Mike Bloomberg I've Apologized for 'Stop & Frisk' ... But He Said It in 2013 Too

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SHOWING TRUE COLORS?
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12:00 PM PT -- Bloomberg was staunchly defending the policing, and even arrests, of minorities years before his controversial 2015 speech. During a weekly radio appearances in 2013 -- when he was still NYC Mayor -- Bloomberg said too many whites are being stopped-and-frisked while minorities were getting off easy ... statistically speaking.

He said, "I think we disproportionately stop whites too much and minorities too little."

Bloomberg said this as the city council passed NYPD oversight bills specifically to check the NYPD's controversial tactic. Bloomberg at the time vowed to veto the bills.

10:34 AM PT -- Bloomberg is providing some context to the audio clip, and also firing back at President Trump. He says, "I inherited the police practice of stop-and-frisk, and as part of our effort to stop gun violence it was overused. By the time I left office, I cut it back by 95%, but I should've done it faster and sooner. I regret that and I have apologized -- and I have taken responsibility for taking too long to understand the impact it had on Black and Latino communities."

He pointed to reduced incarceration stats in NYC during his time as Mayor. Then Bloomberg turned his ire toward POTUS, saying, "President Trump inherited a country marching towards greater equality and divided us with racist appeals and hateful rhetoric."

He also specifically addressed Trump's tweet -- "The President's attack on me clearly reflects his fear over the growing strength of my campaign. Make no mistake Mr. President: I am not afraid of you and I will not let you bully me or anyone else in America."

Audio of Mike Bloomberg defending stop and frisk policing against minorities has the Presidential hopeful on the ropes, and it's drawing one particularly rich shot ... from President Trump.

UP AGAINST THE WALL!!!
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The audio is reportedly from a 2015 speech the former NYC Mayor gave for the Aspen Institute ... where he discussed police targeting minorities, and flat-out said ... it's the best way to get guns off the streets.

Bloomberg said, "95% of your murders, murderers and murder victims fit one M.O. You can just take the description, Xerox it, and pass it out to all the cops. They are male, minorities, 16-25. That's true in New York, that's true in virtually every city."

The billionaire went on to explain that the majority of police officers are deployed in minority neighborhoods "because that's where all the crime is. And the way you get the guns out of the kids' hands is to throw them up against the wall and frisk them." He said it's the best way to deter kids from carrying weapons because they won't want to get busted.

Of course, the Democratic candidate for Prez is getting skewered on social media ... and that includes a shot from the Commander-in-Tweet. Early Tuesday President Trump retweeted the audio with the caption, "WOW. BLOOMBERG IS A TOTAL RACIST!"

If that hits you as kinda hypocritical, apparently it also did for someone in the White House -- who might have reminded Prez Trump about his immigration policies -- or the fact he himself has publicly supported "stop & frisk." The tweet was deleted.

We've reached out to Bloomberg's campaign ... no word back yet.

Originally Published -- 6:56 AM PT

MLB's Marwin Gonzalez Sorry For Role In Astros Scandal ... 'I'm Remorseful'

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Marwin Gonzalez -- a star on the Astros 2017 World Series team -- just apologized for his role in Houston's sign-stealing scandal ... telling reporters Tuesday, "I'm remorseful."

Marwin is believed to be the first Astros position player to say he's sorry for the cheating.

"I'm remorseful for everything that happened in 2017," Gonzalez said.

As we previously reported, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred says the Astros filmed pitchers and catchers during games in '17 and illegally relayed the signs to batters using a banging sound from the dugout.

A BUNCH of MLB stars -- from Cody Bellinger to CC Sabathia -- have been livid over Manfred's findings ... and a former relief pitcher just sued Houston over it all too.

But, prior to Gonzalez's meeting with media at Minnesota Twins camp this week ... it's believed that only Astros pitchers had apologized for their team's actions, NOT the players that actually benefited most from the cheating.

