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John Legend You Can't Teach an Old President New Tricks

8/23/2017 6:47 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

John Legend says the ship has sailed for him when it comes to Donald Trump because, well, you know what they say about leopards.

John arrived at LAX Tuesday night and our photog wanted to know if Trump's statements about bigotry and racism have earned him a second chance. John could not be clearer -- how he says it is as significant as his words.

John clearly thinks ideology combined with age make it impossible for a man like Donald Trump to see the light.

Michelle Rodriguez In a Self-Imposed News Blackout ... And Lovin' It!!!

8/23/2017 6:57 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Michelle Rodriguez hasn't read or seen the news in 2 months, and she couldn't be more stoked.

We got Michelle Tuesday in Bev Hills and she told us she can't handle all the depressing stories about politics, racism, terrorism, and on and on, so she just tuned it all out.

You might call it burying your head in the sand, but on the other hand ... just look at her body language and her facial features. Michelle looks calm and happy, so, as a famous politician might say ... who's winning now?

Former L.A. Mayor Shots Fired Against Scooter Braun, Gavin Newsom In Cali Governor's Race

8/22/2017 11:31 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

One of the leading contenders for the Democrats in the next California gubernatorial election has just taken aim at his archrival, using Scooter Braun to fire the shot.

Former L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has just reacted to the TMZ story, in which we reported some powerful Dem fundraisers and political operatives have urged Braun -- who manages Justin Bieber, Usher and Kanye to name a few -- to run for governor.

Villaraigosa's spokesperson tells TMZ, "Clearly, he knows how to handle a rich kid with a famous hairdo, so if he runs, It'll be fun to watch him [Scooter] take on Gavin Newsom in a debate,"

Newsom, the current CA Lt. Governor, has excellent hair but only a middle class pedigree. BTW, we're guessing the guy with the famous hairdo is Justin, not Kanye.

One of the pols who is pushing Scooter to make a run told us, "This just proves why Scooter should throw his hat in the ring. These guys care more about political infighting than the future of California."

Billy Joel Wears Yellow Star of David Onstage ... Post-Charlottesville

8/22/2017 10:29 AM PDT

Billy Joel made a bold statement about the times we live in during a show by rocking the yellow Star of David ... this amid neo-Nazi rallies being held across the country.

Billy was performing Monday night at NYC's Madison Square Garden, and he bore a Star of David patch on both the breast of his coat as well as on his back. 

He was raised by Jewish parents, and has described himself as culturally Jewish.

The political move comes on the heels of a violent protest in Charlottesville, where one woman was killed by an alleged participant in the neo-Nazi rally ... when hordes of white supremacists and neo-Nazis took to the streets, chanting "Jews will not replace us!"

Jews were forced to wear the Star of David in Nazi-occupied Europe leading up to World War II ... which ultimately led to the extermination of 6 million Jews.

Billy didn't appear to directly address the patch Monday, but not much needs to be said here to get his point.

President Trump He's Ecstasy in Germany

8/22/2017 9:59 AM PDT

Donald Trump's apparently the preferred face of drug dealers in Germany after thousands of ecstasy pills in the shape of the Prez's head were seized by police.

Cops in the northwestern city of Osnabruck found approximately 5,000 orange, Trump-shaped pills with an unspecified amount of money. The pills were reportedly found in a car driven by a 51-year-old man who was riding with his 17-year-old son.

The pills -- featuring Trump's brash hairstyle and his name on the back -- have a street value worth around $46k. The father and son were ordered to remain behind bars while the car was towed.

Trump Makes Partying Great Again? Probably not.

Treasury Secty's Wife Louise Linton Rhymes with Rich

8/22/2017 6:55 AM PDT

She may be the most awful person in Washington, D.C., and there's fierce competition for the title.

Louise Linton, the actress/wife of Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, went full-on Marie Antoinette, essentially telling people who don't dress as fabulously as her that they're pathetic losers.

Linton and Mnuchin were on an Air Force jet Monday, and when they landed they were photographed getting off the plane. She put the pic on Instagram with the caption that read in part, "#rolandmouret pants #tomford sunnies #hermesscarf #valentinorockstudheels #valentino."

Some people went nuts on her -- appropriately -- and some of her retorts are classic and classless ... "Adorable ... I'm pretty sure we paid more taxes toward our day 'trip' than you did. You're adorably out of touch ... Your life looks cute."

She deleted the post, but what a you-know-what.

Scooter Braun Democrats Push Him To Run for Cali Governor

8/22/2017 1:00 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Scooter Braun will be running for Governor of California ... if some very powerful CA democrats have their way.

We've learned a number of Democratic fundraisers and political operatives in the state have approached Braun, because they believe, as one source put it, the current candidates -- Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom and former L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa are flawed.

Braun, who manages Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande, Usher and Kanye, has immersed himself in the Democratic political system over the last year ... doing fundraising for Hillary Clinton.

We're told there was something of a groundswell -- Scooter for Governor -- after he gave an emotional speech at Ariana Grande's Manchester concert to raise money for the victims of the terror attack.

No word on whether Scooter is seriously considering a run, or whether he'll change his name if he does ... but there's definitely interest from the Democratic Party.

White CLE Browns Player 'I Kneeled to Support My African American Teammates'

8/22/2017 7:15 AM PDT
Breaking News

Cleveland Browns tight end Seth DeValve -- the first white NFL player to kneel during the national anthem -- says he demonstrated on Monday night to support his African American teammates. 

12 Browns players in total knelt in a circle before Cleveland took on the NY Giants -- the players included stars like Jabrill Peppers, Calvin Pryor, Isaiah Crowell, Kenny Britt and Duke Johnson

But DeValve made the biggest splash ... just days after Michael Bennett said a white player kneeling would make the protest more effective. 

