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President Trump on 9/11 Let's Do This!!!

9/11/2018 10:49 AM PDT

President Trump doesn't seem to know the difference between a moment of solemn remembrance and a double fist pump celebration -- 'cause he did the latter on September 11th.

45 caught a TON of backlash Tuesday on the 17th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks after he was seen doing a Rocky as he and Melania touched down in Johnstown, PA en route to Shanksville, where he delivered remarks to honor those who died on Flight 93.

The picture isn't entirely out of context either -- there wasn't much applause from the crowd there on the ground receiving Trump and the First Lady ... so it certainly appears the Prez's gesture was inappropriate and probably (most definitely) ill advised.

The backlash comes amidst multiple memorials taking place across the country paying tribute to the 9/11 attacks and its 2,983 victims -- most notably, perhaps, the one that's happening at Ground Zero, where a traditional moment of silence was held Tuesday at 8:46 AM to mark the first plane hitting the North Tower. Two minutes later, names of the people who died were read.

Just 2 days ago, the Cortlandt Street subway station, which used to be under the World Trade Center, was re-opened. The terminal was destroyed when the Towers collapsed.

This picture -- taken Tuesday morning from a plane and shared on social media -- shows the One World Trade Center poking out above the clouds. Trump tweeted, "17 years since September 11th!" He also praised Rudy Giuliani, who was Mayor in 2001 and is now Trump's lawyer and mouthpiece, for the job he did in NYC after the attack. 

Vice President Pence, meanwhile, stayed in Washington and visited the Pentagon, where one of the hijacked planes crashed.

Originally published -- 6:25 AM PT

7:35 AM PT -- Obama also released a heartfelt statement on social media in remembrance of the tragedy of that day. 

Hurricane Florence Wright Bros. Memorial Closed ... Ditto for Famous Inn Where Gere & Lane Banged

9/11/2018 9:12 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Hurricane Florence has the Wright Brothers on the run -- or at least the memorial dedicated to them -- and Richard Gere's favorite beachside inn is also bracing for the worst.

The Wright Bros. National Memorial in Kill Devil Hills, NC will be shut down to the public this week as Florence -- currently a category 4 storm -- barrels toward the Carolinas and Virginia. The memorial sits on the Outer Banks, and is directly in the hurricane's path ... so on Monday they shut down all operations to, as they say, batten down the hatches.

Florence's timing really sucks -- the memorial was supposed to get a replica Monday of the 1st plane Orville and Wilbur flew. That delivery was postponed for fear it would be damaged when the storm hits.  

Nicholas Sparks fans will recognize the Outer Banks Inn from 2008's "Nights in Rodanthe." Yes, the place where Gere and Diane Lane banged a lot. The owners, Ben and Debbie Huss, are boarding up and getting outta Dodge -- but tell us they expect their famous house to mostly hold up to Florence.

That's a tall order with winds expected to reach up to 156 mph.

One last batch of famous sites that'll be hit hard by Florence ... several Southport locations used to film scenes of "Dawson's Creek," "Safe Haven" and "I Know What You Did Last Summer."

Les Moonves Out as CBS' CEO ... Vows to Donate $20M to #MeToo

9/9/2018 4:43 PM PDT
Breaking News

7:25 PM PT -- Les Moonves has issued a statement in the wake of his ouster from CBS, saying in part ... "Untrue allegations from decades ago are now being made against me that are not consistent with who I am.  Effective immediately I will no longer be Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of CBS. I am deeply saddened to be leaving the company. I wish nothing but the best for the organization, the newly comprised board of directors and all of its employees."

4:30 PM PT -- It's just been announced Moonves is out at CBS, and the network is implementing a big shakeup on its board of directors through a company-wide settlement. Interestingly, CBS says $20 million will be donated on Moonves' and the network's behalf to an org that supports #MeToo, which is set to be made immediately. The cash will come out of any severance benefits owed to Moonves following a pending investigation into his alleged misconduct. The company also notes that Moonves will not be getting any type of severance package at this point, but may receive further payment once its investigation is wrapped and after a final evaluation from the Board.

CBS's longtime CEO, Les Moonves, is reportedly resigning from his position as head of the network after multiple allegations of sexual misconduct.