"[I'm remorseful] for everything that we did as a group," Gonzalez said. "And the players that were affected directly by us doing this ... That's why I feel more regret. That's why I'm remorseful."

Gonzalez had his best season EVER in 2017 ... recording a .303 batting average, 23 home runs and 90 RBI. He finished 19th in the MVP vote.

Manfred has said, however, individual active players will NOT be punished for their roles in the scandal.

Jessica Simpson Laughs Off Animal Rights Protesters ... Her New Normal

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ANOTHER DAY, ANOTHER PROTEST
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Jessica Simpson was confronted by animal rights protesters who crashed her book signing Monday night -- and she came off as pretty patronizing.

The singer was on stage with Katherine Schwarzenegger at the Aratani Theatre in L.A., where she was talking about her new memoir, "Open Book," when a swarm of PETA peeps jumped up from out in the crowd with signs and chants against wearing fur.

It looks like they were escorted out by security, but check out the way JS responded to all the noise ... she says it's beautiful they stand up for what they believe in, but does so in a sarcastic tone. It comes off as pretty condescending.

STOP WEARING FUR
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Jessica actually tells Katherine she's used to this by now, and she's absolutely right. We know of at least two other anti-fur confrontations she's had as of late ... on the same day.

FUR IS DEAD
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There was a large protest at a Barnes & Noble in NYC where Jessica was doing a book signing, and later as she was leaving a restaurant -- confronted yet again. She never engaged with them about a week ago when this all went down -- but now, she is.

Jessica's known for having worn fur in the past -- it's unclear if she still does, or what the anti-fur folks seek to gain at this point. If it's awareness, they're winning there.

Blac Chyna Hate for Me at Oscars ... It's Straight-Up Racism!!!

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The confusion, or even contempt, over Blac Chyna being a guest at the Oscars proves the award show still has a big problem with people of color -- that's how she feels, anyway.

A rep for Chyna tells TMZ ... what should have been a magical and dream-fulfilling moment for her has turned into a demeaning instance of "black lash," with multiple media outlets unfairly asking, "Why is SHE there?"

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In Chyna's view, she more than deserved to be there not only because she contributes to the entertainment industry as star of her own reality show, but as a black woman who "finds inspiration in supporting her friends, mentors, and other talent that has helped provide a blueprint for her career."

Chyna's rep says her Academy Awards attendance was no different from many other entertainment professionals who attended, despite not being nominated or involved in film in any way. The biggest difference, according to Chyna's team, is her background and skin color.

"Whether it be the fact that she is a reality star, a single mother, or the inevitable reminder that she was a former stripper ... it does nothing to change the narrative that just maybe the Oscars indeed are 'so white'" ... says Chyna's rep.

The rep adds, all the buzz over Chyna's attendance "further highlights the fight that many African Americans in the Entertainment Industry face; yes, even during Black History Month."

Ya get the point. Chyna's incensed and feels she's the victim of systemic racism.

We're told she still feels it was worth it to take a stand and be a role model, showing young people of color what they can achieve.

BTW, we're told she went with a music producer but secured her own invitation.

Myles Garrett Meets With Goodell For Reinstatement ... No Ruling Yet

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Myles Garrett is one step closer to getting back in the NFL -- the Cleveland Browns superstar met with commissioner Roger Goodell and other execs on Monday to discuss reinstatement.

Garrett was suspended indefinitely back in November after attacking Pittsburgh Steelers QB Mason Rudolph with a helmet. He appealed the decision, but it was eventually upheld.

TMZ Sports has confirmed ... the superstar met with the folks at the NFL to discuss his status with the league, but an official decision is still in the works.

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According to Ian Rapoport, it's believed Garrett will make it back in time for the Browns' first game of the 2020 season ... as long as he held up his part of the deal and sought counseling.

Garrett has slowly started to return to the spotlight in the meantime ... showing face at a recent Lakers game alongside LeBron James' best friend and super agent, Rich Paul.

