Inauguration Day Police Bracing for Worst Across U.S. ... From Trump Tower to L.A. Zoo

Exclusive

State capitols aren't the only landmarks authorities fear might become potential targets for violence in the wake of Joe Biden's inauguration ... we're told law enforcement will pay special attention to other landmarks around the U.S.

In New York, we're told there will be heightened security at Trump Tower and other locations linked to the outgoing President ... with additional officers patrolling City Hall in the days leading up to the inauguration. We're told there are no specific threats targeting these buildings, but the NYPD and other agencies aren't taking any chances.

Our sources say in L.A., aside from fortifying government buildings, the LAPD is going to pay special attention to power structures, water treatment plants, communication towers, power grids and the L.A. Zoo. This isn't the first time the zoo got special protection. As for why ... police are concerned people who want to cause trouble would go in and release animals, which would turn the city upside down.

Likewise, Beverly Hills PD sources tell us they're pulling out all the stops in terms of police presence on Inauguration Day. You may recall, Bev Hills was the site of protests and some unrest in the wake of George Floyd's death -- lots of pro and anti-Trump activity.

"Monitoring the situation" is the mantra in San Fran, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Chicago, Atlanta and Miami as well ... according to our sources.

Of course, in D.C., there's been a massive police presence since the Capitol riots and the National Guard's been called in to help protect people and buildings. Trump's hotel has also received some extra protection ... in the form of a fence and other barricades.

Police in D.C. Fatigued and Frustrated ... Alarming Sign with Inauguration Coming

Exclusive

The D.C. police officers who've been tasked with protecting the nation's capital in the aftermath of the Capitol riots are feeling depleted ... which is causing concern in the days leading up to Joe Biden's inauguration.

Law enforcement sources tell TMZ ... since January 6, the date of the violent insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, officers with both Capitol Police and the Metropolitan PD have been working a minimum of 12-hour shifts, 7 days a week, with no clear end in sight.

We're told a large number of cops are feeling drained with all of the overtime, and fear they won't be in good form come Inauguration Day -- when they need to be eagle-eyed.

Our sources say some Capitol Police staff are upset with leadership at the agency, because they feel they're most worried about image right now ... given the disaster on January 6.

Officers with the Metro PD have also been enlisted to protect the Capitol and buildings in D.C., and we're told they have many of the same grievances since the riots -- 12-14 hour days with no breaks ... and everyone's fatigued.

We're told Metro and USCP officers have been told they need to be on board with little or no time for family for a couple weeks ... possibly well into February if there's still a credible threat of unrest after the inauguration.

It has already taken its toll, with some law enforcement personnel resigning.

Our sources say a common question being asked by the officers is ... how are we supposed to be 100 percent if we're already spent?

1/6/21
CRUSHED BY INSURRECTIONISTS
Storyful

The silver lining, according to our sources, is that officers are being allowed to take time off if they are having mental health struggles. We broke the story ... Capitol Police are being encouraged to seek counseling to deal with the deaths and trauma linked to the riots, and are getting the help they need.

However ... it sounds like many of them just need some sleep.

AOC to Rachel Maddow I Couldn't Tell the Good Cops from the Bad ... During Capitol Insurrection

I'M STILL SHAKEN
MSNBC

There were Capitol police who were nothing less than heroic trying to contain the January 6 insurrection, and there were other Capitol cops who were up to no good ... so says Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

AOC appeared Friday on Rachel Maddow's show, and talked somewhat obliquely about the terror she felt during the failed coup.

Her account is bone-chilling ... "These acts of great heroism, even within Capitol Police and within Congressional staff, etc, that were juxtaposed with acts of great betrayal by people in those same ranks."

As AOC explains ... she and other members couldn't tell the good guys from the bad. As she put it ... "Whether they are there to hurt, or help."

"I THOUGHT I WAS GOING TO DIE"

Maddow asked the Congresswoman about what AOC had previously described as a brush with death, though she was not specific at the time. AOC had explained she couldn't provide details because of security concerns, but something frightening clearly went down.

TMZ broke the story ... the FBI almost immediately honed in on what appears to be a small group of Capitol police and Capitol staff, investigating whether they facilitated the insurrection. Several Capitol cops actually opened the door for some of the rioters.

