This is what Cardi B has to say about the government shutdown
(CNN)Cardi B is upset and worried. And she wants the world to know.
Cardi B, the chart-topping rapper behind hits such as “Bodak Yellow” and “I Like It,” is an avowed presidential trivia enthusiast who has previously weighed in on topics ranging from the United Nations' role in Libya to a minimum age for gun ownership. So it should come as no surprise that she had plenty of thoughts on the fact that nearly 50,000 federal employees have been told to return to work without a paycheck amid the partial government shutdown, which is now the longest in U.S. history.
Still, it appears even the Bronx-born artist, whose real name is Belcalis Almanzar, didn’t anticipate the response to the 58-second video that she posted to her Instagram account on Wednesday evening — a succinct denunciation of the shutdown that quickly racked up millions of views in a matter of hours and inspired calls for the rapper to run for president, deliver the State of the Union address or get her own cable news show. “Why am I trending?” she wondered out loud when she logged into Twitter hours later.
The answer was her now-viral, expletive-laden message to her nearly 40 million Instagram followers. “Hey y’all,” it began. “I just wanna remind you, because it’s been a little bit over three weeks, okay. Trump is now ordering, as in summonsing, federal government workers to go back to work without getting paid.”
Many of her fans don’t necessarily care about the shutdown, since they don’t work for the federal government or “probably don’t even have a job,” she acknowledged. But the ongoing standoff stemming from President Trump’s insistence that taxpayers should help fund a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, she told them, was something to take seriously.
“Our country is in a hellhole right now,” she said. “All for a f‐‐‐ing wall.”
Shaking her head, she gestured emphatically with her long fuchsia nails. “I feel like we need to take some action,” she mused. “I don’t know what type of action, b‐‐‐‐, because this is not what I do. But b‐‐‐‐, I’m scared.
By early Thursday morning, the Instagram video had racked up nearly 9 million views and accolades from prominent Trump critics, who praised Cardi’s concise, pointed commentary. “Colorful language and eyelids, but the message is loud and clear and the sentiment is shared by many Americans,” tweetedCNN commentator Ana Navarro. Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) wrote that he was trying to decide whether to retweet the video, which largely echoed congressional Democrats' talking points but added a heavy dose of profanity.
“Omg, I had the same argument with myself 30 minutes ago!” replied Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.)
Schatz responded: “Ok you do it. And say retweets are not endorsements, especially the language, and I will retweet.”
The answer, it turned out, was no. “Wouldn’t be senatorial,” Schatz explained.
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment late Wednesday night, and there was little immediate response from conservative commentators, save for a handful of tweets deriding the rapper and her music.
Earlier in the day, Cardi had offered an even more biting critique of Trump on Instagram Live.
“You promised these . . . racist rednecks that you was gonna build the wall, but you know that was impossible,” she said, according to the Hill. “But they voted for you and you promised them this . . . so now you have to do it.”
She also accused the president of being a “clout chaser,” a derisive term for individuals who seek fame and attention.
The president, she argued, “wants to be cool with basketball teams, football teams and black people. . . . He wants validation from what’s popping right now.”
It’s not the first time that Cardi has criticized Trump, whom she called a “madman” in an interview with Rolling Stone last summer. A former stripper, she began to develop a public profile as a reality television star with her 2015 appearance on “Love & Hip Hop: New York.” From the start, her political views were on full display: According to Roll Call, she encouraged her followers to “vote for daddy Bernie,” meaning Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), in advance of the 2016 presidential primaries. (The video is no longer available on her social media accounts, but archived versions can be found online.)
In a GQ profile last April, she expounded on her love of former president Franklin D. Roosevelt, telling reporter Caity Weaver that she is “obsessed with presidents” and loves learning about political science and “how the system works.”(Without looking it up, can you name the only president who was a bachelor? Cardi can: It was James M. Buchanan.) As for the 32nd president, she explained, “He’s the real ‘Make America Great Again,’ because if it wasn’t for him, old people wouldn’t even get Social Security.”
Sanders later declared, “Cardi B is right. We have got to protect social security for all generations.”
Okay! So! Hailey Baldwin and Justin Bieber already got married at a courthouse this September, BUT it looks like they're back at it for round two. The newlyweds are reportedly getting married again in a bigger blow-out ceremony, and while previous reports stated the wedding would take place this coming February, TMZ has some new info.
According to the outlet, Hailey and Justin will marry in Los Angeles on March 1 (not February 28 as previously reported) and the ceremony will coincide with Bieber's next birthday because apparently he wants to be a "married man" by the time he's 25. Sure, why not!
The wedding is said to be a "religious affair," and the guest list sounds like it's going to be full of A listers, including Kylie Jenner and Travis Scott, who already got a Save the Date email.
