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Slavery Reparations Hearing Huge Crowd Floods Capitol to Attend ... Danny Glover, Cory Booker Testify

6/19/2019 9:20 AM PDT

Capitol Hill is buzzing -- almost literally -- for the first Congressional hearing on slavery reparations in a decade ... because a huge crowd is waiting to see Danny Glover and Sen. Cory Booker testify.

The loud scene unfolded Wednesday morning in the halls of Congress, where a seemingly endless throng assembled to show support for an issue that's gained a huge amount of traction this year. 

Ya gotta see the video ... wannabe spectators packed into a tiny hallway outside the hearing -- an obvious illustration of just how monumental the hearing is for millions of Americans. 

Booker, one of several Democratic presidential hopefuls expressing support for some form of reparations, testified before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties ... and Glover was among the other speakers.

H.R. 40 calls for a commission to study and develop reparation proposals for African-Americans, plus a formal apology from the U.S. government for human rights violations and "crimes against humanity on African slaves and their descendants." 

The commission is supported by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi -- while Sen. Mitch McConnell said earlier this week he does not support reparations.

Barack Obama Beaucoup Faces of Barack on Vacay ... Post-WH Life's a Dream!!!

6/19/2019 6:50 AM PDT

Barack Obama is living the good life after his time in office, and you can tell by just how many ways he expressed that with his face during dinner in the south of France.

The former U.S. Prez was dining Tuesday at high-end restaurant L'Oustau de Baumanière in Provence -- where he and his fam are vacationing -- with Michelle and some pals. Michelle was seated across the table, enjoying a glass of red wine.

In the pics, Barack's face reveals what feels like 15 different shades of joy as he and the table get in on a toast and take group photos in between bites. 44 even took up camera duty at one point, and he seems like quite the savvy smartphone photog. 

We've come to expect this type of setting from Obama in the few years since he's left The White House, and after 8 years ... he deserves every minute of R&R he can get.  

As for this dinner scene, imagine the Shia LaBeouf roller coaster of emotions meme and multiply it by ten. It's a feel-good journey getting through this one. 

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Defends Concentration Camp Comparison ... I'm Just Going by the Dictionary

6/19/2019 7:49 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has a simple message to anyone who thinks she crossed a line by calling southern border detention centers concentration camps -- Merriam-Webster's got my back.

AOC kicked up a firestorm Tuesday when she said, "The United States is running concentration camps on our southern border" ... while discussing the controversial detention centers for illegal immigrants. She'd heard the backlash all day -- from people like Liz Cheney -- by the time we spoke to AOC Tuesday night as she was leaving Capitol Hill.

The freshman Congresswoman was undeterred and fired back at Mrs. Cheney, in particular. She went on to defend her words ... saying, "The academic definition is targeting a community and putting them in detention camps without a trial and that's what the government is doing."

That definition isn't quelling the controversy. Even House Speaker Nancy Pelosi fielded questions about it Wednesday morning, and cautioned AOC and all Democrats to beware of enemies trying to exploit their words. 

Of course, the criticism of AOC's remark is that it was incredibly insensitive, and dismissive of the fact 6 million Jewish people were killed in concentration camps.

But check out the clip, Ocasio-Cortez is standing firm ... behind her dictionary.

'Freeway' Rick Ross Kim's Doing God's Work ... Drug Dealers Are Just Trying to Make a Living

6/18/2019 12:30 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Kim Kardashian's West is helping convicts who were just trying to make a living selling drugs ... at least that's the way a former drug kingpin who served hard time sees it.

"Freeway" Rick Ross -- who went to federal prison in 1996 after making millions as a drug kingpin during the '80s crack cocaine epidemic -- made his sentiments clear at LAX ... selling drugs is not a violent crime -- it boils down to simple economics.

Ross says drug dealers are mostly trying to support their families, and that's why they got in the game. He praises Kim for spearheading the Lyft partnership ... which will help up to 5,000 soon-to-be-released prisoners get a ride to job interviews.

Ross tells us this is a huge deal ... even though he had a girlfriend to drive him around once he got out in 2009 ... many others at the halfway house with him weren't so lucky.

The ex-drug boss also praises Kim for doing the right thing ... even if it means working with President Trump.

As we reported, she was at The White House last week with the Prez to announce her new partnership with Lyft ... and it wasn't her first visit. Ross says Kim's doing what she has to do to make good things happen, and he's got nothing but respect.

Danielle Bregoli Concert in Jordan Canceled ... Over McDonald's Tweet!!!

6/17/2019 3:02 PM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Danielle Bregoli has nothin' but her love of McDonald's and Twitter to thank for getting fired from a show she was set to play in the Middle East ... but it's pretty hard to see this as her fault.

Bhad Bhabie responded to a tweet last week that had tagged her in between a bunch of Arabic text, which she playfully answered by saying ... "why yes, I do like McDonald's fries. They be tasting good as f*** sometimes. I appreciate u asking bich. Much love." 

