5:20 PM PT -- The deadline has come and gone for Parler to get its act together to Apple's standards -- because the tech company has officially wiped it from their app store until they can submit a plan that Apple considers up to snuff. If Trump didn't download it before today ... he's outta luck.
President Trump might have to resort to opening a MySpace account to be "online" -- because the guy can't get bandwidth anywhere else right now ... not even on Shopify.
DT has been banned from a handful of social media apps and social networking websites well beyond Twitter and Facebook/Instagram -- which booted him earlier this week after they say he used their platforms to incite a violent insurrection on the U.S. Capitol.
Since then ... even more companies have taken steps to keep their pages Trump-free, including some you never thought the Prez might use, be it posting or consuming.
Among those that've blocked/restricted Trump and/or Trump content -- Pinterest (for #StoptheSteal items), Shopify (for MAGA and other related merch), Twitch (no more Trump live streams), Snapchat (gone is Trump's account), Reddit (the r/The_Donald thread is dead) and even TikTok (which Trump was trying to ban himself, ironically enough).
Remember, Twitter pulled the plug permanently on Trump's Twitter account -- his go-to platform the past several years -- citing further potential calls to violence, directly or indirectly ... this after Trump's 12-hour suspension expired, and he tweeted to his "patriots" yet again.
We believe the risks of allowing President Trump to continue to use our service during this period are simply too great, so we are extending the block we have placed on his Facebook and Instagram accounts indefinitely and for at least the next two weeks. pic.twitter.com/JkyGOTYB1Z— Facebook Newsroom (@fbnewsroom) January 7, 2021 @fbnewsroom
There is one place Trump could possibly turn to in order to get his voice on the Internet again -- Parler (a social networking site/app that caters to the extreme right) is still open for business ... but it too is at risk of getting blacklisted on mainstream app stores.
Google already nixed it entirely -- meaning you can't download it anymore if you're an Android user -- but Apple hasn't done so yet. On Friday, they gave Parler a 24-hour deadline to provide stricter guidelines about regulating posts ... but, it's still available as of now.
Originally Published -- 2:47 PM PT
Donald Trump is getting booted all over the place in the wake of his role in the Capitol insurrection ... the latest is that Wagner College has taken back his honorary degree.
The College announced Friday night it's rescinded the degree it bestowed on Trump back in 2004.
The Board of Trustees didn't say why the change of heart, but other than the folks on the International Space Station, everyone else knows exactly why.
Trump gave the graduation speech in 2004, with then-fiancee Melania by his side. The honor coincided with the first season of "The Apprentice," which was a big hit at the time.
It's the second degree that has been yanked from Trump's portfolio. Lehigh University in Pennsylvania revoked Trump's honorary degree a few days ago. He received it in 1988.
The Prez of the University called the riot a "violent assault on the foundations of our democracy," and they clearly felt Trump incited it.
And, as you know, Trump's been banned from his social megaphone -- aka Twitter.
That's what happens when you whip a crowd into a frenzy to attack democracy.
The FBI WANTS YOUR HELP in finding these 10 people whom they say are insurrectionists who stormed the Capitol.
The feds want this wanted poster, so to speak, plastered everywhere so everyone can be their eyes and ears to find these suspected rioters in the attempted coup that left 5 people dead.
The man suspected of placing bombs at the DNC and the RNC headquarters in D.C was also captured on camera by the FBI.
As we reported, authorities were at Regan National Airport Friday, rounding up people ready to board flights ... people they believe were involved in the riot.
President Trump no longer has to worry about character counts or typos in his tweets, because Twitter has deemed him too dangerous for its app ... and booted him PERMANENTLY.
Twitter made the call Friday to ban the outgoing Prez, after temporarily suspending him earlier this week following his comments about the Capitol riots he's accused of inciting.
According to Twitter ... it's now a permanent ban for Trump "due to the risk of further incitement of violence."
The decision comes after Facebook and Instagram also extended Trump's suspensions from one day to indefinite.
Twitter says ... "In the context of horrific events this week, we made it clear on Wednesday that additional violations of the Twitter Rules would potentially result in this very course of action."
It then claimed 2 of Trump's tweets from Friday were the last straw in its decision to pull the plug on his account. The first tweet read ... "The 75,000,000 great American Patriots who voted for me, AMERICA FIRST, and MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN, will have a GIANT VOICE long into the future. They will not be disrespected or treated unfairly in any way, shape or form!!!"
This was followed up by Trump tweeting that he would not be attending the inauguration on Jan. 20.
