GOP Candidate Jerone DavisonClaims AR-15's Necessary to Kill Klansmen ...In Violent Campaign Ad

READY FOR ANYTHING

Jerone Davison, a Republican running for Congress, is embracing assault weapons, saying there's a place for them in America ... especially when it comes to subduing members of the KKK.

It's a bizarre and disturbing political ad ... Davison leans in hard on Democrats with his hypothetical that he would need 30 rounds fired in rapid succession to protect his family.

Davison, a former Oakland Raiders running back who's running in Arizona, suggests Democrats are the ones inside the Klan hoods.

The video shows hooded Klansmen with donkey patches on their robes menacingly approaching a home where Davison is hanging out with an AR-15. He's the only one with a firearm, and when he brandishes the rifle the Klansmen turn and run.

The ad ends with a white hood floating in a pool ... and in a social media post promoting the spot, Davison says, "Make Rifles Great Again 💪🏽."

Davison posted the ad Wednesday, just 2 days after an assault rifle was used in a mass shooting at an Independence Day parade.

Highland Park ShootingAlleged Gunman's FatherSponsored Him for Gun Permit in 2019

The alleged Highland Park shooter appears to have slipped through the cracks that Congress recently tried patching up with new gun legislation ... with his dad helping him to obtain a gun, even with a ton of warning signs he wasn't fit to own one.

Authorities say Robert Crimo received help from his father in obtaining a gun permit in 2020, who allegedly sponsored his then 19-year-old son for a FOID (firearm owners identification) card, which he needed to buy the semi-automatic weapon, despite alarming incidents just months earlier.

Authorities revealed Tuesday that they’d had a couple run-ins with Crimo in 2019 — one in which he threatened to kill himself, and another where he threatened to kill his own family. Cops say the latter resulted in him having multiple weapons (knives) temporarily taken by law enforcement after his parents refused to press charges and Crimo told them he wasn't a danger to himself and others.

Cops say Crimo was able to get his hands on the weapon used in Monday’s killing because there was technically no reason to deny him. No charges had been filed from the 2019 incidents — which might’ve otherwise barred him — and the only thing on his record in 2020 was a minor ordinance violation.

Plus, he had his old man’s sign-off … nothing outwardly stood out, at least on paper, telling anyone not to treat him like anyone else. Of course, there have also been reports of his disturbing social media activity -- which some say should've been caught and flagged, but wasn't. Sadly, all of this seems to have led to a massive tragedy … leaving at least 7 dead and several others injured.

Crimo’s parents issued a statement, saying they empathized with everyone affected and that their thoughts and prayers were with the victims’ families.

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This exact type of scenario — where Crimo was able to legally purchase a weapon despite the past incidents — is one that a gun safety bill that President Biden just signed into law is supposed to address and fix.

The bipartisan effort significantly tightens up red flag laws and background checks for would-be gun buyers … and if mental health issues are found, it disqualifies that person. It seems the bill was too late though — Crimo apparently had this gun for a couple years before allegedly carrying out his act.

As we reported, Crimo was on the run for a bit in the immediate aftermath of the shooting ... that is, until cops tracked him down and made an arrest. He faces 7 counts of first-degree murder and several other charges ... Crimo is scheduled to appear in court this week.

Highland Park MassacreRobert Crimo Posted Violent Images for Years ...Attended Multiple Trump Rallies

Robert Crimo III, the person of interest in the 4th of July Highland Park massacre, joked about school shootings online and even drew a sketch of him getting shot and killed by cops with a gun by his side.

Crimo has been on social media for years, posting violent images of mass shootings. He called himself a rapper with the name "Awake the Rapper" with 16,000 Spotify listeners every month.

One of his drawings shows a man lying on the ground, presumably dead with a rifle by his side, as police closed in on him.

In one image, you see a man holding a rifle as someone appears dead on the ground and another person is standing hands up as the gun is pointed toward him.

There's another drawing of Crimo throwing bullets on a classroom floor, decked out in armor.