The 24-year-old has also stayed in tip-top shape ... he recently posted a vid of himself deadlifting what looked to be an INSANE 465 pounds!!

Yella Beezy Sued I Got My Ass Beat ... That's On You!!!

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Rapper Yella Beezy is being accused of opening a can of whoop-ass on a guy tied to another rapper with whom Beezy's got serious beef.

Brandon Rainwater is suing Yella claiming he and his crew beat him to a pulp outside the hotspot strip club, V Live in Dallas ... this according to docs obtained by TMZ. We're told the alleged beatdown left Rainwater with a dislocated hip.

THE ALLEGED BEATDOWN
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Surveillance video taken across the street from the club appears to show the fight in progress.

In docs, Rainwater claims he showed up to the club last month but when he tried getting inside he was told by security to wait. Rainwater manages Dallas-based rapper Mo3 ... who has a history of beefing with Yella. Anyway, Rainwater claims a security guard approached him with a gun in his left hand and Yella standing behind him.

Fearing trouble was about to go down, Rainwater claims he ran out of there but Yella and his crew chased him down and beat him up. Rainwater claims after the dust settled, Yella and his crew headed back to the club's parking lot and bragged about the alleged assault.

"i beat him up"

Rainwater says he was taken to the hospital that night and is undergoing physical therapy following the assault. He's also suing V Live for inadequate security. He's suing for assault and claims he's owed up to $1 million in damages.

We've reached out to Yella ... so far, no word back.

Lori Loughlin Olivia Jade's Fake Rowing Resume ... Good Enough for USC, But Who Wrote It???

Lori Loughlin and Mossimo Giannulli's youngest daughter has quite the list of accomplishments in rowing -- at least her resume made it seem that way to USC.

Federal prosecutors released some of the documents Olivia Jade submitted to USC, allegedly to make it seem like she wanted a coveted spot on its crew team ... and it's packed with a list of events and some impressive finishes. Remember, Olivia never really competitively rowed a day in her life.

However, according to the docs, from 2014 to 2017 ... Olivia earned 2 gold medals, 2 silvers and 2 bronzes as a coxswain for her high school team. She didn't do so well in the prestigious Head of Charles race in Boston, though. In 2016, her team came in 11th, and the next year they came in 14th.

BTW, the resume was clearly drawn up by someone who doesn't have deep crew knowledge. It's missing key stats about Olivia's participation, and while her high school really did compete in these events ... the finishes don't match the real results.

The resume also suggests Olivia could be a very successful coxswain in one of USC's 4 boats. Interestingly, she points out her older sister, Isabella, is already on the school's roster as coxswain for boat #4. The resume ends by boasting Olivia is "highly talented and has been successful in both men's and women's boats."

The feds are obviously including the resume as an exhibit to show how extensively they believe the Giannullis lied and plotted to get their daughters into USC. Prosecutors say USC associate athletic director Donna Heinel submitted Olivia's rowing resume to the athletics sub-committee without referencing any donations her parents made to the university.

The feds claim this shows USC, with the exception of Heinel, was defrauded.

Lori and Mossimo's lawyers have long maintained they only submitted materials that Rick Singer asked them to, and had no knowledge of anyone being bribed at the university. In fact, the feds don't even say who created the phony resume -- and if it were someone on Singer's team, the document would seem to strengthen the Giannullis' case.

Kim Zolciak Cosmetic Enhancements ... Yup, There's a Limit!!

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Kim Zolciak says there's a hard line she won't let her daughters cross when it comes to cosmetic enhancements. Sorry, Rob Riggle but ... NOT IN THE FACE!!!

We got Kim and hubby, Kroy Biermann, at LAX Friday and our camera guy wanted to talk cosmetic surgery ... particularly when it comes to her 18-year-old daughter, Ariana. Kim tells us her kids gotta wait till they turn 18 to get anything done.

