A$AP Rocky Trump Says Melania Pushed to Help ... Hopeful He'll Be Home Soon!!!

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MELANIA TO THE RESCUE

President Trump says many people have reached out to him regarding the A$AP Rocky situation in Sweden ... and even the First Lady's concerned about getting him home.

POTUS addressed the media Friday and says he knows there's tremendous support for the rapper, and the U.S. government is working on helping him.

He says Melania also brought A$AP's plight to his attention and told him something needed to be done about it.

Melania says the ball's in motion with the State Department already, adding ... "we hope to get him home soon."

As we reported ... the judge has ordered A$AP to stay in jail, where he has already been for a couple weeks, while prosecutors continue their investigation. However, it seems they are set to indict him soon ... and they have argued he's a flight risk if he's allowed to leave jail.

A$AP's lawyer's calling this treatment unjust based on all the circumstances.

Also, we broke the story ... the treatment of the rapper is WAY different that what another white rapper, G-Eazy, went through last year despite a very similar set of circumstances.

Jussie Smollett Special Prosecutor is BS!!! And, The Judge is Prejudiced

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TMZ

Jussie Smollett is pushing back against the appointment of a special prosecutor for his criminal case in Chicago ... and he's doing everything he can to stop it.

The actor's legal team filed three motions Friday, obtained by TMZ, seeking to overturn the appointment of a special prosecutor ... arguing it would expose Jussie to double jeopardy.

According to the docs, Jussie is trying to reverse the order issued last month by a Chicago judge, who faulted Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx and laid the groundwork for Jussie possibly facing prosecution for allegedly faking the now infamous "attack."

Jussie's attorney, Tina Glandian, takes issue with the judge's apparent conclusion Jussie is guilty of staging a hate crime. In the docs, Jussie's legal team claims the Osundairo brothers attacked Jussie, got caught and then blamed him.

According to the docs, Jussie's attorney is floating the idea Abel and Ola Osundairo were motivated by homophobia, and she cites text messages from Ola degrading another man as a "fruit." His legal team is seeking grand jury testimony from the two brothers.

It's another twist in the ongoing Smollett saga ... as you know, the charges against Jussie were essentially dropped, even after the grand jury indicted him on 16 felony counts of lying to cops.

3/26/19
SOMETHING STINKS
Fox 32 Chicago

We broke the story ... Jussie claimed he was attacked by 2 masked men who beat him and put a rope around his neck while screaming homophobic and racial slurs. Police called BS.

The City of Chicago is also suing Jussie in civil court ... seeking to recoup the overtime costs of the investigation.

A$AP Rocky Treated Way Differently Than White Rapper

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TMZ

11:34 AM PT -- Jada Pinkett Smith's weighing in on the situation after apparently just learning about G-Eazy's experience in Sweden compared to Rocky's ... saying, "We got the message loud and clear Sweden. Trust me ... we got it."

As A$AP Rocky rots in a Swedish jail for weeks without being charged with a crime, you gotta wonder how another rapper -- a white rapper -- accused of the same crime and more spent a relative nanosecond behind bars before being allowed to go on his merry way and leave the country.

You may recall a story TMZ broke a year ago in May, when G-Eazy was arrested in Stockholm after punching a security guard in a club and snorting coke using a $100 bill.

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G-Eazy was arrested for assault, possession of drugs and use of narcotics. There was no video of the attack, yet prosecutors allowed him to strike a deal a day-and-a-half later ... he pled guilty to violent resistance, a crime of violence against an official and illegal drug possession. His sentence -- a $10k fine and probation. He was also ordered to pay the security guard $900.

That was it ... G-Eazy was allowed to leave the country, no muss, no fuss.

Now, compare that to A$AP. There's VIDEO of the assault -- actually 2 videos, the other being the alleged victim assaulting Rocky first -- yet prosecutors and the judge have kept him in jail for more than 2 weeks as they continue to "investigate" and decide if he'll be charged. As we reported, prosecutors mistakenly played their hand Friday and said he was going to get indicted.