1/6/21
WALK THIS WAY
Shaun King / Twitter

You may have heard ... several members of Congress actually gave some of the insurrectionists a guided tour of the Capitol the day before the riot, which could, in part, explain how they could beeline to Nancy Pelosi's out-of-the-way office and to Jim Clyburn's office that had an unmarked door.

It's clear from the interview ... AOC is still shaken.

Capitol Insurrection Officer Crushed by Door Gets Well Wishes ... From 10-Year-Old Montana Girl

Johnna Jablonski/MPDC Composite

A 10-year-old girl from Montana was so upset and moved by the video of a Capitol police officer who was crushed as he tried to protect the building from insurrectionists ... she reached out to him, and he got her message loud and clear.

Emma Jablonski was heartbroken when she watched Officer Daniel Hodges doing his job in agony, as he was crushed by a metal door frame during the attack. He was trying to fend off the rioters who had overwhelmed him and other Capitol cops.

1/6/21
CRUSHED BY INSURRECTIONISTS
Storyful

Emma couldn't do much from her home in Billings, but she wanted to do something ... so she wrote Hodges a get well card that read ... "I hope you heal from being crushed. I feel bad for you. Those people are really bad hurting you... I saw the video on CNN about people crushing you with a door. I almost cried. Get well."

A CHILD'S CONCERN
NBC 5

Emma tweeted her note, and it only took a few hours for the Capitol police to see it. The Dept. responded by telling the girl, "Officer Hodges is recovering and doing well."

Word got to Hodges, and he and Emma connected on video chat. Emma decided she'd send him a card with her note along with a gift or 2.

Hodges is among the nearly 60 officers injured during the riot. Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick died from the injuries he sustained during the insurrection.

Bill Maher Here's What Trump Said About Me ... Epic Reaction from Kellyanne Conway

HE CALLED ME A DUMB ASS!
Real Time with Bill Maher/HBO

Bill Maher is back with a vengeance!!! None other than Kellyanne Conway kicked off Bill's first show since the election, and there were some hilarious moments.

Bill reminded Kellyanne she once said Trump didn't hurl personal insults ... well, he then ticked off not 2, not 5, not 10, not 20 ... but 22 Trumpian attacks on the 'Real Time' host, including, "Moron," "Stupid guy," "A low life," "Failing comedian," "Dumb ass," and so on.

Kellyanne's response ... well, watch the video. It's hilarious.

GET PACKIN', DONALD
Real Time with Bill Maher/HBO

Maybe even more hilarious .... Bill wanted to explain to Trump in the simplest terms that he really did lose the election, so he wrote a children's book called "Pack Your S*** and Go."

It begins like this ...

All the votes have been counted

All the courts said no

You're all out of options

Now pack your s*** and go

Best political show on TV ... period.

Donald Trump Mama Didn't Teach Him Manners ... No 'Thank-You' Note for Thor Hammer

Donald Trump apparently missed the class on etiquette, because you know that Thor hammer that was carried out of the White House? Well, it was a gift 4 years ago, and he never said "thank-you."

The hammer, which looks like a movie prop, was one of the many items that have made their exit from 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

We found out ... it was a gift from artists Clay and Teri Williams, who spent 3 months back in 2016 creating the art piece. They say the solid block of aluminum with a hand-cast pewter handle wrapped in high-grade Italian leather is valued at $3,500.

The couple are big Trump supporters ... they engraved the hammer with the battle cry, "Trump Make America Great."

They sent the hammer to Trump Tower in NYC a week before his inauguration but never heard anything from Trump thereafter.

They actually tried to find out what happened to the hammer by contacting the White House, but nada ... nothing.

The way they found out about the hammer's whereabouts ... well, they saw our story Friday with the photo of it being carried out of the West Wing.

As for not getting a simple "thank-you," well, they are letting him off the hook by saying he was busy the last 4 years. Still, you'd think with all the TV he watched, he'd have time to write a thank-you note.

The Williams say they still support Trump's values but don't support what happened at the Capitol.

As items are carried out of the White House, it's becoming clear Trump has his sights set on a Presidential Library of his own. Some of the boxes had the inscription, "Presidential Library Gifts." He likes having his name emblazoned on buildings, so no big surprise.

President Trump Personalized Thor Hammer Ships Out During White House Move

Donald Trump is no Theodore Roosevelt ... instead of carrying a big stick, Trump wields the hammer of Thor!! Who knew?

