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Ben Affleck

Support the Congo

And BTW, Their Chocolate is Awesome!

3/26/2015 1:47 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

Ben Affleck loves the people of the Congo, and really loves their coffee and chocolates.

Our photog Colin got Ben coming out of a Senate hearing where he testified about his Eastern Congo Initiative, which helps people in the region. 

Ben mused about the beans and the bars ... and acknowledged Senator Patrick Leahy who has a cameo in the upcoming "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice."

In the hearing, Ben said to Leahy, "I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge my co-star in Batman. The role is marginally smaller than; mine, but I understand you are quite good."

Mitt Romney

I Won't Fight Obama

... He Already Beat Me!

3/26/2015 6:11 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

Mitt Romney wants NO PIECE of Barack Obama -- telling TMZ Sports he'd rather get in the ring with Evander Holyfield ... because he won't pick a fight he knows he can't win!

Romney and the "Real Deal" are all set to face off in a charity boxing match on May 15th in Utah to raise money for a charity that helps poverty-stricken people get blindness-reversing surgeries. 

But when we asked if he'd go toe-to-toe with his presidential rival from 2012 -- Romney backed down ... saying, "I tried that. I didn't win. You may not have noticed."

Mitt Romney -- know when to fold 'em. 

NY Congressman to A-Rod:

Image Rehab's Gonna Be Tough

... I Would Know

3/25/2015 6:55 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

If there's anyone who knows what it takes to bounce back after being humiliated on a national scale, it's NY Congressman Charlie Rangel ... who has some advice for A-Rod on how to weather the storm. 

TMZ Sports spoke with Rangel out in D.C. -- and asked how Alex Rodriguez could get back into the good graces of Yankees fans ... following his second PED scandal. 

Rangel knows a thing or two about image rehab -- he was infamously found guilty of multiple House ethics violations in 2010 (including failing to pay taxes) and was forced to beg for mercy on the House floor.

So, what advice does he have for the disgraced MLB star? Rangel didn't hold back. 

Check out the clip. 

Univision

Threatened by Fired Host

YOU LIED ... Michelle Obama Never Complained

3/24/2015 10:59 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

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Univision illegally fired a popular host and falsely painted him as a racist ... all because he was standing up for Latinos and fighting to get them unionized ... this according to the host's angry lawyer.

As previously reported, Rodner Figueroa, who was a host on the popular "El Gordo y la Flaca," did a segment earlier this month in which a makeup artist came on and showed pics of himself transformed into female celebs, including Michelle Obama. Rodner said the Michelle pic looked like someone from the cast of "Planet of the Apes." He was fired as a result.

In a scathing letter to Univision, obtained by TMZ, Rodner's lawyer, legal pit bull Marty Singer, says the network cooked up a phony excuse, claiming it fired him after receiving a formal complaint from Michelle Obama's Office. Singer says it's a lie ... the White House NEVER called. 

Singer says the firing was far more sinister. He says Rodner had gone all Norma Rae, trying to unionize Univision, and this was a convenient way to get rid of him and destroy his career.

0312-michelle-obama-makeup-transformation-INSTAGRAM-01Rodner, who is a gay biracial Latino, insisted he was not referring to Michelle when he made his comment ... it was about the shoddy makeup work of the guest.

Singer ends his letter with a Rosa Parks reference, "Make no mistake, despite Univision's best efforts, Latino talent will not be forced to 'sit in the back of the bus' any longer."

Singer is demanding that Univision rehire Rodner and make a public apology ... or else.

Charles Barkley

Obama Bracket Haters ...

You're Just Racist!

3/20/2015 11:07 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

Charlie Sheen -- and anyone else who's mad at President Obama for filling out an NCAA tournament bracket -- is really just an old fashioned racist ... so says Charles Barkley.

Sr. Chuck and his "Inside the NBA" co-star Kenny Smith were leaving the London Hotel in NYC when the two went off on Obama's bracket critics. 

"What, is he not supposed to think about anything else?" Smith said. 

Barkley was more direct -- "Listen, you people in America who are upset that President Obama did a bracket ... why don't ya'll just go say you don't like him because he's black." 

He continued, "Cut through all the BS ... don't say he take too many vacations ... just say, 'We don't like him because he's black.'"

As we previously reported, Sheen ripped into Obama yesterday ... saying POTUS is wasting his precious time on basketball when he should be focused on more important issues. 

Bristol Palin

Dumping Old House For New Fiance

3/19/2015 10:38 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Exclusive Details

0319_bristol_palin_alaska_house_launch2Now that Bristol Palin's got a man ... she has no need for a house -- at least not the one she's been living in because she's unloading her half a million dollar home near Sarah Palin.

Real estate sources tell TMZ ... Bristol is rarely home now that she's all hooked up with her new fiance, Medal of Honor winner Sgt. Dakota Meyer -- so she doesn't need the 3-bed, 3.5-bath 3,200 sq. ft. pad anymore.

She snagged the lakeside digs in Wasilla back in 2011 for $388k, but now wants $549k for it. We're told she completely remodeled it -- plus, it's got sweet mountain and lake views from the master bedroom.