A$AP faces 6 years in prison for his alleged assault. G-Eazy spend less than 2 days behind bars.

JULY 2015
TROUBLE IN SWEDEN

And, one more thing. Remember, back in 2015 Snoop Dogg was arrested in Sweden after being snatched out of his car because cops believed he was driving under the influence. He was forced to pee in a cup and was released after cops determined he was clean. Snoop, who was there for a concert, said it was a case of DWB and he would never return to the country.

So, what gives?

Originally Published -- 7:50 AM PT

Tyreek Hill Will NOT Be Suspended By NFL ... NFL Star Speaks Out

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8:31 AM PT -- Tyreek Hill just issued a statement on the situation ... stating the allegations against him are false -- and praising the NFL for its decision. 

"The last few months have been very difficult for me, especially as a father. The false allegations originally reported in March were highly publicized and involved the care of my son. I am grateful for so many things and grateful for so many people who have supported me during this challenging time. I fully respect and accept the NFL's decision."

Hill added, "To the fans, friends, and family that I have made in Kansas City: I love you and thank you for your continued support."

"To the NFL, Commissioner Goodell and everyone who assisted in this investigation: thank you for your time and for conducting a thorough investigation. I will not let you down."

"I can assure you that I will continue to work to be the person, player, and teammate that you envisioned me to be."

"To my children, my beautiful children: I love you all dearly and I promise you all that I will continue to strive to be the best father, the best friend, the best role model, and the best mentor that I can be. I love you all."

Kansas City Chiefs star Tyreek Hill will NOT be suspended by the NFL over allegations he physically abused his 3-year-old son ... the NFL said in a statement.

Long story short ... the NFL says it conducted a thorough investigation but ultimately could not reach a definitive conclusion that Hill beat up his kid.

"Over the past four months, we have conducted a comprehensive investigation of allegations regarding Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill," the NFL said.

The K.C. Chiefs star was suspended from all team activities back in April after disturbing audio surfaced featuring the NFL star arguing with his girlfriend, Crystal Espinal.

During the argument, Espinal accuses Hill of breaking their 3-year-old son's arm and claims the kid is "terrified" of the NFL star ... to which Hill responds, "You need to be terrified of me too, b*tch."

THE SHOCKING AUDIO
KCTV5

Hill denied all wrongdoing -- and in a later piece of audio that went public, Tyreek can be heard denying a 2014 attack on a then-pregnant Espinal ... saying, "Did I hit you? Tell me the truth in my eyes right now. Look at me."

NFL reporter Albert Breer says league officials were NOT able to interview Espinal for their investigation despite multiple attempts.

The NFL says they were careful not to interfere with the investigation being conducted by law enforcement officials ... but they also admit they simply did not get access to ALL of the information in the case.

"The information developed in the court proceeding is confidential and has not been shared with us, and the court has sealed all law enforcement records," the NFL said.

"Local law enforcement authorities have publicly advised that the available evidence does not permit them to determine who caused the child's injuries. "

"Similarly, based on the evidence presently available, the NFL cannot conclude that Mr. Hill violated the Personal Conduct Policy."

Now, Hill -- who had been suspended from team activities pending the investigation -- has been cleared to return to the Chiefs.

"He may attend Kansas City's training camp and participate in all club activities."

The league says Hill will "continue to be subject to conditions set forth by the District Court, Commissioner Goodell, and the Chiefs, which include clinical evaluation and therapeutic intervention."

The league is also leaving the door open when it comes to the case -- saying, if further information becomes available through law enforcement, the pending court proceeding, or other sources, we will promptly consider it and take all appropriate steps at that time."

The Chiefs released a statement on the NFL's decision ... saying "the club fully supports the conditions for return laid out by the league and will continue to monitor any new developments in the case."