He seemed to have contempt for politicians ... posting a photo last fall of Budd Dwyer, the Pennsylvania official who shot and killed himself on live TV with the caption, "I wish politicians still gave speeches like this."

He did seem to have a soft spot for Donald Trump, appearing at several rallies ... in one case dressed as "Where's Waldo." There's another pic of him draped in a Trump flag.

He was very open about his fascination with mass murder and violence ... and lots of people saw this for years. As far as we can tell so far, there were no direct threats that would have alerted law enforcement ... although apparently, he was 'known to law enforcement.'

Six people were slaughtered and several dozen injured during the 4th of July massacre in Highland Park, a suburb of Chicago.

Martin Luther King Jr.Discusses Use of 'N' Word in Rare Letter

A significant piece of history is now up for sale ... a letter from Dr.Martin Luther King Jr. where he candidly talks about the "n" word and the term "dark skinned American."

MLK wrote the letterJanuary 18, 1966. The recipient was a man named William A. Bennett -- unclear who Bennett is. Dr. King embraced the term "dark skinned" ... saying he used it often as it reflects "both our great heritage and our devotion to a brand of Americanism of the highest order."

Of course, MLK has thoughts about the "n" word, which he says "carries with it a meaning deeply rooted in the debilitating racist caste ordering of our society's slavery epoch and segregation era."

The historical artifact was held in a private collection until recently, and now it's for sale on the Moments In Time site for $95,000.

Read the letter ... it's really interesting.

Katy PerryAbortion Tweet Dragged ...Don't You Back Caruso???

Katy Perry sent a message this holiday weekend to express frustration about the Roe v. Wade decision -- but all Twitter wants to do is point out what it sees as hypocrisy.

The singer tweeted Monday about the 4th of July and what it means in her eyes in the wake of the Supreme Court's ruling to reverse the landmark decision ... effectively outlawing abortions almost immediately in several states across the country, and more to come.

She sarcastically writes, "'Baby you’re a firework' is a 10 but women in the US have fewer rights than an actual sparkler smh" -- clearly referencing her 2010 track of the same name.

NBD, or so you would think ... rather than getting praised for her pro-choice sentiment here -- as many celebs have been lately -- Katy is actually getting dragged to no end right now. And it all has to do with who she publicly supported for L.A. Mayor ... aka, Rick Caruso.

As we reported ... KP was one of many celebs who endorsed the billionaire entrepreneur and real estate developer running for Mayor. And while he didn't outright win in June's election -- he has a chance to take it home in Nov. in a runoff race with Rep. Karen Bass.

The problem ... Caruso, who's running as a Dem, has been perceived as wish-washy on his abortion stance over the years, at least that's what old interviews from the 2000s suggest. Until recently ... Rick was a Republican and has donated to a lot of GOPers, including folks some say have it out for abortion rights -- all of which he's been called out over of late.

Now, he says he's pro-choice and touts himself as an advocate for women's rights. Unfortunately for him (and for Katy, it seems) ... Twitter's not buying it, and they're telling Katy to sit this one out due to her very vocal support for him.

She's far from the only celeb who backed Caruso, though -- Kim Kardashian also got behind him in the run-up to the election last month ... but she appears to have wisely dodged Twitter to lament the abortion sitch lately.

Instead, she's voiced her displeasure via IG Stories -- where random people can't comment or go after her as easily as they could on the old bird app . Smart move in hindsight.

Brittney GrinerWrites Open Letter to Biden ...Please Get Me Out of Here

Brittney Griner is speaking for herself for the first time in a long time as she's been detained in Russia pending a trial -- and her words are an emotional plea to President Biden.

Excerpts of a letter sent to the White House this week on behalf of Griner were published Sunday, through reps for Griner, and it consists of bullet point thoughts she's expressing as she faces years behind bars for allegedly bringing hash cartridges into the country.

Griner writes to Joe, in part ... "… as I sit here in a Russian prison, alone with my thoughts and without the protection of my wife, family, friends, Olympic jersey, or any accomplishments, I'm terrified I might be here forever."