Check out what was just carried out of the White House ... a large, silver hammer engraved with the President's last name. We don't know if it's Marvel-issued, but it's a dead ringer for Thor's fave toy.

We all know Trump loves putting his name on buildings, so the engraved movie prop seems par for the course.

Hard to fault him for coveting this memorabilia, though ... even the dude from the National Archives and Records Administration who's hauling it away seems more than happy to be hauling it out.

LINCOLN OUT!!!
C-SPAN

It's been super interesting to keep an eye on Trump's trinkets being taken away from The White House this week ... like the mini baseball bat in storage containers marked "Presidential Library Gifts," and the bust of Abraham Lincoln.

Turns out the Oval Office has as much junk as yours!!

Animal Print 'Karen' Busted For Trespassing After Refusing To Wear Mask 'You're Violating My Personhood!!!'

Even for maskless Karens, this arrest is bizarre ... a woman -- decked out in animal print -- accused cops of violating her "personhood" and trying to kidnap her and steal her purse.

Cindy Falco-DiCorrado was arrested Thursday in Palm Beach County, Florida where she was filmed maskless inside an Einstein Bros. bagel joint ... after management says she refused to leave. She claimed it was her constitutional right to not wear a mask.

Waiting for your permission to load the Instagram Media.

According to the arrest affidavit ... Falco-DiCorrado told cops she was within her constitutional right to not wear a mask, but when cops tried to arrest her for trespassing, the 61-year-old accused the cop of violating her "personhood." A second cop eventually comes in to help get her out of the bagel shop.

Falco-DiCorrado's finally taken outside where she's arrested. She then starts accusing the cops of trying to steal her purse. Then ... she starts praying. You can see the cops are amused.

She was eventually arrested and booked for trespassing and resisting arrest. BTW, it's not the first time she's been embroiled in controversy.

Falco-DiCorrado, a staunch Trump supporter, was forced to resign from her volunteer seat on the County's Community Redevelopment Agency Advisory Board in 2017, following controversial remarks made during a meeting to designate Boynton Beach a sanctuary city.

Falco-DiCorrado allegedly told Black residents at the meeting, "You're lucky we brought you over as slaves, or else you'd be deported too." She later told the Palm Beach Post her comments were misinterpreted and she didn’t mean any harm.

National Guard in D.C. Massive Pizza Delivery ... Donors Keeping Troops Fed

It's far from a pizza party, but the National Guard troops stationed in the nation's capital to keep the peace ahead of Inauguration Day are being treated to pizza on the reg ... thanks to thoughtful donors.

A cargo van loaded with stacks of pies was delivered to troops throughout D.C. Friday, from the popular local restaurant We, The Pizza.

The pizza joint tells TMZ ... it launched an initiative Tuesday for people to donate money to provide food for the National Guard, D.C. and Capitol Police and the fire department.

We're told on Thursday this resulted in about 1,500 pizzas being delivered, and the number's at 500 and counting Friday. We, The Pizza says it plans on keeping up the pizza drive through the inauguration.

Members of Congress -- such as Reps. Michael Waltz and Vicky Hartzler -- have been personally involved in handing out the pies in the Capitol Building this week ... to show their support for protecting them.

As we've reported ... members of the National Guard have been called in to boost security in wake of the January 6 Capitol riots, which 20,000 expected to be in D.C. for Joe Biden's inauguration.

It's been no simple task, as evidenced by exhausted troops sleeping on the hard Capitol floor. Obviously, they deserve a lot more than pizza ... but it's a good start.

Donald Trump Signs of Presidential Library Plans Spotted at White House

President Trump's double impeachment isn't altering some big plans he's already making ... to build and fill his Presidential Library.

As Trump prepares to move out of The White House, several boxes and items were hauled out Thursday ... including a few storage containers marked "Presidential Library Gifts."

The bins are clear, but it's still hard to make out most of what's inside them ... although it looks like a mini baseball bat made the cut.

Presidents rack up gifts from all around the country and world during their time in The White House, and Trump's Republican Presidential predecessor ... George W. Bush houses approximately 43,000 such gifts at his Presidential Library and Museum in Dallas, TX.

Based on the labels on the storage bins ... it appears Trump has a similar idea in mind.