"We are glad to welcome Tyreek back to the team and look forward to the start of training camp next week."

Originally Published -- 7:10 AM PT

R. Kelly Fears for His Life in Prison ... So Solitary's Fine By Him

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TMZ

R. Kelly is scared for his life behind bars ... fearing retaliation from fellow inmates who know he's accused of horrid sex crimes involving underage girls.

Kelly's attorney, Nicole Blank Becker, tells TMZ ... during a recent visit with the embattled singer in federal prison, he told her solitary helps because he believes his life would be in real danger in gen pop. Kelly feels way safer by himself.

As we reported ... Kelly is behind bars for the foreseeable future because the judge denied bond during Tuesday's hearing. Prosecutors say they have their hands on the alleged sex tapes at the center of the probe, which they claim show Kelly having sex with underage girls.

Although Kelly thinks he's better off in solitary, his attorney says it creates a problem because he has no one to lean on. He can't read or write, and that makes even the most mundane tasks super difficult, such as figuring out what's on the commissary list.

Kelly has access to a phone for a total of 15 minutes a month to speak with family and friends.  Prisoners in general pop have access to the phone all the time. There's also no access to TV or the internet.

As for supporters inside the prison ... we're told zilch.

Rep. Ilhan Omar I'm Not Scared ... In Wake of Donald Trump Attack

YOU CAN'T SCARE ME
TMZ.com

Representative Ilhan Omar says she's not scared for herself in the wake of Donald Trump's battle cry -- that she should go back to where she came from -- but she's mighty concerned for, as she puts it, "people who share my identity."

We got the Minnesota Congresswoman on Capitol Hill Thursday in a pap crush that rivals Kim Kardashian. She told our photog, Colin, Trump is sending a message to people who come from other countries like hers that they are not welcome in America.

Rep. Omar says her message is a direct counter -- that people with her background belong in this country and have the ability to serve the country ... that America is their country.

She's clearly touched by the support she's received from Cardi B and other celebrities who have embraced her.

And, check out the end, as she scoffs at a reporter who asks if Trump's comments were racist. She makes it clear ... that's old news.

Katy Perry Takes The Stand For 'Dark Horse' Trial

ARRIVING TO COURT
TMZ.com

12:40 PM PT -- Katy just took the stand and claims she never heard the song, "Joyful Noise," prior to the filing of the lawsuit. She says she first heard the beats from Dr. Luke while drinking white wine in Santa Barbara and wrote "Dark Horse" in just 4 hours. Katy remained calm throughout her testimony. 

Katy Perry just arrived to an L.A. Federal Courthouse where a trial is set to take place involving her song "Dark Horse."

Perry -- wearing a mint-colored suit -- is expected to testify in the trial today in what has been a lengthy legal battle.

As we reported ... Katy was sued by Christian rapper Flame back in July 2014 after claiming Katy's 2013 hit track "Dark Horse" is a total rip-off of his Grammy-nominated gospel track "Joyful Noise." Flame's music label uploaded the music video in 2008 to YouTube and it has nearly 4 million views.

According to the suit ... Flame says Perry not only jacked their religious music ... she also destroyed his reputation in the Christian music world because they're now associated with the anti-Christian witchcraft and imagery that appears in the "Dark Horse" music video.

Flame claims Katy jacked the underlying beat ... but she's calling BS, saying there are no significant similarities.

Originally Published -- 9:31 AM PT

Kim & Kanye Lobbied Trump in A$AP's Case ... Kushner, Pompeo Run Point

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TMZ/Getty

3:39 PM PT -- Kim just tweeted about the A$AP situation, saying, "Thank you @realDonaldTrump, @SecPompeo, Jared Kushner & everyone involved with the efforts to Free ASAP Rocky & his two friends. Your commitment to justice reform is so appreciated."

President Trump is very much aware of A$AP Rocky's legal sitch in Sweden -- and he's got his team working to get him freed ... thanks in part to Kim K and Kanye West.