Seems she won't cop to Ariana already getting lip fillers ... but a month after turning 18, Ariana took to Instagram and posted a video where everybody noticed her lips were ... full.

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Kim tells us Ariana's gonna do what a girl's gotta do but check out the vid ... seems there's still guidelines the girls gotta follow even if they have the green light. As you may know by now ... Brielle, who got her lips done at 18, has now removed all fillers and embraced her natural look ... captioning a recent pic "2020 new year new me!"

Our guy also asks Kim and Kroy if kids should be forced to wait until they're 18 for cosmetic enhancements. Watch ... it's a touchy subject.

Snoop Dogg I Wasn't Threatening Gayle ... Over That Kobe Interview

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Snoop Dogg says he was NOT threatening CBS anchor Gayle King over her Kobe Bryant interview -- but the record shows he did make a somewhat threatening comment.

The rapper took to IG Saturday to clarify a video he posted a few days ago criticizing Gayle for an interview she did with WNBA player Lisa Leslie. Snoop made what many perceived as threats against her, but now ... he claims he didn't and means her no harm.

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Snoop says he's a non-violent person and was raised better than that. He insists he was only speaking on behalf of people who felt disrespected by Gayle's interview and was only going from the heart. Snoop says all he wanted to do was point out she was out of line.

What's interesting is that he claims he never threatened her -- and only told her Kobe's fans were "watching" her -- but his own words seem to contradict him here.

What Snoop said verbatim ... "Funky dog head bitch. How dare you try to tarnish my motherf***in' home boy's reputation, punk motherf***er. Respect the family and back off, bitch. Before we come get you." This came after a tirade against Gayle coming after black men, but not being as enthusiastic to grill people about Harvey Weinstein (in Snoop's eyes).

Maybe he was speaking figuratively, but the fact is ... "come get you" can be seen as a threat, even if it isn't meant seriously. Regardless, the criticism appears to have opened the floodgates for others who've allegedly made death threats against Gayle.

Gayle herself came out and said the clip was taken out of context from a much longer and wide-ranging interview, and that she felt CBS had screwed her by releasing a clip showing just that part where she pressed Lisa about the rape claim against Kobe.

TAKEN OUT OF CONTEXT

While Gayle feels the clip was unfairly represented, it doesn't take away from the fact she did push Lisa about that topic -- and felt it was, in fact, appropriate to do so in the moment.

Either way, it sounds like Snoop wants anyone who might've jumped on his bandwagon to stand down and relax. Hear that, everybody?

Andy Cohen That Homophobic Iowa Delegate ... She Has a Friend in Mayor Pete!!!

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Andy Cohen is stunned Pete Buttigieg is a real contender for the Democratic nomination for President, but he couldn't be happier.

We got Andy Saturday leaving Barry Diller's pre-Oscar bash and he seemed genuinely moved by Mayor Pete ... who was written off by many people in traditional media.

Andy made a great point ... the woman who said she just couldn't vote for Pete because he married a man needs a gay friend. He says she needs someone who can show her gay people are just like straight people in most respects ... they're people.

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And, the "Watch What Happens Live" host had high praise for the way Buttigieg answered the question of what he'd say to that woman and what he'd do for her if elected Prez.

BTW ... Diller's party had tons of celebs, including Jeff Bezos, Lauren Sanchez, Jeffrey Katzenberg, Nicki Hilton, Brian Grazer, Robert Kraft and Gwyneth Paltrow.

Gayle King Asking About Kobe's Rape Case Was Insensitive ... Says Kenny Smith

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Kenny Smith says the timing of Gayle King's questions about Kobe Bryant's rape case was WAY OFF ... telling TMZ Sports her interview with Lisa Leslie was "insensitive."

King has been the center of criticism ever since the interview aired earlier this week ... with people upset that she grilled Leslie about Bryant's 2003 rape case that was later dismissed.

The backlash has gotten so extreme ... Oprah claims her friend is getting death threats as a result, despite the majority of the interview being positive.