Interestingly, TMZ's report makes it sound like Hailey and Justin have moved the date of their wedding a total of three times, because this is the third batch of Save the Dates they've sent out. On that note, mark your cals! But use a pencil.
Following Page Six's report two days ago that Justin Bieber and Hailey Baldwin were planning a February 28 religious wedding that would include dancers and a DJ, TMZ has their own exclusive detailing venue plans, the guest list, and oh, the fact that Jailey has tried to set a date three times for this now. According to TMZ, the Save the Dates that the Biebers sent out were the third ones they mailed to their guests, "but we're told, this time around, they're sticking to their guns," TMZ wrote.
TMZ seconded Page Six's report that the wedding would happen the weekend of March 1, which is Bieber's birthday. TMZ was told by its source that Bieber wants to be a "married man" by his next birthday (his 25th). Of course, he's technically already one since he and Baldwin got married at a New York City courthouse in September, but still. Bring on the big religious wedding!
People reported earlier this month that Bieber and Baldwin are ready for it. “They’ve been figuring out the perfect time to do it, and they both feel like the sooner, the better,” a source close to Bieber told the outlet then.
Multiple sources told TMZ that the wedding will take place in Los Angeles over Canada or New York, where Bieber and Baldwin's families are based, respectively. Although the couple "initially" wanted to have the wedding out east, the two ultimately chose California because of the better weather.
Celebrity guests will be in attendance for the wedding too. TMZ is reporting right now that Kylie Jenner and Travis Scott are among those who got invitations.
Justin Bieber and Hailey Baldwin are getting married...'again!"
The couple tied the knot in a low-key courthouse ceremony in Autumn last year
Justin Bieber and Hailey Baldwin are rumoured to be getting married... again.
The couple, who tied the knot last year, are said to be saying 'I do' a second time round surrounded by the family and friends who couldn't make it to the original nuptials.
The pop star and his model wife got hitched in a modest courthouse ceremony in New York last September.
According to TMZ, the pair are now planning a much grander bash pencilled in for March 1 - which also happens to be the date of Justin's 25th birthday.
Sources say the renewal of the vows will take place in Los Angeles and will be a religious affair, since their first trip down the aisle was not 'performed in the eyes of God'.
Celeb pals of the couple, including Kylie Jenner and Travis Scott, are said to have already received their 'save the date' emails.
In Autumn last year, a casually dressed Justin, 24, and Hailey, 21, walked into a local courthouse to say their vows in front of a select group of family members just a few months after engaged.
Hailey initially denied the ceremony had taken place, telling fans in a now deleted tweet: :"I understand where the speculation is coming from, but I’m not married yet!"
But the news was finally confirmed in millennial fashion, when Hailey changed her surname from Baldwin to Bieber on Instagram .
The day before Justin captioned a pic of Hailey wearing a jacket with 'Bieber' emblazoned on the back to say, 'My wife is awesome.'
This followed their engagement announcement in July, which Justin posted about Instagram: "Hailey I am soooo in love with everything about you!
The bassist for the punk rock band The Germs, Lorna Doom, has died. She was 61.
Doom's bandmate, drummer Don Bolles, confirmed the sad news on Facebook Wednesday.
Doom, whose real name is Teresa Ryan, joined The Germs in the 1970s. At the time, the band's lineup included singer Darby Crash, guitarist Pat Smear and Belinda Carlisle. Carlisle would later go on to be the lead singer of The Go-Go's.
The band went through a lot of changes in its lineup before adding on Bolles as their drummer and releasing "GI" on Slash Records in 1979. The group disbanded a year later when Crash died by suicide in 1980 at age 22.
More than two decades later, Doom, Smear and Bolles would reunite in The Germs biopic "What We Do Is Secret," with actor Shane West in the role of Crash.
Michael Cohen, former personal attorney to President Donald Trump, exits federal court on Nov. 29, 2018 in New York City.Drew Angerer / Getty Images file
Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump's former personal lawyer and fixer, confirmed on Thursday that he paid a small tech firm to rig online polls before the 2016 presidential campaign got underway "at the direction of and the sole benefit of" Trump.
The Wall Street Journal was the first to report the payment and attempted poll manipulation. The Trump Organization declined to comment to the newspaper.
"As for the @WSJ article on poll rigging, what I did was at the direction of and for the sole benefit of @realDonaldTrump @POTUS. I truly regret my blind loyalty to a man who doesn’t deserve it," Cohen said in a tweet.
Cohen paid the money to John Gauger, who runs RedFinch Solutions LLC, in early 2015, to rig online polls in Trump’s favor before the presidential campaign.
The newspaper reported that Cohen gave Gauger a blue Walmartbag containing about $13,000 in cash. Gauger also said that Cohen randomly included a boxing glove Cohen claimed at the time had been worn by a Brazilian mixed-martial arts fighter.
However, in a statement to the Journal, Cohen said he did not pay Gauger in cash.