That's right ... we've learned Kim and Kanye lobbied The White House to jump in and get involved in the drama across the pond -- where A$AP's been behind bars for more than two weeks now as prosecutors determine if the rapper should be charged with aggravated assault.

Here's how it went down. We're told as soon as Kim and Kanye heard about A$AP's predicament earlier this month ... Kanye urged Kim to get on the horn and talk to Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner -- with whom Kim is very familiar from her previous White House work.

Our sources say Kim filled Jared in on what was happening, and Jared then took the info to Trump himself ... whom, we're told, acknowledged something seemed amiss.

In addition to Kim and Kanye, Kareem Lanier and Pastor Darrell Scott of the White House’s Urban Revitalization Coalition, also played a big role … helping to connect ASAP’s management directly with Kushner through a phone call.

We're told Trump told Kushner he believed A$AP was being held unfairly, and wanted to help. As we reported, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo got involved and unleashed a few deputies in an attempt to get some action. A State Dept. member was supposed to arrive in Sweden Thursday.  We're told the State Dept. is now actively working to get A$AP out of jail, thanks in large part to Kim's efforts.

a stain on sweden
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However, some feel the State Dept. isn't moving fast enough. Members of the Congressional Black Caucus called Pompeo out for not doing more, though our sources say he's been working tirelessly. Fact is ... Swedish authorities have been unmoved so far ... and our sources say there's now real fear prosecutors might delay their decision beyond the 3 week mark and keep A$AP in custody.

Originally published -- 12:50 AM PT

Cardi B Free A$AP Rocky ... But No Boycott for Me, 'Cause I Love Sweden

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SWEET IN SWEDEN
TMZ.com

Cardi B has compassion for A$AP Rocky and wants him freed ASAP, but she's not about to boycott a country that has shown her unbridled love ... i.e., Sweden.

Cardi literally (well, almost) stopped Bev Hills in its tracks when she perused the shelves at Prada, with throngs of fans craning their necks to sneak a peak.

UPDATING THE CLOSET
TMZ.com

Our photog asked if she's down with pulling the plug on appearances in Sweden in protest of Sweden's decision to keep A$AP Rocky in jail while prosecutors noodle over whether to charge him with aggravated assault.

Cardi is clearly empathetic to the plight of A$AP, who's been stuck in a Swedish jail for more than 2 weeks. The State Dept. is actively trying to get him out and, with a little help from Kim and Kanye, President Trump is on board as well.

Cardi hadn't seen our video with Quavo, who said he too was abused by cops in Sweden.

SCREWED IN SWEDEN
TMZ.com

As for A$AP, the next 24 hours could be game-changing because we're told the State Dept. is putting the squeeze on Sweden to win his release.

Peyton Manning On Being NFL Exec ... 'I Like Being a Fan But We'll See'

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BIG FOOTBALL GUY
TMZSports.com

Peyton Manning ain't closing the door to the idea of running an NFL team -- telling TMZ Sports he REALLY likes being a fan right now ... but "we'll see."

"I kind of like being a fan," the future Hall of Famer told us on his way out of Spago in Beverly Hills.

"[I get to] go to a lot of games ... see the Broncos play, Colts play, see the Giants play ... so I'm kind of enjoying doing that part of it right now but we'll see."

There are multiple teams who have reached out to Manning to run football operations -- but Manning clearly isn't ready to make that life commitment right now ... just a few seasons after retiring as a player.

Peyton also weighs in on the current state of the QB position in the NFL ... and shouts out Patrick Mahomes from the Chiefs.

The 43-year-old also talks about how the NFL has handled issues regarding players getting violent off the field ... explaining why he thinks Roger Goodell and his crew are "trying their best."

Manning says the league has room to grow when it comes to those issues -- but ultimately "they're trying to do the right thing."

Ted Cruz Let's Build the Wall ... With El Chapo's $12 Billion!!!