However, even though every POTUS since Hoover has had a Presidential Library, it's no easy project ... and the tale of the Barack Obama Presidential Center is a perfect example. There have been major funding and planning challenges because all the money comes from private sources, and construction was suspended in the Fall. They're hoping to restart sometime this year.

Considering Trump's been impeached twice and has suffered major blows to his business lately, he might face similar challenges. But, we know he's all about having his name on buildings ... so ya gotta think he's gonna try.

LINCOLN OUT!!!
C-SPAN

As we reported ... along with moving boxes, a bust of Abraham Lincoln was taken out of The White House Thursday, which raised some eyebrows. The White House Historical Association says everything is being handled appropriately, though.

D.C. Metro Cop Capitol Rioters Yelled ... 'Kill Him With HIs Own Gun'

"HOW DO I SURVIVE THIS SITUATION?"
CNN

A D.C. Metro police officer says he went into "survival mode" after Capitol rioters reached for his gun and yelled, "Kill him with his own gun."

Officer Michael Fanone, a narcotics detective who normally works in plain clothes, says he threw on a uniform to help with backup during the Jan. 6 coup attempt. When the angry mob overtook him, he says he was tased several times in the back of the neck, and thought about using deadly force to get free.

He told CNN he ultimately decided not to, realizing he didn't have enough firepower to take on everyone ... and he didn't want to "give them the justification to kill me."

Instead, he says he tried to appeal to their humanity -- "I just remember yelling out that I have kids. And, it seemed to work." The moment some of the Trump supporters and his partner pulled him away to safety was captured on video.

What's more ... Fanone suffered a minor heart attack because of the ordeal and was taken to a Baltimore medical center to stabilize his heart's rhythm.

Fanone's had enough time to reflect on his nearly deadly confrontation, and offered these words to the rioters who helped him, "The conclusion I’ve come to is thank you. But f*** you for being there."

Biden Inauguration Airlines Ban Checked Guns ... Temporarily for D.C. Flights

Several airlines are taking added precautions to thwart more violence in D.C. leading up to Inauguration Day ... starting with a temporary gun ban.

Delta Air Lines is leading the charge by banning firearms in checked luggage for all passengers who are flying to D.C. area airports. The temporary gun ban begins Saturday and will last until January 23. Joe Biden will be sworn in on Jan. 20.

This is the text message Delta's sending to affected customers ... letting them know it will not be allowing firearms in checked bags "To help ensure the safety of customers and employees."

A Delta spokesperson adds that "Weighing the violence we witnessed in the Capitol last week" contributed to the decision. The temporary gun ban policy applies to flights going to the Ronald Reagan National Airport, Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport, Dulles International Airport and Richmond International Airport.

So far, United, American Airlines and Alaska Airlines have joined Delta in the gun ban, noting that like Delta ... law enforcement and military officials will be exempt.

Along with the temporary policy on firearms, major airlines have announced other heightened security measures for flights to D.C., such as selling fewer tickets, increasing staffing at airports, and relocating crew members to hotels outside of the downtown D.C. area.

Cleary, for the next week or 2 the airlines, like most of America, are on high alert.

The White House Abe Lincoln's Left the Building ... Stop the Steal???

LINCOLN OUT!!!
C-SPAN

President Trump isn't the only one leaving the White House ... honest, Abraham Lincoln's been escorted out of the West Wing, for some reason.

Three people, presumably White House staffers, were seen slipping out a side door Thursday with a bust of our 16th President. The odd sight definitely caught the attention of the U.S. Marine standing guard, as his eyes seemed to say what we're all thinking -- where the hell ya going with Lincoln???

Trump, as you know, loves to bring up Abe's name to pat himself on the back ... often saying he's done more for African-Americans than any Prez since Lincoln. It's possible the sculpture is a personal item Trump brought when he moved into the White House.

Of course, Trump and staffers are prepping to move out of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave to make room for President-elect Joe Biden -- but, as far as we know, ya don't get to take art pieces as souvenirs.

We've reached out to the White House ... no word back so far.

Florida Teacher Fired for Telling Students Capitol Riot Was the Work of Antifa

Exclusive Details

A Florida substitute teacher who was caught on video telling students Antifa was responsible for the Capitol riot has been fired ... TMZ has learned.

Dr. Damien Moses, principal at Bok Academy in Lake Wales, FL., tells TMZ ... the teacher's conduct was immediately dealt with following the incident from earlier this week. Moses said, "We met with her and she has been dismissed not only from our school, but also from the Lake Wales Charter School System."