Citing sources familiar with the matter, CNN's Brian Stelter reported Sunday that Moonves would be stepping down and that the official announcement would be made either Sunday night or early Monday morning. This comes on the heels of a second New Yorker article by Ronan Farrow where six additional women accused Moonves of sexual misconduct. 

The allegations range from Moonves allegedly forcing oral sex on certain women, exposing himself without permission to others ... and allegedly using physical violence or intimidation against them.

He'd already been accused of sexual misconduct from 6 separate women earlier this summer -- including allegations of sexual assault from the 1980s ... for which he will not face criminal charges. Ronan wrote that earlier piece as well. 

Moonves has worked at CBS since 1995, where he first served as president of CBS Entertainment. He served as CEO of CBS Television from '98 to 2003, and was eventually bumped up to chairman and CEO of the entire company in 2003. He's responsible for greenlighting series like 'CSI,' 'Without a Trace,' 'NCIS,' 'Survivor,' 'Cold Case' and many, many other hit shows. 

Reports have recently said that Moonves and the CBS board were negotiating an exit package for him somewhere in the ball park of $100 million. Stelter says exit talks have been finalized, but did not report on any specific figure. 

Originally published -- 11:29 AM PT

Shepard Smith Openly Mocks Trump ... Not Amomymously!!

9/7/2018 2:33 PM PDT

Shepard Smith is having a little fun at President Trump's expense -- mocking his inability to say the word "anonymous."

The FOX News host took the subtle dig Friday during his show, purposefully stumbling over the word that gave Trump so much trouble during his Montana rally. The funniest part might be Shepard's deadpan deliver.

Somehow he kept a straight face while butchering the word "amomamous" in reference to The New York Times op-ed author who claims Trump staffers are actively working to undermine 45.  

Warning: Avoid playing cards with Shepard. Killer poker face. 

Even 45 would have to laugh at this. Or, more likely, somehow blame Obama.

Megyn Kelly Anonymous Op-Ed Author's a Coward

9/6/2018 4:16 PM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Megyn Kelly, who's had her own battles with President Trump, is shockingly in his corner ... at least when it comes to the anonymous New York Times op-ed author showing his or her face!

The "Today" host was leaving NBC Studios in NYC Thursday when we asked about the contentious letter which claims Trump staffers are actively working to undermine 45. Megyn says the author of the letter is gutless, and needs to come out and speak publicly against Trump ... instead of working in the shadows.

Considering her rocky history with Trump, it's interesting to hear Megyn echo the administration's message regarding the anonymous piece.

She did say shortly after the election she and Trump were good.

We weren't necessarily buying it back then, but looks like she's definitely in lockstep with POTUS. On this issue, at least.

Trump Administration Anonymous Letter Contains 'Threat' Get Secret Service on This!!

9/6/2018 8:53 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

President Trump's administration's come up with a clever way to sniff out the source of that NY Times anonymous letter -- it involves what they perceive as an alleged physical threat to POTUS ... TMZ has learned.

Sources connected to the White House tell us there are multiple West Wing staffers who believe the op-Ed letter -- reportedly written by a "senior administration official" -- contains one troubling sentence that reads like a threat to Trump's life. The line goes ..."So we will do what we can to steer the administration in the right direction until -- one way or another -- it's over." 

We're told the staffers think the Secret Service needs to investigate because that line could refer to a possible assassination plot. However, at least one source told us the real endgame is finding out who's behind the letter ... which the Prez has called "gutless."

Truth is that line could refer to any of 3 legit ways for a U.S. President to leave office -- impeachment, the 25th Amendment, or resignation. Then again, we know the Secret Service has investigated for less ... including perceived threats from Kathy Griffin and "Stuttering John."

The Secret Service gave us a "no comment" on any potential investigation. 

Cory Booker Releases Racial Profiling Info ... On Brett Kavanaugh

9/6/2018 2:02 PM PDT

8:18 AM PT -- Booker just released a batch of emails between Kavanaugh and other officials that date back to his early days in George W. Bush's administration as an associate of the White House Counsel at the time, Alberto Gonzales.