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HAND IT OVER, CHAPO
TMZ.com

Ted Cruz is earmarking the billions upon billions of dollars El Chapo's been ordered to fork over to the U.S. to secure the southern border, and he says President Trump's backing his plan.

Like the Prez, the Texas Senator's all about building the wall, and he tells TMZ the next step now that the Mexican drug lord has been sentenced to life in prison ... should be to use his $12.6 BILLION fortune to make it happen.

Cruz acknowledges El Chapo's drug money might be difficult to track down, but says there should be no debate over where the cash goes once it's seized.

Ted's been serious about this for a couple years now -- he introduced legislation known as the EL CHAPO Act in April 2017, but it died ... so he reintroduced it in January.

He believes it's still a perfectly fitting conclusion to the Mexican kingpin's case. Check out his reasoning ... to Cruz it's basically poetic justice.

Not shockingly, Ted says POTUS is "enthusiastic" about the possibility of a quick and easy path to funding the wall ... for which he once promised Mexico would pay.

Jermaine Dupri Clarifies 'Stripper Rap' Remarks ... Not At All What I Said

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GOT THE BALL ROLLING
TMZ.com

A lot has been made of Jermaine Dupri's comments about female rappers -- but he wants to set the record straight on what was and wasn't said ... straight from the horse's mouth.

We talked to JD on "TMZ Live" Wednesday about an interview he recently did with People Now that's been catching tons of backlash in and around the hip-hop community. 

He said some of the hot femcees in the game right now sound like "strippers rapping" when asked specifically about Cardi B, Nicki Minaj and Megan Thee Stallion, going on to say he didn't have a fave of those three 'cause he felt they all rapped about the same thing.

For the record, Cardi is the only one out of the above-mentioned MCs who used to dance -- Nicki and Meg did not. 

Jermaine clarifies that his remark was only aimed at the artists he was asked about -- and made a point to say that his statement was not meant to be a blanket label on all female rappers. He also recoils against claims he's sexist, saying nothing's further from the truth.

Waiting for your permission to load the Instagram Media.

Cardi weighed in on the issue herself, basically saying she's giving the people what they want ... so she's gonna keep rapping about her "p***y" 'til people demand otherwise. 

Jermaine points out Cardi appears to have heard this complaint before, and that his remark is likely a widespread sentiment that's only catching fire because he's the first big name to publicly voice it -- namely, the most popular female rappers right now focus heavily on sex.

Whether he's got a point or not ... Jermaine does have a solution of sorts for the ladies. If they got bars, he's got beats.

Floyd Mayweather 'Begging' Khabib for Boxing Match ... Manager Says

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TMZ

Floyd Mayweather's reps have been "begging" Khabib Nurmagomedov to sign a contract for a Conor McGregor-style boxing match ... this according to Khabib's manager. 

"Floyd Mayweather to this day keeps begging to fight Khabib, BEGGING!" Ali Abdelaziz tells TMZ Sports.

FLOYD BEGGIN'
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"I'm telling you, people reaching out to me every week about Floyd to fight Khabib but at the end of the day, we're not interested ... for now."

Ali says Khabib is laser-focused on his Sept. 7 fight against Dustin Poirier in Abu Dhabi for the UFC lightweight title ... and after that he's eyeing either Tony Ferguson or Georges St-Pierre

Ali also represents Henry Cejudo -- so we asked how he felt about recently-unretired UFC Hall of Famer Urijah Faber calling for a crack at the Triple C. 

Long story short, Ali says Henry would be down ... but he wants 40-year-old Urijah to fight #1 bantamweight contender Marlon Moraes first ... and if Faber can get through Marlon, he would prove he's worthy of a title shot. 

Stay tuned on this one ... 

NO CUTTING, MARLON'S NEXT
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Chris Pratt 'Don't Tread On Me' Shirt Stirs Debate ... Revolutionary War Slogan Racist???