Standard Bhad Bhabie banter, right? WRONG!!! ... according to the Jordanian promoters who canceled her upcoming show there, anyway. They said the Bhad Bhabie concert for July 8 was being axed for her insensitive comment, which they considered a breach of contract. 

Turns out, the tweeter was a prominent Palestinian marathon runner who was actually saying that would-be ticketholders in Jordan should boycott BB 'cause he believes she supports Israel. Unclear what he was basing that on, but that's what he tweeted.

Now, sources close to Danielle tell TMZ the whole thing is a major overreaction on the part of the promoters, because the kid didn't even know what the hell she was reading.

We're told Danielle hasn't taken a stance on, or pledged allegiance to either side of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. 

To that point, she has a Tel Aviv gig scheduled for the day after her now-canceled Jordan show. 

We're told her team doesn't really get why she was accused of being pro-Israel, or why the promoters felt her jokey tweet was anything but that -- since it seems pretty clear she had no clue what the initial tweet meant.

Tiffany Haddish Georgia's Abortion Law ... Looks Like New Slavery to Me

6/17/2019 8:10 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Tiffany Haddish is NOT mincing words about Georgia's "heartbeat" abortion law, telling us it's a new form of slavery ... on the heels of taking a financial stand against it.

We got the comedian leaving Delilah in L.A. Sunday night, and she was fired up about having canceled her upcoming performance at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta ... in direct protest of the state's abortion law.

Check out the clip ... Tiffany says she's read the Georgia bill and straight-up says it dials us back to the 1800s, because not having control of your own body might as well be slavery. She made it clear ... it's personal for her too -- she got choked up recounting her time as "state property" while she was in foster care.

Tiff says any state that's so gung-ho on controlling her uterus will not have her services.

When she canceled her Atlanta show, Tiffany said, "I love the state of Georgia, but I need to stand with women and until they withdraw Measure HB481, I cannot in good faith perform there."

Kim Kardashian Lyft Partnership Ready to Help 5k Inmates Get Jobs

6/17/2019 1:00 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Kim Kardashian West's recent announcement at The White House was only the start of a massive undertaking ... of which almost 5,000 inmates will be able to reap the benefits from. 

Sources with knowledge of Kim's partnership with rideshare giant Lyft tell us the company has committed services to get up to 5k soon-to-be released inmates to job interviews. We're told the biggest group of prisoners who have been granted release will get out of prison July 19.

Our sources say Kim -- in a partnership with #Cut50 -- has worked tirelessly on both federal and local levels to ensure inmates will be provided housing and employment opportunities. We're told there's also a long-term plan in place to make sure those released from prison will continue to get opportunities for years to come. 

Kim has visited prisons across the country -- recently spending time on death row -- getting to know prisoners, their cases and possible injustices. 

As we reported, Kim was at The White House Thursday with President Trump to announce her new partnership with Lyft. 

Kardashian has been at the forefront of prison reform, lending her voice to help free those locked up for life for nonviolent crimes ... at one point, she helped to quietly free 17 inmates in 90 days

Thursday's White House visit was Kim's second in about a year ... and there are likely more to come. 

President Trump Guy Coughs in Middle of Interview ... Nooope, Run it Back!!!

6/16/2019 5:51 PM PDT

President Trump doesn't like having his train of thought interrupted, which he made very clear Sunday by demanding a redo when somebody coughed in the middle of his interview.

45 was chatting it up with ABC's George Stephanopoulos in The White House, discussing everything from the Mueller report to his still-unreleased tax records -- and as he was explaining the latter ... someone off-camera let out a heavy cough that threw DT off.

He stopped mid-sentence and asked George if they could run his answer back, 'cause he didn't appreciate the interruption. Trump said quite bluntly, "Let's do that over, he's coughing in the middle of my answer," going on to add, "I don't like that, you know?"

George seemed to indicate that the culprit was Trump's Chief of Staff, Mick Mulvaney, but it's unclear if it was in fact him. Whoever it was ... Trump definitely wasn't very nice in telling them to shut the hell up. In fact, he instructed them to leave the room.

"You just can't, you just can't cough," Trump told the cougher. 

George and the ABC team reset and the Prez finished his tangent about his "fantastic financial statement." What's funny is that the gaffe made it to air during Sunday's broadcast.

Say what you will about him -- and there's plenty to say --  but Donny makes for great TV!

Kim Kardashian First Freed Prisoner ... Raves About White House Appearance

6/16/2019 12:50 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Kim Kardashian definitely earned her title as Princess of Prison Reform ... using her celebrity status for good has yielded nothing but positive results, so says one of her freed prisoners.

The first prisoner released under the First Step Act -- Matthew Charles -- showered Kim with praise when we ran into him on Capitol Hill. As we reported, Kim not only helped secure his release ... she's covered the next 5 years of rent while he gets back on his feet.

Kim was front and center at The White House Thursday to unveil her latest prison reform initiative -- a rideshare partnership that allows inmates to travel to job interviews. The end game is to make them productive citizens rather than recidivists.