As for where Bristol and her man are moving -- we're not sure yet, but we'd be shocked if she ended up in the Lower 48.

Leaving Mama Bear ... always risky. 

Chris Daughtry

I Forgive You, Congressman ...

Everyone Needs a Little Katy Perry!

3/18/2015 6:07 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE


Rep. Aaron Schock would never have resigned from Congress if rocker Chris Daughtry had anything to say about it ... because who doesn't love a good Katy Perry concert?

Daughtry was leaving Duff's Cakemix in L.A. when we asked him about the young Republican's spending issues. Schock surrendered his seat Tuesday after certain expenditures were questioned, including taking interns to a Perry concert.

Daughtry clearly thinks hitting up a Perry show every now and again is nothing to lose your job over.

Unfortunately for Schock, Daughtry isn't in his district. 

Aaron Schock

Resigns From Congress

Partly Because of Katy Perry

3/17/2015 11:45 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
breaking news

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Rep. Aaron Schock -- who gained national notoriety back in 2009 after TMZ posted a shirtless photo of him -- has resigned his seat in Congress after questions about his spending habits surfaced. 

Schock was accused of using campaign money on private jets, massages and taking interns to a Katy Perry concert. 

In his statement, Schock made no admission of wrongdoing ... only saying the "great distraction" has made it difficult for him to serve the people of the 18th District of Illinois. The resignation is particularly shocking (no pun intended) because Schock was considered a rising star in the Republican party.

His swimsuit modeling career can finally begin in earnest.

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Kanye West

Prez Obama Did NOT Call Him at Home

... But His People Did

3/17/2015 12:50 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

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Score one for the President. He was right when he said he has NEVER called Kanye West's home, despite Kanye's protestations to the contrary.

Sources directly connected with Kanye tell TMZ ... Obama had a breakfast in Beverly Hills last October and a bunch of celebs attended, including Kim and Kanye. The Prez talked about using star power to get people to vote.

When it was over, Obama told Kim and Kanye he wanted to set up a call to continue the conversation. A few days later a staffer called to follow up.

Obama told Jimmy Kimmel he doesn't even have their home number, but at LAX Kanye begged to differ.

Kanye sure sounded convincing that Obama called him, but he didn't. At least it was Obama adjacent.

Michelle Obama

Sunday Worship at ...

Church of SoulCycle

3/16/2015 7:23 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Exclusive Video


First Lady Michelle Obama has been indoctrinated into a cult -- the one where you have to wear yoga pants and sweat all over a stationary bicycle. 

Yes ... we got video proof of Mrs. O's commitment to SoulCycle ... as she left a spin class Sunday. Our photog spotted her leaving the Georgetown area location in a hoodie with a few Secret Service members in tow. 

One of the bodyguards was sporting a gym outfit that makes it seem like she drew the short straw ... and had to spin through her shift with the First Lady.

Michelle is ALL IN -- she's even sporting SC gear ... and she's been a regular at the D.C. location since it opened last summer. Her fellow worshipers have noticed.

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Kanye West

Obama Is BS'ing ...

He DEFINITELY Has My Number

3/14/2015 12:50 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

Barack Obama LIED to Jimmy Kimmel -- at least that's what Kanye West says -- but the rapper insists he's got nothing but love for the Prez.

Kimmel asked Barack Thursday night if he ever called Kanye at home -- something the rapper recently claimed. The Prez said, "I don't think I've got his home number."

But we got Kanye at LAX Friday ... and the rapper squared off with O -- reiterating that Obama has called Kanye's home.

And there's this ... What the hell happened to this guy??? He's becoming the nicest celeb in La La Land.

Mean Tweeter on Kimmel

Thanks Obama ...

You Got Me Free Beer

3/13/2015 9:50 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

The "Mean Tweeter" on "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" who blamed Barack Obama for the hike in beer prices just caught a break ... FREE BOOZE -- but this time, he really can THANK the Prez.

Obama took part in Kimmel's "Mean Tweets" segment Thursday night and read one from Eric Matthews, which said, "A 30 rack of coors light is $23 now at Sun Stop. Thanks, Obama."

Matthews was shocked his online quip got read aloud by the leader of the free world ... and this morning he hit up Sun Stop to celebrate. When he told the teller about Kimmel, Eric got hooked up with a free case of Keystone and a bottle of Bacardi. 

Watch the video, it's pretty awesome -- Eric shotgunned one of the cans outside to celebrate ... and of course, gave thanks to Obama.

FYI -- it may be early, but Eric's not an alcoholic ... he's on his way to celebrate Spring Break. 

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Miley and Patrick

In Love, and Dropping the M Word

3/13/2015 1:00 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

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Miley Cyrus and Patrick Schwarzenegger are full-on in love, and have even casually said in front of friends they will get married some day.

Multiple sources connected with Miley and Patrick tell us their relationship is intense. Miley is going out of her way to impress Patrick's mom, Maria Shriver, and it goes beyond dressing conservatively when Miley's around her. The conversations do not resemble what Miley puts out on social media.

The couple has partied hard, and initially people who spent time with them thought it was just a hook-up, but it's proven to be deeper.  

And we're told it's not like one is pushing the other into getting serious. They're both totally into it.

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