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Chris Pratt wore a shirt that repped the "Don't Tread On Me" flag, which has now been labeled by some as "racist" and something white supremacists use ... but that's not entirely accurate.

Here's the deal ... Chris was out in L.A. with his wife, Katherine Schwarzenegger, earlier this week ... and he was wearing a navy t-shirt with the American flag on it and a rattlesnake superimposed, sitting atop the phrase "Don't Tread On Me." It's a mash-up of Old Glory and the Gadsden flag. 

Chris has been criticized over the past few days for repping the flag and the slogan -- originally created during the Revolutionary War as a message from the American colonies to England. It has since been adopted by the Tea Party and other far-right political groups. 

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The Gadsden flag has also been used by some white supremacists in recent years -- most notably in 2014 when the bodies of 2 dead police officers were draped with the Gadsden flag that also bore swastikas. It's also been seen in the same company as confederate and Nazi flags.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ruled in 2016 that the flag alone could be viewed as racial harassment in the workplace, depending on the context. While it noted the flag doesn't have racist origins, today it can be "sometimes interpreted to convey racially-tinged messages in some contexts." The agency called for further investigation.

The reason why Chris Pratt is being called out might have to do with a Yahoo UK article that flat-out called his wardrobe a "white supremacist" shirt ... making the leap many other outlets wouldn't.

Our take ... Chris wearing the shirt doesn't mean he supports white supremacy or anything else hateful or extreme, for that matter. He is, however, known as a conservative guy, and that's all there is to it. 

Elon Musk Not Monkeying Around ... We Can Control Computers with Our Minds!!!

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It's a "Black Mirror" episode come to life -- Elon Musk is developing a chip to implant in the brain that allows humans to control computers with their minds ... and says a monkey's already done it.

The tech guru made the stunning announcement Tuesday to employees at his neurotechnology company, Neuralink. While answering a question about testing the chip on animals, Musk said the results have been "very positive," and went on to boast ... "A monkey has been able to control a computer with its brain, just FYI."

Elon didn't elaborate, but some of the results of the testing are expected in a report soon, and he says the company hopes to start testing on humans before the end of the year.

So, what exactly is the goal of this? Musk wants to create a "brain-computer interface," and design a chip that can be implanted in the brain capable of transmitting signals with it.

He says the short-term goal would be to treat various brain disorders like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's, but ultimately ... Musk's mission is to achieve "symbiosis with artificial intelligence."

Translation -- our brains would be directly connected to computers for mutual benefit. You'll literally have Google on the brain.

What could possibly go wrong?

Nipsey Hussle LAPD Says He Wasn't a Target ... But Why Was He Named in Gang Investigation?

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TMZ

Nipsey Hussle was not going to be prosecuted for any type of gang activity at the time of his death ... the LAPD was trying to curb gang activity in and around his store, but he was never the target, according to law enforcement sources.

As TMZ and the New York Times reported, the LAPD and L.A. City Attorney were investigating Nipsey and his business partners for alleged gang activity at his Marathon Clothing store and the surrounding strip mall.

Sources connected to the 2 agencies now tell us, they weren't specifically targeting Nipsey -- they say the investigation centered around abating gang activity in the area, which has been a long-standing problem.

No one from either agency would be specific as to their end game. And, no one from either agency could explain why Nipsey's name was specifically mentioned in connection with the investigation, especially since they now say he wasn't a target.

One high-ranking law enforcement source tells TMZ, the investigation is now a hot potato in the wake of Nipsy's murder, because the City has hailed him as a hero and someone who was trying to prevent gang violence. 

WE MUST PUSH FORWARD
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Nipsey shunned gang activity at Marathon and although he allowed gang members to enter his shop he forbade any violence. As a matter of fact, he employed past felons and ex-gang members to keep them on the straight and narrow. 

By the way ... Nipsey's family closed the Marathon store after his death, but the online shop is still up and running.