one in the mail from kidnappers.

• CBSChicago reports that an attorney representing the brothers "expects" charges to be filed against them "before 5:45 p.m. Friday" when the typical 48-hour window of opportunity for prosecutors to either prosecute or release an individual will expire.

• The men, who are African-American, shared a residence in Lakeview about three blocks from Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s home as recently as one year ago. One of the brothers also lists a home on the South Side.

• Police on Wednesday executed a search warrant at a North Side home, seizing electronics, bleach, a red hat, clothing, and more. The search warrant receipt states that police retrieved proof that both men live in the raided apartment. CWB could not immediately confirm that the raid was at the brother's listed address near the intersection of Ashland Avenue and Belle Plaine Avenue.

Here's the very latest:

There are conflicting reports tonight, it should be noted.

CPD officially says reports that police are investigating a potential hoax are "unconfirmed."

Word on the street is that police are waiting for the two persons of interest to fess up before they can confirm that it was a hate crime hoax.



Well... well... well...

ABC Reporting...

Chicago police confirmed Thursday that detectives are talking to two persons of interest in connection with the alleged attack on "Empire" actor Jussie Smollett.

Multiple sources have told ABC7 Eyewitness News that police are investigating whether Smollett and the two men staged the attack allegedly because Smollett was being written off of "Empire."

A source familiar with the investigation told the ABC7 I-Team that Smollett failed to appear for an interview with detectives earlier Thursday.

Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson contacted ABC7 to say they are continuing to treat Smollett as a victim and the investigation remains ongoing.

A source briefed on the Smollett investigation confirmed to ABC News that Chicago police are questioning the two persons of interest -- one of whom has appeared on "Empire."


First Lady Melania Trump spent much of her afternoon at the Children’s Inn at NIH in Maryland, helping some of the young patients with their Valentine’s Day festivities.

 (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

This 40-minute video from the event shows how naturally and graciously the first lady interacts with the children.

The White House today released results of President Donald Trump's Friday physical, showing that other than gaining four pounds, he is in very good health overall. Trump clocked in at 243 pounds versus 239 pounds previously.

A weight of 240 pounds and above for someone of the president's six-foot-three height is considered overweight and last year Trump had been advised to change his diet and get more exercise in order to lose a few pounds.

The results, summed up by White House physician Sean Conley, who conducted the physical along with 11 different board-certified specialists, concludes "it is my determination that the President remains in very good health overall."



"We have a crisis at the border." —Barack Obama

"If Congress won't act, I will." —Barack Obama

Statement from White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders:

CNBC: Trump will sign spending bill, seek a national emergency and "other executive action" to build wall:

President Donald Trump will sign spending legislation to prevent a government shutdown while declaring a national emergency to try to build his proposed border wall, the White House confirmed Thursday.

"President Trump will sign the government funding bill, and as he has stated before, he will also take other executive action — including a national emergency — to ensure we stop the national security and humanitarian crisis at the border," White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement as the Senate prepared to vote on a measure to keep the government open past a midnight Friday deadline.

"The President is once again delivering on his promise to build the wall, protect the border, and secure our great country," she said.

Pelosi said in a press conference Thursday afternoon that Trump declaring a national emergency would be a national emergency.

ABC's Rob Elgas went on KABC with Dr. Drew discuss the weirdness of Jussie Smollett's alleged hate crime today.

One of the newest clues released by police is this tweet by the Chicago PD spokesman which, for the first time, called Jussie Smollett the "alleged" victim instead of just victim.

Are police closing in on a hoax?

Happy Valentine's Day from Jame Gumb!

Chicago police reportedly picked up the same two "persons of interest" in the Jussie Smollett case last night that they originally released with no charges after Smollett told Robin Roberts of ABC that he's sure they did it.

Supposedly, there will be more coming from the Chicago police later today.