So, Twitter came to this conclusion -- "Due to the ongoing tensions in the United States, and an uptick in the global conversation in regards to the people who violently stormed the Capitol on January 6, 2021, these two Tweets must be read in the context of broader events in the country and the ways in which the President’s statements can be mobilized by different audiences, including to incite violence, as well as in the context of the pattern of behavior from this account in recent weeks."
It should be noted ... Trump's personal Twitter account -- the one he uses regularly -- is the one that got suspended. His official POTUS account is still active ... for now.
12:18 PM PT -- Biden just addressed Trump's announcement about his plans to not show up to the Inauguration and the President-Elect's totally cool with it. In fact ... Biden says Trump's decision is "one of the few things him and I have ever agreed on."
BTW, as far as VP Mike Pence goes, Biden says the Veep's invited to the Inauguration. Pence had reportedly said he would attend the Inauguration, provided Biden extended an invitation. Boom, invitation granted.
It's the first time since Andrew Johnson an outgoing U.S. President will not be attending the inauguration of the President-elect. Trump tweeted, "To all those who have asked, I will not be going to the Inauguration."
Of course, there's still a slim chance he won't even be POTUS by that time, as some members of Congress met after the Capitol riots about invoking the 25th amendment to remove him from office ... and there are impeachment talks again too.
This after Trump was accused of inciting the storming of the Capitol, and his initial failure to condemn the rioters ... instead choosing to say he loved the insurrectionists and calling them special.
If Trump sticks with his plan ... he'll join John Adams, John Quincy Adams, and Andrew Johnson as the only presidents to refuse to accompany the incoming Prez.
Vice President Mike Pence is expected to attend Biden's inauguration.
Originally Published -- 8:27 AM PT
CNN's Bakari Sellers says America needs to look in the mirror after rioters waving Confederate flags ran through the halls of Congress because it says a lot about our country.
Bakari joined us on "TMZ Live" Friday and discussed one of the lasting images from Wednesday's attempted coup ... insurrectionists storming the Capitol waving Confederate flags and Trump flags.
It's a sight we haven't seen in 200 years -- a foreign flag paraded inside the Capitol -- and Bakari suggests the size of the mob that pulled it off proves this IS America ... or at least a painfully large part of it.
While President-elect Joe Biden says the chaos at the Capitol "does not represent who we are," Bakari thinks Biden and the rest of America have to admit it is so the country can move forward and find a way to coexist.
Bakari says the attempted coup will be the capstone of Donald Trump's legacy ... and he tells us why he thinks Trump and his most fervent supporters won't go away anytime soon.
Race is a big factor in the way cops handled Wednesday's coup, especially when juxtaposed against the way law enforcement dealt with the BLM protests after George Floyd's death .. so says, Sheriff Chris Swanson.
Sheriff Swanson, who famously put down his baton and helmet to join BLM protesters in solidarity this summer in Michigan's Flint Township, joins us on "TMZ Live" Friday to give his perspective on the Capitol riots from the eyes of law enforcement.
Sherriff Swanson says the way Capitol Police lines were breached so easily is evidence of personal biases among officers ... and he says if that happened on his watch, he would be handing out pink slips left and right, with an eye toward criminal prosecution.
He also thinks police should be better prepared for protests, and not by loading up on riot gear ... he says it's not about responding to chaos, but getting to know the community. Remember, he did this back in Michigan and was widely praised for it.
While Wednesday's optics were gut-wrenching and frightening ... Sheriff Swanson's got some ideas on how to restore calmness to a weary nation.
Martin Luther King Jr.'s daughter wants to see the rioters who stormed the Capitol get more than a slap on the wrist ... she says letting them off easy sends the wrong message.
Bernice King tells TMZ ... she's disturbed the pro-Trump rioters had almost free reign when they laid siege on the Capitol ... a very different reaction from the one her father's peaceful marchers got back in the day in D.C.
MLK's youngest child tells us she's baffled how rioters were able to move through the Capitol without much resistance -- they were in the House and Senate chambers, Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office, everywhere -- and then they just walked out the front door.
Bernice wants serious repercussions for the mob behavior ... otherwise, it will absolutely happen again.
President Trump's Twitter suspension is over, and his first tweet is a video message of unity, peace and a promise the Capitol insurrectionists will be brought to justice. What a difference 36 hours makes.
In the video, shot at the White House, the President says he was outraged by the "violence, lawlessness and mayhem" seen Wednesday. Trump claims he "immediately" deployed the National Guard once the attack started -- but there's plenty of proof that just wasn't the case.
The troops didn't arrive until several hours after Senators and Representatives were forced to flee in fear for their lives.