“All monies paid to Mr. Gauger were by check,” Cohen told the newspaper, without offering further details to the newspaper.
Gauger, who is also chief information officer at Liberty University in Virginia, where evangelical leader and Trump supporter Jerry Falwell Jr. is president, said he was supposed to be paid $50,000 for the project but never received the remaining money. Trump, however, reimbursed Cohen in early 2017 for $50,000 for the work, the Journal reported, citing a government document and a person familiar with the matter.
Rudy Giuliani, a personal lawyer for Trump, said in a statement to the Journal that Cohen is “untrustworthy” because he was reimbursed more money than he paid RedFinch.
“If one thing has been established, it’s that Michael Cohen is completely untrustworthy,” Giuliani said.
When Cohen asked for the $50,000 reimbursement, he cited technology services but did not tell Trump Organization executives what services specifically were performed, the Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.
Trevor Potter, a campaign finance lawyer and former chairman of the Federal Election Commission, told NBC News that Cohen's payment to the tech firm should have been accounted for and disclosed in campaign reports because Trump was "testing the waters" for a White House bid at the time, meaning exploring a candidacy but not yet declared. A search of FEC records showed no indication of a disclosure.
“Once he became a candidate, this should have been reported as an in-kind contribution to the campaign, because it is required to report all testing expenditures and contributions on its initial FEC reports upon qualifying as a candidate," Potter said.
Brendan Fischer, director of the Campaign Legal Center's federal reform program, also said the payments needed to be reported as soon as Trump declared his candidacy in June 2015. However, building a case against Cohen for these potential campaign finance violations would have been much more difficult than the case made over hush payments Cohen facilitated to women who alleged affairs with Trump, Paul S. Ryan, vice president for policy and litigation at the watchdog group Common Cause, tweeted.
Cohen was sentenced in December to three years in prison for what a Manhattan federal court judge called a “veritable smorgasbord" of criminal conduct, including making those secret payments, lying to Congress about the president’s business dealings with Russia, and failing to report millions of dollars in income.
Cohen is slated to testify publicly before Congress early next month before he goes to prison. Cohen said he agreed to appear before the House Oversight Committee on Feb. 7 "in furtherance of my commitment to cooperate and provide the American people with answers."
Rita Ora delivered a dazzling rendition of “Let You Love Me” on The Tonight ShowTuesday, while she also sat down with Jimmy Fallon to discus her new album Phoenix and play a round of “One Word Songs.”
Ora’s performance of “Let You Love Me” opened with the British pop star moving through the song’s subdued intro with an added bit of gloom. But as Ora finished the first verse, she cut the anguish on her face with a big grin before launching into the joyous “Let You Love Me” hook, while the screens beside her began to flash in brilliant colors and patterns.
The game opened with Fallon singing Ariana Grande’s “No Tears Left to Cry” with the word “weasel,” after which Ora was tasked with conveying the Spice Girls’ “Wannabe,” only she didn’t recognize the word she’d been given – “tuba.” The gaffe led to an impromptu bit in which Fallon scolded Roots tuba player Tuba Gooding, Jr. (real name Damon Bryson) as he walked dejectedly off the stage.
Elsewhere in her interview with Fallon, Ora spoke about why she decided to call her new album Phoenix and the time she flummoxed her fans when she performed an entire show dressed as Post Malone.
“I literally did a concert and they didn’t clap because they were like, ‘Who is this weird human being on stage?'” Ora recalled. “I had to talk in the mic and still they didn’t believe me! And then I had to sing, and they were like, “Ok fine, we believe you.’ I was like, ‘What kind of hardcore fans are these?'”
Rita Ora baffles in bizarre cut-out BOOB sweater
The quirky singer loves striking out with a fashion experiment or two, but this one raises some serious questions
Rita Ora is known for her quirky fashion sense. Wearing interesting and original clothes is part of her brand.
But, with temperatures dropping sharply on both side of this Atlantic as winter really starts to kick in, her choice of outfit to visit Sirius XM crossed the line from ‘bold’ to ‘downright foolhardy.’
Her ensemble, from Australian fashion designer Dion Lee, featured generously-sized cut-outs exactly where, in normal circumstances, the average person would definitely not want a cut-out.
One might argue that it’s Rita’s job not to be the average person.
But nevertheless, with temperatures hovering around freezing in New York today it’s reasonable to suggest that the I Will Never Let You Down hitmaker is taking her devotion to duty a shade far.
Rita recently revealed that she doesn’t know her exact bra size, and offered that as an excuse for posting a photo of herself her Instagram earlier this month wearing a bikini that was at least two sizes too small.
Rita is reportedly dating former Spider-Man Andrew Garfield. Now that he’s not using that stretchy all-in-one spider-suit any more perhaps he could lend it to Rita as a base layer to keep her warm under that holey sweater?
