A$AP Rocky N.Y. Rep. Welcomes Trump's Help ... Kim K's Too For That Matter

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We'll take it
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A$AP Rocky's hometown congressman isn't sure if President Trump is genuine in wanting to help free him -- but he says it doesn't matter ... as long as the end goal is achieved.

We got Rep. Adriano Espaillat in NYC Sunday -- where he represents A$AP's home borough of Harlem -- and asked what he made of Trump saying he'd guarantee Rocky's bail if need be.

As we reported ... Trump tweeted out an update on the legal sitch in Sweden -- where A$AP's been jailed for about three weeks now -- and said he spoke the Prime Minister, assuring him the rapper wasn't a flight risk, and that he'd even vouch for his bail.

Rep. Espaillat says Trump being willing to put his own rep on the line for A$AP's bail is somewhat irrelevant, 'cause as he points out ... money's not really the issue here.

Our guy asks if DT's just using this as a re-election tactic to tap into a new demographic of potential voters come 2020, but the congressman won't go there. He tells us he doesn't wanna speculate on potential motives -- but what he is sure about is that those wanting to get A$AP freed will take any help they can get at this point, including from 45.

Trumps to the rescue

Hard to tell if POTUS' involvement is going to help A$AP, because the Swedish PM says he made it clear that their judicial system is independent and won't be subject to outside lobbying.

Doesn't hurt to have the right people in your ear though. Speaking of that, we ask Rep. Espaillat if Kim K and Kanye's political power is worrisome. Watch ... the guy defends 'em.

Kamala Harris Star-Studded CA Event Crashed by Ari, Demi & Katy!!!

Kamala Harris seems to have Hollywood squarely in her corner as she continues her campaign for POTUS -- and she's got manager-to-the-stars Scooter Braun to thank for it.

The California senator attended a fundraiser that Scooter threw for her on Saturday, which took place at his own home in Los Angeles. Some very famous faces dropped by as well, including Ariana Grande, Katy Perry and Demi Lovato ... two of whom are Scooter's clients.

It was an RSVP event, and was slugged as a "Fireside Chat" with the presidential hopeful.

Scooter posted his own photos of the event, where it appears he and Kamala were seated in front of a crowd of people in the backyard of his place, with microphones in each person's hand. He captioned his pics, "Such as incredible night of supporting our brilliant friend...candidate for President of the United States of America @KamalaHarris."

Waiting for your permission to load the Instagram Media.

He also posted pics of him, Ari and Demi at the shindig, and called them "Fam."

Now, here's where things get interesting -- beyond the celebs just being there, we mean. Scooter's feud with Taylor Swift is coming into the picture, and him hosting Kamala appears to have pissed off a lot of her fans, with tons of Swifties calling Kamala and co. sellouts, and some even vowing not to vote for her come primaries.

As you know ... Scooter now owns the master recordings to Taylor's old catalog of music, which she lashed out at him over last month.

Interestingly enough, Taylor seems to have been pretty down with Senator Harris in the past ... retweeting her here and there. But, she's been an even more vocal supporter of one of Kamala's Democratic rivals ... Cory Booker. Taylor shouted him out when he backed the Equality Act in June.

To make matters even more tangled ... Booker was out in L.A. this weekend as well, and had his own bundle of stars ... like girlfriend Rosario Dawson, Sophia Bush and Tiffany Haddish.

Worlds are definitely colliding.

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

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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

Aubrey O'Day Yes, Don Jr. is My Soulmate But He Chose Politics Over Me

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NOT THE DON I KNOW
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Donald Trump Jr. opted for a life of faux conservatism and mud-slinging politics over a happy ever after with his one true love ... so says his self-described soulmate, Aubrey O'Day.

The Danity Kane singer chopped it up Tuesday night with a photog, who asked about her recent musing about Don Jr. as the one who got away. She confirms what TMZ first reported ... and it sure sounds like she considers him her meant-to-be. 

Aubrey says it point blank ... that she and Don are soulmates, and the dude trumpeting his dad's policies is NOT the guy she knew (and fell in love with) once upon a time.