Trump is now saying his only goal in challenging the election results was to ensure the integrity of the vote and defend American democracy. Of course, his words to his assembled crowd of followers yesterday were far more incendiary.
Interestingly, today's message included a vow to punish those responsible for the attack -- whom he softly refers to as "intruders" -- but yesterday he said "we love you."
Trump also verbalized, for the first time, what was essentially a concession ... saying a new administration will be inaugurated on January 20 and his focus is on a smooth and orderly transition of power.
Finally, Trump wrapped it up, saying his single term as President was the honor of his lifetime, but added ... "our incredible journey is only just beginning."
Cliffhanger-ish, for sure.
3:55 PM PT -- It was just announced that U.S. Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund will resign, effective January 16.
The U.S. Capitol Police Dept. may have been able to thwart Wednesday's attempted coup if it had all hands on deck, but we've learned they had less than ONE-QUARTER of the force working ... despite multiple, clear warnings the protest could turn violent.
Capitol Police sources tell TMZ ... 500 officers were working Wednesday as President Trump revved up the huge crowd of his supporters upset over the election results -- giving them their marching orders with the Capitol as the final destination. Trump has been dog-whistling for weeks now, promising something big would happen on January 6.
With that backdrop, the Capitol Police are 2,200 strong, yet only 500 were on duty. The way it works in most police departments around the country ... when there's the possibility of social unrest it's all hands on deck. That did not happen here.
Our source says the police believed they had enough staff to contain any unrest ... by setting up barricades and locking up the 3 House office buildings -- the Cannon, Longworth and Rayburn Buildings. The sad fact ... they were grossly understaffed.
Even worse, we're told when the cops on duty were instructed to start deploying tear gas to clear the rioters ... they were not given masks or proper protective equipment. This resulted in many officers becoming debilitated themselves ... meaning even fewer police were at the ready to contain the insurrection.
We're told when it became obvious things were completely out of control, several Capitol Police officers who work the night crew made their way to the Hill to help out ... but by then, according to one Capitol Police source, it already felt like "Olympus Has Fallen."
Rep. Karen Bass of California -- who was in the Capitol Building at the time of the invasion -- is shocked and appalled at the security breach ... and not necessarily buying Capitol Police excuses.
She suggests -- like many others -- the insurrection was made possible by the lax treatment of Trump's supporters, and she believes if a similar situation arose with BLM protesters ... they would have dealt with it in a vastly different, more violent way.
White House Correspondent for TheGrio April Ryan has a slightly different take, but it still doesn't reflect kindly on the Capitol Police. She tells us they acted like keystone cops during the failed coup attempt, but feels it's par for the course.
She says the grotesque images will be long remembered around the country and the world, and there needs to be a drastic revamp of the Capitol Police Dept. to protect the building and its occupants from terrorists ... both domestic and foreign.
We were even told cops were not allowed to take time off from January 5-7 and a plan was being implemented to have a heavy police presence in the area -- both uniformed and in street clothes. It makes it even more puzzling why the full complement of cops wasn't there.
On the bright side -- the FBI is on the hunt for the rioters ... as Rep. Bass says they should be.
Originally Published -- 12:53 PM PT
Rep. Karen Bass is outraged and saddened about the ordeal she and all of Congress endured -- and can't help thinking the Capitol attack would've been thwarted if rioters weren't Trump supporters.
The Congresswoman from California's 37th district joined "TMZ Live" Thursday to recount the terror of the moment lawmakers had to be evacuated ... a shocking event she calls ironic ... in a couple of ways.
First of all, Bass says she anticipated things getting dicey on the streets of D.C. ... but she told her family she'd be safe and sound inside the typically heavily guarded Capitol.
Secondly, she believes the protesters-turned-rioters were almost enabled by the authorities to do what they did. Rep. KB says it stands in stark contrast to what happened during last summer's Black Lives Matter demonstrations.
Her implication is pretty clear, and it all comes back to President Trump ... who still has 13 days left in office. If you think Bass isn't concerned about that even though the riots are over ... think again.
As she points out ... it's not just his actions yesterday that are troubling, but his behavior on social media over the course of his presidency and his plethora of recent lamed duck hirings and firings
So, no, Bass doesn't think we are out of the woods yet ... which is why some members of Congress are looking to invoke the 25th Amendment or impeach Trump (again).
April Ryan says members of Congress want President Trump gone before Inauguration Day ... and, as of now, their best path to getting it done looks like the 25th Amendment.
The veteran White House Correspondent for TheGrio joined us Thursday on "TMZ Live" and told us what she's hearing from folks on both sides of the aisle -- the attempted coup was the last straw, and the only issue now is how they'll oust Trump.
