Associated Press AP

Donald Trump Called Sexual Assault Protesters ‘Paid Professionals’

Just days after President Donald Trump publicly mocked Christine Blasey Ford’s sexual assault allegations against his Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, he’s now using his Twitter account to accuse protesters of being “paid professionals.”

In a tweet Friday morning, Trump reacted to the activists and demonstrators who have taken to confronting lawmakers in public spaces about believing sexual assault survivors.

“The very rude elevator screamers are paid professionals only looking to make Senators look bad,” he wrote. “Don’t fall for it! Also, look at all of the professionally made identical signs. Paid for by Soros and others. These are not signs made in the basement from love! #Troublemakers”

President Trump did not offer up any evidence to back up his claim.

While, yes, George Soros is a billionaire who often donates money to progressive causes, there has never been proof of this oft-repeated (by the right) conspiracy theory that protests against the Trump administration and its policies are filled with paid actors—and not actual concerned citizens.

Ana Maria Archila, one of the women who confronted Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) in an elevator released a statement to Bloomberg following Trump’s tweet.

“No one can pay for someone’s lived experiences. The pain, the trauma, and the rage that I expressed when I spoke with Senator Jeff Flake in an elevator were my own, and I held it for more than 30 years to protect the people I love from it,” she said. Trump is “trying to ignore the experiences of people in this country by discrediting individuals who dare to raise our voices and force elected officials to listen to our stories, to look us in the eye, to not turn away.”

Lia Weintraub, a spokesperson for the Center for Popular Democracy where Archila works, says Soros has donated to the organization but that “in no way compelled Ana’s actions.”

MORE: Watch Donald Trump Publicly Mock Christine Blasey Ford at Mississippi Rally

David Boreanaz Has Surprising Thoughts About The Buffy The Vampire Slayer Reboot Backlash

David Boreanaz was an integral part of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer television show, even going on to star in his own spinoff series — Angel. A reboot of the firstly-mentioned cult favorite was announced a few months back. So, how does the actor feel about it? At New York Comic Con, the conversation shifted to the upcoming series, and Boreanaz opened up about his thoughts regarding it amid the backlash from diehard original Buffy fans. Boreanaz said:

David Boreanaz’s positive response regarding the reboot came after those attending the panel audibly booed as the reboot was mentioned, per THR. Whether his reaction was enough to help sway the crowd is unclear. Based on his statement, he seems aware that fans want to see he and his cast members reprise their roles in a revival of the series. He also points out the advantages of the reboot, while wishing the new crew well.

David Boreanaz joins Buffy the Vampire Slayer‘s former showrunner Marti Noxon in expressing positive feelings towards the reboot. Original Buffy star Alyson Hannigan expressed similar optimism while pointing out the importance of having the series’ creator, Joss Whedon, involved in some capacity. Boreanaz’s positive response to the reboot continued with him vocalizing his support of the project as a whole and another potential aspect of it. At the same time, Boreanaz shared that he is proud of the original, saying:

There you have it. David Boreanaz is fully behind the reboot and entirely supportive of another actor taking on the role of Angel. He also sounds excited for fans of the original Buffy the Vampire Slayer to be getting the opportunity to revisit the world of the original in a fresh way. That there is still strong enough interest in rebooting the property is a testament to what the original series was able to create with fans.

Given that David Boreanaz is so excited about the Buffy the Vampire Slayer reboot, it stands to reason that he could be on-board with making a guest appearance on the series. Perhaps, as a different character that wouldn’t require an intensive makeup process? When it comes to Boreanaz’s co-star James Marsters, the actor has not hidden that he would love to reprise his role as Spike. Things are still in the early stages of the reboot. For instance, a network or streamer has not signed on for it yet.

As things get further along in the process, that should only be a matter of time. Whether the series will be a full-blown reboot of the original series with a new Buffy, Angel, and Spike, among others, is another thing that is not entirely clear at this point. The new show can count at least David Boreanaz as being in its corner. Fans will have to stay tuned for the latest as the reboot gets further along. In the meantime, there are lots of new shows premiering this fall.

Venom Already Set A Box Office Record And It’s Only Friday

Critics have not been kind to Venom, but it doesn’t appear that’s going to cause much of a problem for the film’s box office this weekend. If the Thursday night preview screenings are any indication of the long-term success of Venom, the movie is going to be just fine. It brought in an estimated $10 million on Thursday night, which is a record for an October opening, besting the previous record holder by $2 million.

Previously the record holder for October previews was Paranormal Activity 3 which brought in $8 million but even if Sony’s early estimates, as reported by Deadline, for Venom‘s take last night are off slightly, and there’s no reason to believe they are, Venom beat that without breaking a sweat. It also didn’t see much competition from the other major release this weekend, A Star is Born which brought in less than half of Venom ‘s total last night.

Of course, part of the reason for Venom ‘s success is the fact that it’s opening in October at all. This isn’t a month that we normally see comic book movies open, but the numbers show that fans will go see that sort of movie any time of year if it’s something they want to see. Blockbuster tentpole movies don’t need to be limited to the summer or holiday seasons. However, the fact that we haven’t seen a movie of this size generally open on October sets the film up for a certain amount of success. Venom‘s take is good for October, but not necessarily on par with other major superhero releases.

This puts Venom in a great position going into its opening weekend. The best October opening weekend to date came from Gravity which put up $55 million in 2013, with another space drama, The Martian doing nearly as well a couple years later with $53 million. With the best ever start for an October movie, it looks like Venom is in a great position to take this title as well.