As you might know, Aubrey and Don Jr. allegedly had an affair back in 2011, when she was a guest star on the "The Apprentice." 

She tells the pap that Donnie probably thinks they're connected as well, but wouldn't ever admit it ... especially now that he's dating Kimberly Guilfoyle and seemingly following in his father's footsteps, possibly even into public service. 

Speaking of that, Aubrey weighs in on potential First Lady title under the pretense they were still together. She says that'd never happen though based on their political differences.

And, if you're wondering whether Don Jr. and Aubrey still stay in touch, watch the clip. Something tells us they just might.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Doubles Down ... Trump's Got a Racist Mind & Heart

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If it quacks like a racist ...
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Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez thinks President Trump is splitting hairs by saying he doesn't have a racist bone in his body -- 'cause he's got plenty of other bigoted body parts.

We got AOC Tuesday roaming the halls of Congress on Capitol Hill, just a day after she and 3 other Democratic congresswomen publicly rebuked Trump, again, for telling them to go back and fix the countries "from which they came." 

With the House of Representatives now preparing a resolution to formally condemn his racist remarks ... the Prez defended himself, saying, "Those Tweets were NOT Racist. I don’t have a Racist bone in my body! The so-called vote to be taken is a Democrat con game. Republicans should not show “weakness” and fall into their trap."

Our photog asked the NY Congresswoman about the "racist bone" comment, and she says he's got a lot more problems in that department than just his bones. Watch.

She also gets into the delayed roll-out for the new Harriet Tubman $20 bill design -- which many people thought Trump's cabinet was responsible for slowing, but it's since been confirmed as something that was never gonna happen in 2020, even on Obama's watch. 

AOC says it'd be a huge step in the right direction if Trump makes sure that happens as planned. If that sounds like she's complimenting him, don't panic ... the world isn't ending. She closed with a jab. 

AOC & Dem. Congresswomen Fire Back at Trump ... We're From Here and Not Leaving!!!

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Wonder why #RacistInChief is trending today? It's because President Trump suggested some American congresswomen to go back and fix the countries "from which they came."

DT went on an especially viscous Twitter rant Sunday morning, which many people have called out as flat-out racist and xenophobic ... including some prominent members of the GOP like Meghan McCain and even ex-Fox News reporter Geraldo Rivera

Here's what the Prez said ... "So interesting to see “Progressive” Democrat Congresswomen, who originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe, the worst, most corrupt and inept anywhere in the world (if they even have a functioning government at all), now loudly and viciously telling the people of the United States, the greatest and most powerful Nation on earth, how our government is to be run."

He went on ... "Why don’t they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came. Then come back and show us how it is done. These places need your help badly, you can’t leave fast enough. I’m sure that Nancy Pelosi would be very happy to quickly work out free travel arrangements!"

While Trump did not name anyone in particular, many took his tweets to be aimed Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rep. Rashida Tlaib, Rep. Ayanna Pressley and Rep. Ilhan Omar ... who've been in the news recently for ruffling feathers within the Democratic party and butting heads with Speaker Pelosi.

It sounds like these congresswomen believe the attack was meant for them too, because all of them directly responded to Trump with some choice words. 

Prez Candidate Julian Castro Sports Champs Will Keep Dissing Trump If He Keeps Dividing Nation

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MAKIN' THE WHITE HOUSE COOL AGAIN
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Presidential candidate Julian Castro says there's an easy explanation for Megan Rapinoe's standoff with President Trump, and it won't change until 1600 Penn. gets a new resident.

Castro joined us on "TMZ Live" and said there's some pretty clear symbolism to Megan and the U.S. Women's Soccer Team skipping White House photo ops. He says it's simply a byproduct of Trump's "horrendous" and "divisive" policies.

As you know ... team captain Megan made it clear she's not down for a victory lap at the White House to commemorate winning the World Cup

Since Trump took office, 20 major sports teams have been crowned champions ... but only half of them celebrated with POTUS, and one of them -- the NBA's Golden State Warriors -- chose to hang with Obama instead.