The WNBA star goes on to say that on the 4th of July, she has a tradition of honoring service members -- including within her own family -- but that this year ... freedom means something completely different to her amid her circumstance.

The final excerpt reads, "I realize you are dealing with so much, but please don't forget about me and the other American Detainees. Please do all you can to bring us home. I voted for the first time in 2020 and I voted for you."

Griner ends with this final thought for POTUS ... "I believe in you. I still have so much good to do with my freedom that you can help restore. I miss my wife! I miss my family! I miss my teammates! It kills me to know they are suffering so much right now. I am grateful for whatever you can do at this moment to get me home."

A MESSAGE TO BIDEN
CNN

BG's wife recently said while she felt the administration was acting in good faith to bring her back -- she still felt they weren't doing enough, and Griner's own words reflect that.

The entirety of the letter has not been publicly published -- it's unclear what else Brittney might've written to Biden, but this itself is pretty telling ... she's begging for a lifeline.

Bette MidlerInvokes Trans Argument ...Talking Abortion, Women's Rights

UPDATE

5:45 PM PT -- Macy Gray appears to concur with Bette. While talking to Piers Morgan, she expressed similar views ... albeit not necessarily in the context of abortion.

UPDATE
UPDATE

It appears the convo was more broad about trans people in general -- and on the front, Macy says ... "Just because you go change your parts, (that) doesn't make you a woman."

Bette Midler has embraced an argument some are invoking to address the abortion crisis in the country -- bringing up transgender people to make a point ... a lightning rod one at that.

The actress has been very active on Twitter these past couple days, blasting the Supreme Court for reversing Roe v. Wade -- mostly hitting out at Clarence Thomas, it seems -- and in the same breath ... she's speaking up on women's rights. Emphasis on that first part.

BM writes, "WOMEN OF THE WORLD! We are being stripped of our rights over our bodies, our lives and even of our name! They don’t call us 'women' anymore; they call us 'birthing people' or 'menstruators', and even 'people with vaginas'!"

She adds fervently ... "Don’t let them erase you! Every human on earth owes you!" Of course, that gets to trans/non-binary people ... and some are calling this POV transphobic.

Interestingly, her comment piggybacks on a now-viral op-ed published in the NYT this weekend, titled "The Far Right And Far Left Agree on One Thing: Women Don't Count" ... in which the author makes similar arguments about cisgender women being "erased" on the extremes of both sides of the aisle ... either for inclusivity's sake, or outright oppression.

While some might agree, others say it's a false equivalency to compare trying to be sensitive to trans people/using mindful language to what the GOP seems to be doing (banning abortions) ... suggesting one is clearly a far more serious and dire threat than the other is.

In any case, we know where Bette stands on the issue. She seems to be very much an old-school feminist who's pretty pissed off about all this. One crisis at a time, though, perhaps.

Originally Published -- 11:58 AM PT

Pope FrancisAbortion is Like 'Hiring a Hitman'

Pope Francis is strongly in support of the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe vs. Wade, comparing abortion to "hiring a hitman to solve a problem."

The Pope reiterated the position of the Catholic Church ... that life begins at conception.

He spoke from his residence at the Vatican ... "I ask, is it legitimate? Is it right to eliminate a human life to resolve a problem?"

Then the 85-year-old Pontiff was asked about a hot topic in the Church -- whether someone, like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who is pro-choice should be allowed to get communion. FYI ... Pelosi was denied communion by the archbishop in San Francisco where she lives, although she received the sacrament at the Vatican last week.

The Pope's response, "When the Church loses its pastoral nature, when a bishop loses his pastoral nature, it causes a political problem. That's all I can say."

Abortion BanSo. Dakota Gov. Grilled Over 10-Year-Old Pregnant Rape Victim

STRAIGHT ANSWER, PLEASE
CNN

South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem did her best to deflect how she and her state would handle the case of a 10-year-old girl who became pregnant after being raped.

Gov. Noem appeared on CNN Sunday and discussed her state's anti-abortion law, which prohibits such procedures except to save the life of the mother.