A lot of the emails appear to be internal communication from 2002 and include discussions on deciding how to screen people at airports and elsewhere in response to 9/11. Kavanaugh makes clear that racial profiling was on the table as an immediate -- and potential long-term -- option.

They also discuss a race-neutral system as ideal, but appear to acknowledge that using racial profiling in the interim would be most effective. Kavanaugh and his associates also seem to note legal loopholes they could invoke to get away with racial profiling and avoid liability. No word yet if Booker has been sanctioned for his actions.

Senator Cory Booker says he's willing to be thrown out of the United States Senate for releasing a confidential document allegedly showing Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh is guilty of promoting racial profiling ... but Booker says it's the right thing to do.

Booker dropped the bombshell Thursday morning at the Senate hearing. He said there's an email which is confidential because of national security concerns. In the email, Booker says there's evidence Kavanaugh, when he was an aide to President George W. Bush, suggested it was appropriate to racially profile people to blunt post-911 terrorism.

Booker says he intends to release the email knowing the consequences to him could be severe -- ouster from the Senate. After the hearing he told us why he's willing to go down with the ship.

Senator John Cornyn read the potential charge against Booker at the hearing, and the Democratic Senator from New Jersey responded bluntly, "Then apply the rule and bring the charges."

Booker had support from Senator Dick Durbin, who said, "If there is going to be some retribution against the Senator from New Jersey, count me in."

Originally published -- 7:55 AM PT

Jeff Bezos We Need More Vets in Congress ... Here's $10 Mil

9/5/2018 4:40 PM PDT

Jeff Bezos, the richest man in the world, is throwing around some serious cash ... and it's politically motivated.

The founder and CEO of Amazon, is donating $10,000,000 to help veterans get elected to Congress ... and that's not a typo, it's really that many zeroes.

Jeff and his wife, MacKenzie, are giving the huge sum to the With Honor Fund, a super PAC supporting military vets running for Congress who promise to take a down-the-middle approach to politics.

With midterm elections 2 months away, the group has endorsed 33 candidates for office, including 14 Republicans and 19 Democrats. 

Jeff is catching heat from both sides of the political spectrum, most notably President Trump and Bernie Sanders

Bernie introduced legislation Wednesday aimed at Amazon, calling for higher taxes on the company and large corporations like it -- Sanders even named it the BEZOS Act!!! 

Trump frequently attacks Bezos on Twitter, accusing Amazon of not paying enough taxes, underpaying the Postal Service for deliveries, and bashing Jeff's ownership of The Washington Post.

Maybe Bezos figures $10 million for vets is enough to get opponents off his back.

Vanilla Ice Holy Crap ... My Plane's Been Quarantined!!!

9/5/2018 11:45 AM PDT
Breaking News

Vanilla Ice was one of more than 500 passengers aboard a double-decker plane from Dubai to JFK that had to be quarantined after more than 100 passengers fell ill.

The rapper tweeted from the top floor of Emirates Flight 203 on Wednesday and was STUNNED to see the plane swarmed by emergency trucks. At first he seemed to be unaware of what was going on but quickly learned the gravity of the situation -- tons of passengers and some crew members "complained of illness including cough and some with fever," according to the Centers for Disease Control.

Vanilla later tweeted, "This is crazy. Apparently there is over 100 people sick on the bottom floor, so happy I'm up top, it's a double-decker plane 380." A total of 521 people were aboard the A380 superjumbo plane. At least 10 people were taken to a hospital.

A rep for NYC's Mayor's Office said all passengers had been evaluated a few hours after landing and "health officials are processing tests now to determine the cause." The rep added, "symptoms still pointing to the flu."

Brett Kavanaugh Protesters Say He'll Turn Our Country Gilead

9/4/2018 7:48 AM PDT

If Brett Kavanaugh watches 'Handmaid's Tale,' he's not going to like the demonstrations outside his Supreme Court confirmation hearings on Capitol Hill. 

Protesters upset over Kavanaugh's possible ascension to the highest court in the land dressed as handmaids from the TV show  -- a popular form of protest among women's rights activists.  

Many are fearful Kavanaugh could become a powerful swing vote in the Supreme Court, one that could eventually overturn Roe v. Wade. 