If nothing else, the flash of red Spider-Man costume peeking out from behind the cut-outs would provide a cheering flash of colour in the cold winter months.
Rudy Giuliani, President Donald Trump's personal attorney, made several attempts on Thursday to clarify an assertion he made during a Wednesday night CNN interview in which he claimed that he "never said" the Trump campaign didn't collude with Russia.
That comment runs counter to his and President Donald Trump's past remarks on the matter. Trump has repeatedly asserted that his campaign did not collude with Russian officials. The issue of whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia is a question at the heart of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.
"I never said there was no collusion between the campaign or between people in the campaign," Giuliani told CNN's Chris Cuomo, who immediately pushed back on that point.
"I have not," Giuliani said in doubling-down on his first remark. "I said the president of the United States. There is not a single bit of evidence the president of the United States committed the only crime you could commit here, conspired with the Russians to hack the DNC."
Thursday morning, Giuliani sought to clear up his remarks. In an interview with NBC News, Giuliani denied that he had reversed himself on the issue of collusion.
"No," he said, when asked if his comments Wednesday night represented a change from his previous remarks. "If it was, it was subconscious."
"I represent the president. I can speak only to the president, not the campaign. The president was not involved in, nor does the president have any knowledge of collusion with the Russians or anyone else. I have no knowledge that anyone on the campaign colluded, but obviously I cannot speak for everyone on the campaign," he added.
He also issued a written statement, obtained by NBC News, in order "to clarify my comments during the Cuomo interview because they have been misinterpreted."
"I represent only President Trump not the Trump campaign. There was no collusion by President Trump in any way, shape or form. Likewise, I have no knowledge of any collusion by any of the thousands of people who worked on the campaign," Giuliani wrote.
In July 2018, the president's attorney said in Fox New interview that there had been "no collusion," but that "collusion is not a crime." At that time, he asserted that no one in "the upper levels of the Trump campaign" colluded with Russia, adding that he had "no reason to believe anybody else did" either.
Trump has repeatedly and emphatically denied that any collusion between his campaign and Russia took place.
"There was nobody to collude with," Trump said at a press conference alongside Vladimir Putin last summer. "There was no collusion with the campaign."
In a tweet from last February, Trump said his campaign "did nothing wrong — no collusion!"
And prior to his former national security adviser Michael Flynn's sentencing hearing last month, Trump tweeted that it was going to be "interesting to see what he has to say, despite tremendous pressure being put on him, about Russian Collusion in our great and, obviously, highly successful political campaign."
"There was no Collusion!" he added.
Giuliani, in his interview with NBC News, also said that the president's legal team would not have answered any of Mueller's questions related to the Russia probe if they had known about the FBI's inquiry into whether Trump was secretly working on behalf of Russia in the wake of former FBI director James Comey's firing in May 2017.
The New York Times, citing former law enforcement officials and other familiar with the investigation, reported earlier this month that law enforcement officials were so concerned by the president's actions during that period that a counterintelligence investigation was opened, which included probing whether Trump sought to obstruct justice when he fired Comey.
"If I had known about the counterintelligence probe, I probably wouldn’t have answered any of the questions," Giuliani said, "because I would have said the investigation is completely illegitimate and I don't know why we’re cooperating with it."
The Washington Post reported in June 2017 that Mueller's Russia investigation had widened to include examining possible obstruction of justice — and while the special counsel reportedly sought to ask Trump about obstruction, the president's legal team pushed back.
After months of jockeying over what information the president would provide, Trump's legal team submitted written answers to Mueller's questions in November 2018, answers which Trump told reporters he had written himself.
In a statement at the time, Trump attorney Jay Sekulow said the questions presented to them by Mueller "dealt with issues regarding the Russia-related topics of the inquiry" and were not related to possible obstruction of justice.
Happy Birthday Michelle Obama!
Former President Barack Obama celebrated the former first lady's 55th birthday on Thursday with a sweet message and a throwback photo from their early days together.
"I knew it way back then and I’m absolutely convinced of it today — you’re one of a kind, @MichelleObama. Happy Birthday!" he wrote.
The couple has been married since 1992 after they first met in the late 1980s when she was working at a Chicago law firm and he was a summer associate at the firm.
Michelle opened up about their relationship in her memoir, "Becoming," talking about how they have struggles like many couples and seek counseling when they need it. She also revealed the sweet way he proposed to her in 1991.
"Here's the advice I give everyone about marriage — is she someone you find interesting?" Pfeiffer quoted Obama in an excerpt from his book, "Yes We Still Can: Politics in the Age of Obama, Twitter and Trump."
The other two questions were straightforward.
"Does she make you laugh? And I don't know if you want kids, but if you do, do you think she will be a good mom?" Obama said.
Given the way the former president often looks at Michelle, it's clear she continues to be "the one" all these years later.