The Governor immediately tried to change the subject and talk about how a monster could do such a thing and how people like him needed accountability. CNN's Dana Bash pressed her to get back on topic, and the Governor danced around the subject.

The 10-year-old lives in Ohio, and was 6 weeks and 3 days pregnant ... 3 days too late to get an abortion in that state. She reportedly traveled to Indiana for the procedure.

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SUPREME PROTESTS
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Bash couldn't pin the Governor down ... she asked, "Because [the] trigger law [in South Dakota] was passed before you became governor, I wanted you to be clear: Will the state of South Dakota going forward force a 10-year-old in that very same situation to have a baby?"

Noem's answer ...  "You know what I think is incredible, Dana, in this tragic story? What’s incredible is that nobody’s talking about the pervert, the horrible and deranged individual, that raped a 10-year-old. What are we doing about those individuals that do this to these children?​"

She added ... "Every single life — every single life is precious."

It seems the Governor is saying the little girl should be forced to give birth ... "What I would say is, I don’t believe a tragic situation should be perpetuated by another tragedy. And so there’s more that we have got to do to make sure that we really are living a life that says every life is precious, especially innocent lives that have been shattered, like that 10-year-old girl."

South Dakota is one of a number of states that is either severely restricting or altogether banning abortions in the wake of the Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.

D.L. HUGHLEYTrump 'Should Go To Jail' For Jan. 6th... Only Path To Justice!!!

TOSS HIM IN JAIL
TMZ.com

D.L. Hughley says Donald Trump belongs behind bars for his role in the insurrection ... strongly believing any lesser outcome signals the end of justice as we know it.

We got the comedian/social activist at LAX and asked about the January 6th hearings, including shocking recent testimony about Trump's actions on that fateful day.

D.L. says he's already seen enough evidence to conclude Trump committed sedition ... and he says if the Department of Justice does NOT indict Trump and everyone else who was involved, the idea of justice in America is dead.

HANDS ON HIS NECK
Fox News

The way D.L. sees it ... Trump weaponized the mob that stormed the Capitol and he was also behind the fake electors' scheme, committing the very election fraud Trump wouldn't shut up about.

D.L. says the hearings show the insurrection was way worse than Watergate ... and he says the reluctance of Trump and his defenders to go under oath speaks volumes.

TRUMP WANTED WEAPONS
Fox News

We also asked D.L. if he had a message for Cassidy Hutchinson -- the right-hand person to Trump's Chief of Staff Mark Meadows -- who gave the committee the most dirt on Trump so far. It's safe to say ... D.L. isn't putting her on a pedestal.

CA Gov. Gavin NewsomDon't Let 'Em Take Your Freedoms, FLCome Over to Our State!!!

California GovernorGavin Newsom just took out an ad in Florida for what seems to be nothing more than a troll effort ... poking fun at Gov. DeSantis, and conservatives at large.

Newsom's campaign ad is 30 seconds, and the word is -- he bought airtime on Fox News in Florida markets for this cheeky spot, set to run through the holiday weekend. It's pretty funny, 'cause GN's embracing rhetoric the right often use, including "taking your freedom."

Check it out ... the Gov. is addressing Floridians directly, telling them that their freedom and rights are under attack in their state -- via book banning, voting restrictions, limiting speech in classrooms, as well as criminalizing women and doctors (a la the new abortion ruling).

He goes on to say that he urges everyone living in the Sunshine State to "join the fight" ... by coming over to California, where he says the idea of freedom is still very much alive.

The whole thing is super ironic and full of satire -- and Newsom's getting a lot of praise online for going out of his way to stick it to DeSantis (seen as an up-and-coming star in the GOP) and right-wingers generally. Others, however, are raising an eyebrow over this.

Some have noted this stunt -- which has no bearing on his re-election chances in November, since no one in Florida can vote here anyway -- was expensive ... and probably unnecessary.

So, why do it??? Well, as political pundits have articulated ... Newsom seems to be ambitious beyond just California politics, and may be trying to lay the groundwork as a go-to Dem voice on the national stage in the not-too-distant future. He also probably sees DeSantis as a good foil ... because he too is seen as a GOP leader going forward, post-Trump.