Kavanaugh's confirmation hearings began Tuesday, and it's sparked waves of protests in D.C. Brett is Donald Trump's pick for the Supreme Court. Kavanaugh would replace Justice Anthony Kennedy, and would almost certainly take a conservative stance on abortion.

Tuesday's demonstrators have at least one celeb on board with the cause. 

Alyssa Milano recently posted this picture of herself dressed as a handmaid, with the red robe and white hat, holding a sign comparing Kavanaugh to the authoritarian regime from the TV show. 

Critics of President Trump have drawn comparisons between the fictional regime in power in 'Handmaid's Tale' and his administration's stance on abortion, LGBTQ rights and religious freedom.

Bad news for Alyssa and co. as it looks more and more like Kavanaugh will soon join the Supreme Court. Brett needs only a simple majority to be confirmed, and Republicans hold a 1-vote majority in the Senate. 

Dave Chappelle I Paid My Respects to John McCain ... And His Dance Moves

9/1/2018 12:40 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Dave Chappelle says John McCain is a symbol of national unity when our country needs it most, so he paid the late Senator his respects ... and gives props to his robot dance.

We got the famed comedian on Capitol Hill Friday after he visited McCain's casket at the U.S. Capitol. Chappelle tells us he was inspired to do so after he saw a video Jamie Foxx shared on his IG this week dancing with the Navy veteran onstage at an Apollo Theater charity event.

Foxx captioned the vid, "This is another reason why senator John McCain is so loved... he made u feel like politics and being a cool human being lived separately... he shined on em that night ... and that robot move was mean! R.I.P. you are a HERO!"

Seems like Chappelle totally agrees.

Dave tells us he wished he could have made it to Aretha Franklin's funeral in Detroit too ... but couldn't make both happen in the same day.

FL Gov. Candidate Andrew Gillum I Blame Trump For Opponent's 'Monkey' Comment

8/30/2018 9:03 AM PDT

Andrew Gillum, candidate for governor of Florida, is laying blame directly on President Trump for putting the campaign in the gutter -- the day after his opponent's shocking "monkey" remark. 

The Democratic candidate says Trump has set a "horrible" example when it comes to racial issues, and he thinks that's why Republican candidate Ron DeSantis felt comfortable saying voting for Gillum would "monkey this up."

Gillum says DeSantis' comment was ripped right out of Trump's playbook. He adds, he doesn't want to stoop to that level and hopes DeSantis will avoid it too.

Seems a little late ... DeSantis fully played the race card already. 

Madden NFL 19 EA Sports Cancels Remaining Qualifiers

8/27/2018 9:03 PM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

9:03 PM PT -- EA Sports has made the decision to cancel all 3 remaining Madden NFL 19 tournament qualifying events. A rep for the company tells TMZ, "We have made a decision to cancel our three remaining Madden Classic qualifier events while we run a comprehensive review of safety protocols for competitors and spectators."

The statement continues, "We will work with our partners and our internal teams to establish a consistent level of security al all of our competitive gaming events.The next Madden NFL 19 tournament is going on as scheduled, days after the shooting in Florida, but organizers are making major changes ... TMZ has learned.

Dennis C. Wiltshire -- a rep for FIAD Entertainment Group, which is putting on the EA-sponsored event in Dulles, VA -- tells us, his organization had a knee-jerk reaction after hearing about Sunday's shooting in Jacksonville, FL that left 3 people dead, and many others injured.

He says within minutes, they started scrambling to beef up security for their event which is going down Saturday and Sunday. Wiltshire says their efforts included contacting local law enforcement and their independent security contractors for the event. The Madden tourney will be part of a larger gaming convention called GEXCon.

Wiltshire tells us, in addition to ramped-up security and police officers on site, they've strictly prohibited all guns inside the event. He wouldn't comment on specifics of security screenings, to avoid tipping their hand to the public. BTW ... Virginia's an open carry state.

As we reported ... police say 24-year-old David Katz opened fire Sunday, injuring 11 people and killing 2 others before shooting himself. Audio of the opening shots were broadcast live.

A moment of silence is being planned for the Virginia tournament. Wiltshire says EA has yet to reach out to offer any official guidance on how to proceed.

Originally Published -- 9:52 AM PDT

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