We spoke with Smith about the whole situation ... and he thinks it was inappropriate to bring up that part of Kobe's past so quickly after his tragic death.

"It's unfortunate that during this time of grieving, I think the timing of the interview totally was off," Smith said at LAX.

"With everyone still grieving ... to have an interview that was led in that direction, I think the timing was insensitive."

Smith applauds Leslie's responses to the tough questions ... but wishes she wasn't in that position to begin with.

King has spoken out about the interview ... saying she was upset with CBS because she felt the promo clip for the interview made it seem like the whole focus was the rape case. CBS officials say they understand King's point and have vowed to make changes going forward.

Lori Loughlin Prosecutors Scoff at Her ... We Don't Have Time Travel or Telepathy Skills!!!

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Lori Loughlin says the government has withheld key evidence proving her innocence in the college admissions scandal, but the government has just fired back ... sarcastically responding that the so-called exculpatory evidence was a statement that the witness had not even made when Lori started complaining.

TMZ broke the story ... Lori and her husband, Mossimo Giannulli, claimed the U.S. Attorney intentionally withheld evidence showing they were giving money to USC and unaware any of the $500,000 was used to bribe University officials.

The government just responded, saying there is no such evidence being withheld, and then doubling down, saying, "the absence of such evidence is a result of their criminal conduct, not any government disclosure violations."

And, now prosecutors get nasty. They say some of the information that was just handed over -- evidence Lori claims was wrongly withheld -- is from interviews conducted with witnesses very recently. Prosecutors say in the legal docs ... "The government has broad powers, but they do not include mental telepathy or time travel. The government cannot disclose witness statements before the witnesses make them."

The government goes on to say no University officials condoned the scheme.

Jordan Belfort Madoff Deserves Life in Prison ... No Way He Gets Out Early!!!

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NO SPECIAL TREATMENT
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Jordan Belfort's not showing Bernie Madoff any sympathy following his request to get out of prison early, due to a terminal illness ... and he doesn't think the judge will either.

The "Wolf of Wall Street" has some history with the notorious Ponzi scheme mastermind, but he tells TMZ regardless of that ... the notion of Madoff getting released -- when he was sentenced to 150 YEARS -- is utterly ridiculous.

Belfort says Madoff got a life sentence for a reason -- because his crimes were horrendous, staggeringly affected people's lives and resulted in suicides ... including his own son's. Jordan doesn't see any justifiable reason to let a guy like that off the hook, even if Madoff claims he only has 18 months to live because of kidney failure.

As for their personal beef ... Belfort reminds us Madoff went after him when Bernie was the chairman of NASDAQ. Jordan admits that was justified, but says Madoff was just diverting attention from his own heinous crimes ... the ultimate hypocrite move.

Belfort concedes he'd be willing to cut Madoff some slack if he initially received a shorter sentence and had served a large chunk of it, but life is life, and that's the point ... according to the Wolf.

Grant Robicheaux, Cerissa Riley Lawyer Still Confident Charges Will Be Dropped 'Ultimately I Think It's Very Good'

A MINOR SETBACK
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12:54 PM PT -- Philip Kent Cohen, attorney for the couple, told reporters the judge's decision is surprising but feels ultimately it'll be very good for a third entity to see why the charges should be dropped. He likened the disappointment to waking up on Christmas and seeing an empty tree. But, he's adamant ... "whatever questions the judge had and may have will be sufficiently and significantly and overwhelmingly answered when he gets to see the reports."

The couple did NOT talk to reporters and Cerissa was emotional during Cohen's presser.

11:31 AM PT -- The hearing has ended and judge has ordered the prosecutors to submit their briefings, saying, "So that I can have a better understanding of the facts involved." The charges were NOT dropped and everyone is to return to court April 3.

11:24 AM PT -- The judge has not yet agreed to dismiss the case and has requested briefings from both sides before making a decision.