Some say he should even challenge DT in the primary heading into 2024. In the meantime, his would-be foe is already warming up with jabs from across the country.

'RHOC' Alum Meghan KingI Found a New Man!!!... Months After Split From President Biden's Nephew

"Real Housewives of Orange County" alum Meghan King has been quietly dating a new man ... shortly after ending her two-month marriage to President Joe Biden's nephew.

Sources close to the couple tell TMZ that Meghan has been dating co-founder and CEO of Trusted Provider Network, Trevor Colhoun since April. Trevor is also an heir to the John Deere tractor fortune.

Our sources tell us the pair met through mutual friends and have kept things hush-hush for the last several months. The two have not publicly confirmed they're dating.

The reality star called it quits with POTUS' nephew, Cuffe Biden Owens in December 2021 ... only 2 months after they said their "I Dos" in an intimate ceremony at Owens' family home in Pennsylvania. The President and First Lady Jill Biden attended the ceremony.

Before Cuffe, Meghan was married to retired MLB star Jim Edmonds from 2014 to 2019.

Enes Kanter FreedomCalls Adam Silver, NBA 'Hypocrites'... They're Pushing Me To Retire

Calling Out The Commish
TMZSports.com

Enes Kanter Freedom just went in on the NBA and Adam Silver -- calling them hypocrites ... and telling TMZ Sports he believes they're trying to force him to retire due to his willingness to speak his mind.

We talked with the 30-year-old center -- who's played 11 seasons in the NBA -- while he was in D.C. this week, and he told us he's unsure if he'll be granted another opportunity to play in the Association again because of his outspokenness against the league and authoritarians across the globe.

"They're pushing me to retire at the age of 30, unfortunately," Enes said. "I'm going to push through it. I'm still working out. I'm still practicing."

"But, the one thing I can say is, the NBA and Adam Silver is definitely one of the most hypocritical organizations and one of the most hypocritical commissioners out there in the world."

Enes accused the NBA -- who does business with China -- of having "billions of dollars tied up with that dictatorship" ... and, as a result, he feels they prioritize their bottom line (money) over human rights.

"They stand up for things until it affects their money or business," Enes said, "and someone had to expose them, and someone finally exposed them and from firsthand."

Enes did, however, give a nod to his NBA brothers and WNBA sisters for speaking up about Brittney Griner -- who remains in jail in Russia on drug charges -- but he wishes the United States government would be more aggressive in their approach to bring her home.

"They definitely need to do more because you're dealing with, like I said again, one of the most brutal dictatorships in the world," Enes said.

"Human rights is above politics, so I'm going to do whatever I can to bring awareness and be the voice of all the innocent people who don't have a voice."

Texas Supreme CourtEnforces Pre-Roe 1925 Abortion LawAs 'Trigger' Deadline Looms

The state of Texas is in a state of confusion as to what the actual law is over abortion -- made only more dubious by a decision its high court just handed down.

On Friday, the Texas Supreme Court overturned a lower court's ruling from earlier this week giving clinics/docs there the green light to continue carrying out abortions up to the 6-week mark -- allowing women a last-minute chance to get abortions before the state's trigger law goes into effect at the end of July ... which will outlaw most instances of abortion, period.

The reason the lower court even had to weigh in on this now is because pro-choice advocates sued the state after TX AG Ken Paxton effectively tried accelerating the trigger law date to right now ... via a loophole in an ancient Texas law from 1925 as his justification.

The 1925 law and the forthcoming trigger law are separate, but essentially enforce the same thing ... a woman cannot get an abortion in Texas, unless having the baby threatens her life.

Paxton apparently didn't wanna wait until the end of July for the trigger law to go into effect, and publicly declared this week that the old law of nearly 100 years could, in fact, be applied today -- both criminally and civilly -- seeing how it had remained on the books this entire time. Before Roe v. Wade was overturned last week, it had superseded the 1925 law.