April says the 25th Amendment is very much in play ... which is pretty eye-opening considering invoking it is a tough sell. Remember, Mike Pence and either a majority of Trump's Cabinet OR two-thirds of both the Senate and the House have to be on board.
April ran down the list of lawmakers coming out against the President ... and really painted a picture of how the dynamics in D.C. are drastically changing.
April also told us what Congressional leaders were thinking and feeling as they were being whisked off to an undisclosed location Wednesday with the Capitol under siege ... and she tells us why some of the most powerful people in the country were very much afraid.
The clock's ticking, there are only 13 days until Inauguration Day ... and April says Republicans and Democrats are rushing to figure out how best to stand up to Trump and tell him it's time to go.
Jason Allen Alexander -- whom you might remember for being married to Britney for 55 hours after their wild, 2004 Sin City wedding -- trekked to D.C. for Wednesday's show of support for President Trump, which turned into an attempted coup.
Jason looked proud to be there ... snapping selfies in his Trump 45 beanie.
What's unclear ... if Jason actually was part of the riotous mob that breached the Capitol. If he was, it's likely the feds are going after him.
Seems Jason's big on attending demonstrations ... when we last saw him back in August, he had joined the #FreeBritney movement ... hanging out in the crowd gathered outside the L.A. courthouse where a hearing was taking place on her conservatorship.
We were unable to reach Jason for comment.
Zuck announced Thursday he's extending Trump's Facebook and Instagram ban at least two more weeks until the inauguration on Jan. 20 ... saying it's too risky to let the President post whatever crops up in his dome.
Zuckerberg says FB and IG didn't have a problem with Trump posting whatever he wanted over the last 4 years, other than occasionally removing content or slapping warning labels on Trump posts, but the attempted coup changed the game forever.
Zuck's change of heart goes like this ... he says, "the shocking events of the last 24 hours clearly demonstrate that President Donald Trump intends to use his remaining time in office to undermine the peaceful and lawful transition of power to his elected successor, Joe Biden."
Remember ... Trump's also suspended from Twitter after his tweet storm during Wednesday's chaos at the Capitol.
So, now Trump needs a plan B to get his message out. He hates TV and online news, he can't go on social media ... so the walls are closing in on him.
That said, he has 13 days left. In case you haven't heard, there's something else that lasted 13 days ... the Cuban missile crisis, where we narrowly averted nuclear war.
The storming of the U.S. Capitol is especially infuriating to some local Washington D.C. residents -- 2 of whom gave the pro-Trump rioters a major piece of their minds.
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A man standing out by his front door Wednesday in a neighborhood near the action shouted ... "Get the f*** outta town! F***ing treasonous pieces of s***!"
At some point during his rant, another local pulled up in her car, and joined in with full-throated support ... saying the rioters were destroying their city.
Their lively back-and-forth also got into what a lot of people believe -- if the rioters were part of the Black Lives Matter movement, President Trump would have sent tanks to stop them. Watch the video, because his language gets really colorful ... and she actually gets teary-eyed.
As we reported ... the FBI is on the hunt for the hundreds -- if not thousands -- of insurrectionists who stormed the Capitol and incited violence Wednesday after President Trump addressed them and vowed to never concede the election.
Pretty sure, these 2 residents would gladly ID any of the suspects.
Trump issued a statement -- because he's been kicked off Twitter -- saying, "Even though I totally disagree with the outcome of the election, and the facts bear me out, nevertheless there will be an orderly transition on January 20th."
That would have been a nice place to end it, but Trump didn't. He went on ... "I have always said we would continue our fight to ensure that only legal votes were counted. While this represents the end of the greatest first term in presidential history, it's only the beginning of our fight to Make America Great Again!"
Fact is ... it's possible Trump won't make it to January 20, because some members of Congress want to trigger the 25th Amendment, which allows for removal if he's unable to carry out his duties. There are now lots of folks in Congress and reportedly even in the President's own cabinet, who believe he's shown he's unfit for office, and, they believe, being unfit makes him unable to carry out his duties.
Trump's concession comes hours after Congress put a bow on the Presidential election and ratified the vote of the electoral college, which will make Biden the 46th President.
As you know, earlier in the day Trump encouraged the protesters to march to the Capitol and stay strong. Not only did he incite them ... once they raided the Capitol he didn't condemn it. In fact, in the end, he told the insurrectionists he loved them.
As for removing Trump, it's gonna take the Veep and a majority of the Cabinet, or a two-thirds vote in both houses of Congress.