9:11 AM PT -- There's a 9 AM hearing going on right now, but there will be a news conference immediately afterward where Dr. Robicheaux and Cerissa are expected to speak about the charges being dropped. We'll be streaming live.

OUR LIVES WERE RUINED
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The Newport Beach surgeon and his girlfriend, who were charged with drugging and raping women and facing decades in prison, are breathing a huge sigh of relief Friday ... the charges against them will be officially dropped.

Dr. Grant Robicheaux and his GF, Cerissa Riley, have been in the crosshairs of a former O.C. prosecutor for a year-and-a-half ... for allegedly using their good looks and drugs to lure women to their home and rape them in an unconscious or semiconscious state.

Robicheaux was charged with 17 felonies, including 5 counts of rape. Riley was charged with 13 felonies, including rape. The prosecutor who filed the charges -- Tony Rackauckas -- claimed at the time he filed the charges there were thousands of photos and videos to support his case and claimed there could be as many as a thousand victims.

But, the D.A. who defeated Rackauckas -- Todd Spitzer -- claims the prosecution was bogus and there was no evidence of sexual assault. Spitzer says not a single video shows any evidence of an unconscious victim or sexual assault, adding this was a shocking and transparent attempt by Rackauckas to win reelection.

Today Spitzer will formally drop all charges against the couple. The alleged victims may be allowed to testify during the hearing.

The couple has maintained their innocence from the start, and Riley told "Good Morning America" the decision by O.C. District Attorney Todd Spitzer to drop the charges has allowed her to "breathe again" and she feels like she's finally awoken from a nightmare.

Robicheaux says they're still in a state of shock and disbelief this happened to them, and they both insist they never even thought they were crossing a line with any of the women they had sex with.

Despite their relief, Robicheaux and Riley feel their lives have been ruined by the allegations and the story going nationwide ... and it's going to be a struggle going forward for quite some time.

Originally Published -- 7:48 AM PT

Oprah Winfrey Gayle King Is Not Doing Well ... Getting Death Threats Over Kobe Interview

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7:45 AM PT -- Oprah Winfrey -- Gayle's best friend -- was just brought to tears talking about the situation. Oprah says Gayle has received death threats and has hired a security team to protect her from potential danger.

STOP THE HATE
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Gayle King got set up to look like an insensitive troll because her network posted a salacious promo ... that's how some staffers at "CBS This Morning" feel anyway.

Sources connected to the show tell TMZ ... some of Gayle's coworkers are incensed over the backlash she's getting because a promo clip of her interview with Lisa Leslie about Kobe Bryant, included a question about his 2003 sexual assault case. Lisa pushed back, making it clear ... in her book, it's not relevant to Kobe's legacy.

We're told the staffers believe CBS never should have let the clip see the light of day.

Gayle was being shredded on social media after the promo ran, and she was beside herself, saying she was blindsided and making it clear ... she was going to make her displeasure known to the network. She did just that, and the network folded, saying it erred.

The staffers we spoke with say ... the interview is actually flattering to Kobe and covers his achievements in both life and career.

Fact is ... CBS and every other network chooses promos that sizzle ... promos that will draw people in, and often times it's the salacious stuff that gets put out. At CBS, you'll recall, they made lots of news when they released a promo with R. Kelly going off the rails, screaming uncontrollably. The difference between that and Kobe ... Gayle didn't look bad in the R. Kelly promo.

TAKEN OUT OF CONTEXT

Our sources say CBS failed by not protecting its undisputed star of the morning show. They should have realized the promo -- out of context -- would subject Gayle to great criticism, but that didn't happen. CBS promises it won't happen again.

Our sources say staffers feel the network owes it to its talent to keep them out of messes like this, especially when King's full interview with Leslie painted a very nice picture of Kobe and his legacy ... and should have been the focus of any excerpts.

Our sources say the person who was responsible for the posting the clip has not been fired but feels awful about what transpired.

Originally Published -- 1:00 AM PT