Kim's been a big help by writing checks so various lawyers and prison reform groups can do their thing ... and they have done their thing with success, recently freeing more than 17 inmates and counting. These are mostly inmates who are serving long terms for non-violent -- mostly drug -- offenses.

Thursday's trip was Kim's second trek to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. 

Sean Spicer on Sarah Sanders Take it From Me ... She'll Thrive in a Divided America

6/14/2019 11:01 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Sean Spicer has ZERO doubt his successor, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, will land on her feet just fine after she leaves The White House ... and maybe one day end up on a ballot somewhere.

President Trump's first Press Secretary tells TMZ ... Sarah, who replaced Sean in July 2017, won't find the world out there as scary as many might think. In fact, Sean's adamant Sarah has a throng of supporters even in this political climate.

Check out the clip ... Sean, who wrote a book after leaving his post, says public service is in Sarah's DNA. But, Sarah -- just like Sean -- had a rough going as Trump's mouthpiece during her 2-year run. She'll leave at the end of the month and said she hopes she'll be remembered for her transparency and honesty.

That's ironic, because -- according to the Mueller Report -- she was forced under oath to admit she made up nonsense. The Special Counsel said Sarah straight-up lied when she said she heard from "countless members of the FBI" supporting Trump's removal of James Comey.

As for Sanders running for public office, Spicer says bank on it ... echoing President Trump, who encouraged her to run for Governor in Arkansas, her home state.

Ted Cruz It's Easy to Work with AOC ... When We Agree, That is!!!

6/14/2019 12:30 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Ted Cruz says his unlikely alliance with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is simply a matter of agreeing on good policy, and if that's what it takes to spark some bipartisan cooperation ... he's all for it.

We got the Texas Senator Thursday at Reagan National Airport, and he opened up about his new BFF. Okay, that's a stretch, but he and AOC are working together to ban former members of Congress from becoming lobbyists, and to make birth control available over the counter. Cruz says their teams have already hooked up to get the ball rolling.

Conservative Ted says he's got no issues working with the NY's liberal rookie Congresswoman and adds, he'll reach across the aisle for anyone -- it's all about the policy, baby.

Then Ted got a little weird ... about his beard.

We asked him if his facial hair is responsible for his apparent softer side lately, and he reveals his fellow senator, Dianne Feinstein, hates it. Doesn't seem like he's willing to work with a Democrat on a compromise in this case though ... and he has a plan to make it even worse for her.

We'd truly have to see it to believe it.

Rep. Eric Swalwell I Gotta Run While Running for Prez And to Meghan McCain ... I'm with Jon Stewart!!!

6/13/2019 5:01 PM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Presidential candidate Eric Swalwell has an answer for Meghan McCain, who called him out over the 9/11 Victims Fund, and makes it clear ... he's supporting Jon Stewart and all the first responder heroes.

The Democratic Congressman was on "TMZ Live" Thursday responding to Meghan criticizing him for missing Jon's powerful testimony this week for the House Judiciary Committee. Rep. Swalwell told us his absence was the result of a top-secret matter.

Swalwell has 3 family members in law enforcement and stressed he's voted to fund the 9/11 Victims Fund before and would continue to support what Jon's pitching.

As for his 2020 presidential run -- the California Rep. says he's up for the hectic schedule, but there's one aspect of it that really grinds his gears. He says it's a MUST that he gets in his daily run. As for how far he goes -- it's pretty impressive, considering he's traveling almost every day.

We couldn't let the Congressman go without challenging one of his odd wardrobe habits. Check out his explanation for ... ironing his jeans!!!

And, yes, he still does it himself. 

Kim Kardashian Helping Former Inmates Find Work ... With Free Transportation

6/13/2019 2:12 PM PDT
Breaking News

2:12 PM PT -- The press conference just ended and Kim made a major announcement … she’s involved in a rideshare partnership to give former inmates free rides to job interviews.

Kim says after spending time visiting prisons all over the country and talking with inmates on the inside and those who were recently released, one of their biggest hurdles is finding ways to get to job interviews and to work.

Meanwhile, the Prez announced a series of initiatives by the federal government and employers to help former inmates find work when they get back to their communities.

Kim Kardashian is back at the White House to talk prison reform, but this time she'll be making a speech alongside President Trump ... and TMZ is streaming it live. 

Kim and the Prez are talking about the first prisoners released under the recently passed First Step Act ... and Trump is also expected to discuss hiring people with criminal records. 

As you know, Kim and her legal team have been working diligently to free nonviolent prisoners who are spending life in prison for small drug crimes under Draconian sentences ... helping dozens of men and women gain their freedom. 

Kim went to 1600 Penn. last year in the name of prison reform ... sitting down with POTUS in the Oval Office ... and now we're going to learn more about the fruits of their labor.

Their news conference is set to begin at 1 PM PT, and we'll have it all here.

Originally published -- 12:53 PM PT

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