Castro's told us he wants teams to be proud again to hang with POTUS -- the way they were when Barack Obama and every other Prez, for that matter, was in office. 

Michelle Obama Black Women in Politics are Feared Same with Me Back Then

Michelle Obama says she had to fight past a barrage of criticism on her way to the White House, which she attributes to the mountain black women must climb to become beloved.

The former First Lady was talking to Gayle King Saturday night at the Essence Festival, and opened up about how she dealt with being labeled an "angry black woman" in the early days of Barack's first presidential campaign ... as well as flak she caught while in office.

Michelle says folks love her and her hubby now that they're civilians, but for a while there ... she says folks from both sides of the aisle were trying to take her out by the knees, politically speaking, because she was seen as an asset for Barack ... and a threat to rivals.

She puts it like this, "The best way to do it (attack me) was to focus on the one thing they knew people were afraid of, (which) was the strength of a black woman." 

Michelle certainly received her fair share of scrutiny right from the jump. During a speech she gave at a gala in Atlanta back in '08, a Clinton supporter said, "Her speech was very long and inappropriate for that occasion." 

Here's a piece of that speech, which was later described by a journalist as leaving some feeling that she had been "condescending, preaching to a group of achievers about the need to achieve." 

Getty

Michelle was also lambasted at times for bucking White House tradition, or for being too flashy ... sometimes even upstaging the President -- like in '09 when she wore a sleeveless Narciso Rodriguez dress during Barack's State of the Union address. 

She talks about that too with Gayle, saying people would say she was "emasculating" Barack. In short, the list of examples goes on and on ... and Michelle hasn't forgotten. 

Looks like she overcame those odds by being true to herself though -- as we can clearly see.

Bernie Sanders Superhero Wrestling Champ ... Knocking Out Beto, Bush & Warren

Bernie Sanders is about to become a superhero in a new comic book chronicling his quest for the White House ... and he kicks his competitions' ass in the wrestling ring. 

TMZ has obtained a couple pages from Josh Blaylock and Devil's Due's new project, "Talk Bernie To Me!: The Bernie Sanders Special and AOC Surprise" which hits the market ahead of Independence Day. 

Devil's Due Comics

The graphic novel depicts Bernie as a larger-than-life candidate bruising his way to the Oval Office ... knocking out Beto O'Rourke, Jeb Bush and Elizabeth Warren on his journey to the highest office in the land. 

Check out the panel in the gallery ... the candidates are beating the hell out of each other in a battle royale that looks straight out of the WWE. Beto and Warren team up against Bernie, and they all go toppling over the top rope. 

Bernie manages to hang on to the rope and thrust himself back into the ring as the last man standing ... and he's declared the winner. 

Devil's Due Comics

The Vermont Senator isn't the lone focus of the graphic novel ... we also got our hands on another panel, and Joe Biden is getting super touchy-feely with Kamala Harris

SUPER HUMBLED
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You may remember a similar comic book with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez as a superhero ... and the Bernie version is from the same artist and publisher. It goes on sale July 3, with a portion of profits going to the ACLU and RaicesTexas.Org, a low-cost legal service for immigrants and refugees.

American politics ... so cringe-worthy, you almost have to laugh.

Megan Rapinoe Scores TWO Goals! ... After Trump Criticism

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1:23 PM PT -- SHE SCORED ANOTHER GOAL!!! TWO GOALS!!! USA up 2-0!!!!!!

Big statement from Megan Rapinoe ... who just let her FEET do the talking after criticism from Donald Trump -- scoring a goal in the first 5 minutes of Team USA's big game against France. 

Remember, Trump told Rapinoe to focus on winning rather than criticizing the President -- after Rapinoe was quoted saying she would not go to the "f*cking White House" if Team USA wins the World Cup. 

Fast Forward to Friday's game against France ... where Rapinoe hit a brilliant goal during a free kick from outside the box (and deep in traffic) to take a 1-0 lead over France. 