Waiting for your permission to load the Instagram Media.

A student at the academy started recording the substitute teacher's rant during a middle school language arts class in which she falsely claimed 3 Antifa members were paid to storm the Capitol in last week's failed coup, and were solely responsible for the violence.

Remember ... the FBI has said there is no indication Antifa played a role in the mob that stormed the Capitol.

The substitute teacher was referencing a Washington Times story from last week with the headline "Facial Recognition Claims Antifa Infiltrated Trump Protesters who Stormed Capitol." The story has since been retracted ... after the Singapore-based XRVision tech company refuted the report, adding the company was never in contact with the outlet.

You can hear the student recording the video tell the sub rioters were seen wearing MAGA hats and Trump flags ... but the sub fired back saying, "When they're paid to be there and cause a riot they wanna make it look like Trump supporters so they wear Trump hats and carry Trump flags."

You can sense the discomfort in the room ... and one student asked for permission to leave, while another said, "I don't care about your opinions."

The principal told us, "We have spoken with the students twice, and plan on speaking with them again. We had a conversation about the situation, and just relayed that we do not discuss politics on our campus."

'Stop the Steal' Organizer Claims 3 GOP Reps Aided Rally Plans ... Leading to Capitol Riots

Ali Alexander -- the pro-Trump organizer of the "Stop the Steal" movement -- calls himself one of the originators of the D.C. rally that preceded the Capitol riots ... but he claims he got help from 3 Congressmen.

The right-wing activist had been vocal for weeks about holding a huge event on January 6 in order to stop Congress from certifying the election win for Joe Biden, and he stated on video he schemed with 3 GOP Representatives to make it happen -- Andy Biggs and Paul A. Gosar from Arizona and Mo Brooks from Alabama.

All 3 GOP lawmakers are hard-line Trump supporters and have links to Alexander through video and social media posts ... and Ali claims their plan was to put "maximum pressure on Congress while they were voting."

He adds that they wanted to "change the hearts and the minds of Republicans who were in that body, hearing our loud roar from outside."

As you know, the D.C. rally for President Trump was followed by a march to the U.S. Capitol, where an angry mob of his supporters violently stormed in ... resulting in 5 deaths.

Alexander and his "Stop the Steal" group have been banned from Twitter, and though he's denied inciting the riot ... the 3 Republicans are taking heat for aiding him.

Biggs and Brooks have denied involvement with Alexander in organizing the Jan. 6 rally, and Gosar has not responded yet.

1/12/21
HOLD 'EM ACCOUNTABLE
Mikie Sherrill/Facebook

As we've reported ... Democratic members of Congress like Rep. Jim Clyburn have suggested the Capitol riots were part of an inside job facilitated by GOP politicians -- though he didn't name names. Similarly, Rep. Mikie Sherrill claimed she saw some of her GOP colleagues leading groups on "reconnaissance" tours of the building the day before the insurrection.

Sherrill also didn't identify who she claims she saw doing the tours, but there's an awful lot of smoke around the theory the insurrectionists didn't act alone.

Capitol Police Mental Health Worries Addressed After Riot Deaths, Trauma

Exclusive

The storming of the U.S. Capitol is taking a serious toll on the undermanned police officers who were on the front lines ... so their mental health is now a top priority.

Law enforcement sources tell TMZ ... counseling services provided by the Capitol Police have been in high demand over the past week, as officers are reeling and grieving after the violence that took place on January 6.

As you know, the riots resulted in 5 deaths ... including Officer Brian D. Sicknick, who was killed by rioters, and officer Howard Liebengood died by suicide days later.

We're told Capitol PD brass is periodically encouraging the rank and file to utilize their Employee Assistance Program ... and welcoming administrative leave, if needed.

The program includes on-site, confidential counselors who can help employees cope with a wide range of issues. It's been in place for decades, and was a huge help to officers after 9/11.

Our sources say the counseling is available 24/7 -- usually via phone call -- and a large number of officers have been taking advantage of the program ... and it's likely saving lives.

As we've reported ... Capitol Police have reinforcements now in protecting the building -- in the form of thousands of members of the National Guard -- but the stress and mental toll of the job isn't going away any time soon.

Old news is old news!
Be First!

Get TMZ breaking news sent right to your browser!