After the lower court banned this enforcement through a TRO, he filed an appeal with the TX Supreme Court -- asking them to temporarily lift the ban ... which they did late last night. So, as of right now, that 1925 law is in play in Texas -- although, criminal prosecution for violating it is on hold at the moment, per the court. A hearing on this is set for July 12.

It's a stark reality either way ... any woman who was/is attempting to get an abortion in TX before the trigger law hits is now hamstrung with all these back-and-forth rulings.

Several other states' trigger laws have already materialized ... and when the rest do as well, it's going to be a mess as women travel to neighboring states to get abortions ... at the risk of prosecution. President Biden warned of this just yesterday, saying arrests will happen.

In other words, this is far from over ... and the ramifications are going to be felt for a while, at least until the next couple election cycles -- when would-be elected officials could do something to reverse SCOTUS' decision by codifying abortion rights through legislation.

Even that, though, isn't guaranteed at this point.

Brittney GrinerStands Trial In Russia... Arrives At Court In Jimi Hendrix T-Shirt

Arguably the biggest days in Brittney Griner's life have finally arrived -- her drug case trial in Russia has begun ... and it appears she chose to send a loud and clear message with her fashion for the monumental moment.

Cameras at a courthouse in Moscow captured Griner in the minutes before the trial officially began Friday morning ... and they showed the WNBA superstar rockin' a Jimi Hendrix T-shirt for the occasion.

While we're sure Griner is a big fan of the musician's work ... it seems the 31-year-old -- who's been detained in Russia since mid-February after authorities claimed she had hash oil in her luggage at an airport -- was attempting to send an "I'm innocent" note to the world.

You'll recall, Hendrix was arrested in Toronto back in 1969 after he, too, allegedly had drugs in his bags at an airport. Hendrix eventually stood trial in the case, but was found not guilty.

Griner -- who's facing up to 10 years behind bars if convicted on the charges -- is clearly hoping for a similar result in her drug case.

Friday's hearing reportedly lasted around two and a half hours, and is scheduled to continue next week. U.S. officials said at the courthouse following the proceedings that Griner told them she is in good spirits and "is keeping up the faith."

Griner's wife, meanwhile, spoke with CNN on Thursday night ahead of the important hearing ... and stressed she still wants to get in front of Joe Biden to make sure he knows just how important Griner is to her, her fans and America.

A MESSAGE TO BIDEN
CNN

"He has that power -- he is the person that ultimately will make that decision for BG to come home," Cherelle Griner said. "And, so while everyone else wants to tell me they care, I would love for him to tell me he cares."

Cherelle had said earlier this week that her wife was both "struggling" and "terrified" as she awaited trial in her case.

A$AP RockyTrump Threatened Trade War Against Sweden ...Unless Rapper Was Released

A$AP Rocky's arrest in Sweden a few years back almost triggered an international trade war ... with then-President Donald Trump demanding his release -- or else.

Sweden's Justice Minister just revealed the information ... that Trump threatened to impose trade restrictions if A$AP wasn't freed stat.

The Justice Minister said Trump's threats were classic bullying, adding, "If you can try and do something like this against Sweden, what will you then try and do to slightly weaker countries that don't have the European Union behind them?"

JULY 2019
BRUTALLY BEATEN
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The J.M. said Trump's actions clearly showed how essential it is to stand up for democracy.

As we reported ... A$AP was arrested 3 years ago in Stockholm after he and 2 bodyguards beat up a fan outside a fast-food restaurant ... and it was caught on video. They hit and kicked the guy ... then hit him with a broken bottle.

JULY 2019
LET'S MAKE PEACE

A$AP and co. said the guy had been harassing them and hurling racial epithets at them well. A$AP was held for more than a month.

Trump was briefed by Kanye and tweeted his support for A$AP, saying "Very disappointed in Prime Minister Stefan Lofven for being unable to act. Sweden has let our African American Community down in the United States," adding, "I watched the tapes of A$AP Rocky, and he was being followed and harassed by troublemakers. Treat Americans fairly. #FreeRocky."

Rocky was convicted of assault, given a suspended sentence and released.

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