DeValve -- who's married to a black woman -- heard Bennett loud and clear and heeded the call. 

After the game, the Browns protesters explained their demonstration -- saying they wanted to come together as men to combat all the hate and injustice in the world. 

Gary Payton Backs Durant I Wouldn't Go to Trump's White House Either

8/21/2017 1:21 PM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Kevin Durant's getting Hall of Fame support on his decision to turn down an invitation to Trump's White House -- with NBA legend, Gary Payton, telling TMZ Sports he wouldn't go either. 

Just last week, Durant said he wouldn't go to 1600 Penn. with his Golden State Warriors teammates if Trump extended the invite ... telling us he doesn't "f*ck with" POTUS. 

So, when we saw "The Glove" leaving Craig's in West Hollywood -- we asked what he would do in the same situation. Trump ain't gonna like his answer. 

President Trump Burning Curiosity for Solar Eclipse ... Ivanka Warns Otherwise

8/21/2017 12:48 PM PDT

President Trump might have fried his eyes, 'cause he looked right at the solar eclipse without special glasses ... even though his daughter, Ivanka, did a PSA for just that.

Trump was seen checking out the eclipse Monday with Melania and his son, Barron, from the Truman Balcony of the White House ... except the Prez peeped without protection.

And he apparently did it more than once ... even though he did eventually put the glasses on.

Luckily, he only looked for what appeared to be a few seconds at a time. Still though, it's kinda funny ... especially since Ivanka was out there promoting safe viewing.

Father-daughter communication at its best. 

Elon Musk Warns Against 'Terminator 2' Robot Machine War

8/21/2017 8:10 AM PDT

Elon Musk delivered a serious warning to the United Nations that essentially goes like this ... BEWARE THE KILLER ROBOTS!!!

The genius behind Tesla, SpaceX and don't forget PayPal signed an open letter to the U.N. Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons ... the body is taking up autonomous weapons, including drones, tanks and machine guns.

Musk, who has warned about the dangers of A.I. before, said, "Lethal autonomous weapons threaten to become the third revolution in warfare. Once developed, they will permit armed conflict to be fought at a scale greater than ever, and at timescales faster than humans can comprehend."

Sounds like Musk doesn't want a SkyNet-style situation -- where the artificial intelligence programs become self-aware and angry ... and then humanity has to wage war with T-1000s, HK-Aeriels, etc. 

"These can be weapons of terror, weapons that despots and terrorists use against innocent populations, and weapons hacked to behave in undesirable ways," Musk says. 

He calls the autonomous arms race a Pandora's Box which, once opened, will be tough to close. 

Musk was not alone in his concern ... 89 leaders around the world signed the open letter.

President Trump Making the Secret Service go Broke!!! (Update: Wait, Not Really)

8/21/2017 8:32 AM PDT

8:45 AM PT -- Wait, seems Alles is backtracking ... or clarifying (depending on how ya look at it). 

"The Secret Service has the funding it needs to meet all current mission requirements for the remainder of the fiscal year and compensate employees for overtime within statutory pay caps," Alles said in a new statement. 

"The Secret Service estimates that roughly 1,100 employees will work overtime hours in excess of statutory pay caps during calendar year 2017.

"Our agency experienced a similar situation in calendar year 2016 that resulted in legislation that allowed Secret Service employees to exceed statutory caps on pay."

"To remedy this ongoing and serious problem, the agency has worked closely with the Dept. of Homeland Security, the Administration, and the Congress over the past several months to find a legislative solution."

"As we work to ensure that employees are compensated for the hours they work, the Secret Service continues its rigorous hiring of special agents, Uniformed Division officers, and critical support staff to meet future mission requirements."

"The issue is not one that can be attributed to the current Administration's protection requirements, but rather has been an ongoing issue for nearly a decade due to an overall increase in operational tempo."

President Trump's breaking the Secret Service's bank because he's too damn expensive to protect, this according to the guy who RUNS the agency.

Secret Service Director Randolph "Tex" Alles told USA Today the agency can no longer pay hundreds of agents tasked with protecting POTUS and his family because they've already hit federally mandated caps for salary and overtime. 

Alles says the budget for agents is supposed to last the entire year -- but more than 1,000 agents have already hit their ceiling. 

He chalks up the surge in hours to Trump's large family and travel schedule. 

Alles says the Secret Service must protect 42 people under Trump -- 11 more than the 31 who got protection under Obama

"The president has a large family and our responsibility is required in law," Alles says ... "I can't change that. I have no flexibility."

Alles says the workload has also increased with Trump traveling to his properties in FL, NJ and VA almost every weekend.

The Prez has reportedly made so many visits to his golf properties the Secret Service has spent $60k in golf cart rentals alone. It costs at least $3 mil each time Trump visits Mar-a-Lago.

Alles says the situation is so dire, some agents have started to leave -- and he's lobbying to Congress to raise the combined salary and overtime from $160k to $187k. 

We reached out to the White House for comment. So far, no word back. 

Dave Chappelle New York Governor Says Dude, You're An Inspiration!!!

8/21/2017 6:45 AM PDT

Dave Chappelle got a big honor bestowed on him over the weekend ... by the New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.

Nika Milbrun, Cuomo's Assistant Director of Constituencies for African-American and Women's Affairs, did the honors in NYC, telling Chappelle he's been a role model and an inspiration. She mentions how charitable Dave has been, notably giving $50k to Flint and set to host a charity event with Rihanna in Sept.

Milbrun said Dave has been a big influence in helping African-American entertainers, and the award syncs up with Dave's August residency at Radio City Music Hall where he fills the stage with African-American entertainers. 

She also joked that there were times Chappelle pushed the line, but all was good.

For his part, Dave was humbled by the honor and talked about his connection to the Big Apple.

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