Rapinoe has scored the last 3 goals for the U.S. in the World Cup tournament. She has 48 goals in international play. 

#Beast!

Story developing ...

Originally Published -- 12:12 PM PT

Prez Candidate Julian Castro I'll Make Athletes Love The White House Again!

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MAKE THE WHITE HOUSE FUN AGAIN
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Presidential candidate Julian Castro says he knows a bunch of U.S. pro athletes HATE going to The White House now that Donald Trump's in charge ... and says he plans on changing that, if he gets elected. 

Fresh off his widely-praised performance at the Democratic debates, Castro told he didn't sleep last night ... and was still replying to all the texts he got!

But, when we started talking sports -- in the wake of Trump's new beef with Team USA soccer star Megan Rapinoe -- Castro mustered up the energy to take another shot at POTUS. 

"I'm very confident that whomever the next President ... and I hope to be the next president ... you're gonna see a lot more sports teams eager to go to The White House unlike we've seen in the last couple of years," Castro said. 

Of course, Rapinoe recently said she's "not going to the f*cking White House" if Team USA wins the World Cup ... following the lead of the Golden State Warriors, who also boycotted Trump

Several members of the Boston Red Sox also declined The White House's invite after winning the World Series. 

Castro says he remembers back when he was with the Obama administration, NBA teams and players LOVED visiting The White House ... and he wants to bring that spirit back. 

"[The players] considered that a highlight of their year," Castro said ... "I think it's gonna be like that again."

Donald Trump Rips Megan Rapinoe Focus On Winning Before Bashing Me

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Donald Trump is firing back U.S. soccer star Megan Rapinoe -- saying bluntly, she should "WIN first before she TALKS!"

As we previously reported, the team USA cocaptain went scorched Earth on Trump during an interview earlier this month ... saying, "I'm not going to the f*cking White House" if the U.S. wins the World Cup.

Trump obviously saw the comments ... and is responding:

"Women’s soccer player [Megan Rapinoe] just stated that she is 'not going to the F...ing White House if we win,'" Trump said.

"I am a big fan of the American Team, and Women’s Soccer, but Megan should WIN first before she TALKS! Finish the job! We haven’t yet invited Megan or the team, but I am now inviting the TEAM, win or lose."

"Megan should never disrespect our Country, the White House, or our Flag, especially since so much has been done for her & the team. Be proud of the Flag that you wear. The USA is doing GREAT!"

Trump also weighed in on the story TMZ Sports broke ... that several NBA teams and the NBA league office are moving away from the term "owner" because some players feel it's racially insensitive.

"Other than the NBA, which now refuses to call owners, owners (please explain that I just got Criminal Justice Reform passed, Black unemployment is at the lowest level in our Country’s history, and the poverty index is also best number EVER), leagues and teams love coming to the White House."

As for Rapinoe and Team USA -- they're scheduled to play Team France in the Round of 8 on Friday ... so they're getting pretty close.

Megan says she doesn't believe ANY of her teammates would accept an invitation to The White House if they win the whole thing.

FYI -- the 2015 USWNT World Cup winning squad -- including Rapinoe -- visited President Obama at The White House after their win over Japan.

Team USA's Megan Rapinoe 'I’m Not Going to the F*cking White House'

Breaking News

Team USA soccer superstar Megan Rapinoe is making it crystal clear ... if the U.S. wins the World Cup, there's NO WAY IN HELL she's visiting Donald Trump at The White House.

"I'm not going to the f*cking White House," the 33-year-old co-captain told Eight By Eight Magazine ... "We're not going to be invited."

She's probably right about the second part ... Megan -- and other teammates have been very outspoken when it comes to their disapproval of President Trump and Rapinoe is confident Trump knows it.

"[Trump] tries to avoid inviting a team that might decline. Or, like he did when the Warriors turned him down, he’ll claim they hadn’t been invited in the first place"

When asked if she was speaking for the whole team, Rapinoe replied ... "I don’t know everyone’s voting patterns on our team, but I would hope no one voted for him."

Rapinoe has been VERY political in the past -- she was the first white pro athlete in America to take a knee during the National Anthem ... following Colin Kaepernick's lead.

She no longer takes a knee, but Megan doesn't put her hand over her heart or sing along with the lyrics anymore.

Trump was asked if Rapinoe's form of protest was appropriate on Monday -- and he told The Hill, "No. I don't think so."

Not that Rapinoe cares anyway ...

As for Team USA, they're on a tear right now ... they just beat Spain in the Round of 16 and are set to battle with France on Friday.

DeMar DeRozan On Raps' White House Visit I Wouldn't Go, Either!!!

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NOT MY SCENE
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Add DeMar DeRozan to the list of athletes against visiting Donald Trump ... 'cause the NBA superstar says even if he was still on the Raptors, he wouldn't celebrate their title at the White House.

Raps coach Nick Nurse said last week the team is setting up a trip to be honored by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau ... but said they're undecided on going to 1600 Penn.

However, over the weekend Raptors star Danny Green told Yahoo Sports he's a "hard no" on visiting Trump.

Despite playing for the Spurs now, DeRozan is on board if the team decides not to go ... telling TMZ Sports -- "Sh*t, I wouldn't go, either!"

DeRozan joins a growing group of athletes who have spoken out against visiting Trump -- the Golden State Warriors, LeBron James, Red Sox manager Alex Cora and players like Mookie Betts, David Price and Jackie Bradley Jr. have all been vocal about not going -- just to name a few.

As for the trip ... Trump said he would "think" about inviting the Raptors -- but only if the team expressed interest in visiting.

Barack Obama & George Clooney Suit & No Tie Guys ... Lake View Paesanos

Barack Obama is continuing his European vacation with a stop in Italy -- where he and George Clooney are taking suited-and-booted boat rides together ... comfortably, of course.

The former POTUS was spotted getting off a vessel with his actor pal Sunday near a dock on Lake Como in Cernobbio. It's a gorgeous area at the foot of the Alps -- right next to Switzerland's southern border -- and 44 and George were dressed for the occasion.

Both guys were wearing jackets and dress pants -- but neither appear to be rockin' ties, as their collars are open and unbuttoned. Gotta keep it business caj for those Italian lake views, right? No sign of Michelle, Amal or the kids here ... might've just been a bro sesh.

Barack and his fam were seen in the south of France earlier this week, where they grabbed dinner with friends ... and Barack showed off his many faces of delight at the table. A few days later, they kept the dream vacay going by hanging out with Bono and co.

At this rate, there's no telling which famous faces the Obamas will be meeting with next. *Checks Rolodex for celebs that stay in Europe* ... lots more to come, probably.

George Lopez on Trump Barron's Fair Game in Immigration Talk ... So What If He's a Kid???

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WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE?
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George Lopez doesn't mind including President Trump's son, Barron, when criticizing DT's immigration policies ... and don't give him the "he's a kid" line, either.

The comic was leaving the Palace Hotel Saturday in NYC, where we got a chance to ask him about an IG post he'd just thrown up ... which basically calls out the Prez for being so harsh on immigrant children, while his own offspring have immigrant mothers themselves.

In the post ... Don Jr., Ivanka, Eric and 13-year-old Barron are referred to as an "anchor baby" -- meaning a kid born by a non-citizen mother in a country that offers birthright citizenship.

Waiting for your permission to load the Instagram Media.

For the record, Ivana -- Trump's first wife, and mother of his older three children -- obtained citizenship in 1988, and her and DT's kids were all born before that. Melania obtained her citizenship in 2006 (the same year Barron was born) but it's unclear what month.

The bigger point here though ... was it appropriate to include Barron in the critique at all? Ya know ... since he is a minor?? George says absolutely ... especially in this administration.

Check it out ... he flips the question back on our photog, asking what's the difference between Barron and any number of the children being detained down by the border. The issue's timely -- Trump just announced he was gonna hold off mass ICE raids on families.

We also asked if the President gets credit for pulling back on retaliating against Iran for shooting down an American drone ... guess what George had to say about that.