This is also potentially good news for Sony in a broader sense, as there are a number of “Spider-verse” characters poised to get their own films, and while many don’t have the name recognition of Venom, success here will help pave the way for the others.

Based on this box office start, it would appear that Venom is one of those movies that is “critic-proof.” The initial reviews of Venom have not been overwhelmingly positive, but that obviously didn’t keep people away from the theater last night. The only question is just how strong the audience is that’s going to see Venom regardless of other opinions. It’s possible all the diehards went last night, though it’s more likely Venom will see similar success at least through its opening weekend, if not beyond.

1968 Jaguar E-Type Zero: Revamping the Vintage Roadster as an Electric Car

RETROFITTED ROADSTER The Zero runs 0-62 mph in 5.5 seconds, 18% faster than its gas-burning ancestor.
RETROFITTED ROADSTER The Zero runs 0-62 mph in 5.5 seconds, 18% faster than its gas-burning ancestor. Photo: Jaguar

THE HOTTEST TICKET of Monterey’s classic-car weekend in August is an event called, in all seriousness, “The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering.” Hundreds of rare historic cars on emerald-green fairways, gourmet-food tents, corporate sponsors, helicopter rides. In Carmel Valley, Calif., they call it Friday.

It’s also the annual roosting of the species obnoxious millionarus. So there I was, having a chat with Jaguar Land Rover Classic Works director Tim Hannig, when he was accosted by this old blowhard in aviator sunglasses. This dude began by listing—no, orating—his C-Types and D-Types and E-Types, starting back in high school.

“What’s this?” the stranger demanded, pointing to a car on the stand. This, Mr. Hannig engaged politely, is a Jaguar E-Type Zero: a 1968 E-Type Series 1.5 roadster sympathetically converted by the factory to an electric car. Under that famous louvered hood is a 40-kWh battery pack sized to fit the space vacated by the 4.2-liter inline six. In the space where the four-speed Moss gearbox used to live is a compact 295-hp, 332-lb-ft AC electric motor (the voltage inverter is in the back, in the previous spare-tire well). A single reduction gear drives a prop shaft to the E-Type’s original differential.

The 1968 E-Type Zero represents a new product line from the freshly formed Jaguar Land Rover Classic Works: the electrified vintage automobile.
The 1968 E-Type Zero represents a new product line from the freshly formed Jaguar Land Rover Classic Works: the electrified vintage automobile. Photo: Jaguar

Mr. Hannig noted that clients can either buy a Zero fresh from the factory—the new JLR Classic Works facility in Coventry, Warwickshire—for about $375,000; or owners can retrofit their own pristine examples, starting at a mere $75,000.

“Why the f— would you want to do that?” the man scoffed. Mr. Hannig smiled. He had prepared for blowback. Of course, he too loves petrol power and the roar of classic Jags, he said, but times are changing, especially in Europe. He asked his loutish interlocutor to consider that within a generation it may be illegal to drive any internal-combustion vehicle in European city centers—bans applying first to older vehicles, irrespective of their collectible status.

The car's 40-kWh battery pack, derived from the hybrid battery pack in the Range Rover P400E, fits under the hood in the space once occupied by a 4.2-liter inline six.
The car’s 40-kWh battery pack, derived from the hybrid battery pack in the Range Rover P400E, fits under the hood in the space once occupied by a 4.2-liter inline six. Photo: Jaguar

The Zero is the first step in a program to future-proof classic Jags and Jag collectors against such tailpipe bans. In theory, this tech could be used to retrofit any vintage Jaguar powered by an inline-six engine, including ’50s-era stunners like Mark II saloons and XK120’s.

Holy hell. Elderly Tom Cruise was not listening, but I definitely was.

The Zero is visionary, and that vision is about keeping beautiful cars on the road in a post-petroleum world. Setting aside tailpipe bans, the problem is that automobiles were never designed to last the centuries. They are made of materials—glass, rubber, steel, paper gaskets, IC circuits—that decay, erode, corrode, and die from disuse. Especially the engine. Remember the Alfa Romeo Club’s motto: “If you start them occasionally, they occasionally start.”

And who’s going to replace that head gasket or balance those triple carbs a century hence? Go ahead, Google “blacksmiths in my area.”

Weighing in almost exactly the same as the done Series 1.5 (2,900 pounds), the E-Type Zero also preserves the car's 50/50 front/rear weight ratio.
Weighing in almost exactly the same as the done Series 1.5 (2,900 pounds), the E-Type Zero also preserves the car’s 50/50 front/rear weight ratio. Photo: Jaguar

The Zero resto-mod process retains the original double-wishbone front suspension, unassisted rack-and-pinion steering, and hydraulic disc brakes, including the rear inboard brakes. Surprisingly, the car’s tubular front subframe required little extra bracing. The Zero weighs the same as the donor E-Type (about 2,900 pounds) and retains the 50/50 weight distribution.

But with the 30-something bump in horsepower and extra 50 lb-ft of torque, the Zero is quicker off the line: 0 to 62 mph in 5.5 seconds, besting a stock E-Type by about a second. The original E-Type was, famously, the fastest production car of its time, with a top speed of 150 mph; but in the interests of increased range, the Zero is limited to 125 mph.

The 295-hp, 332 lb-ft traction motor fits in the space once occupied by the four-speed Moss gearbox. The gearshifter is gone and replaced by a rotary dial, like ones found in contemporary Jaguars.
The 295-hp, 332 lb-ft traction motor fits in the space once occupied by the four-speed Moss gearbox. The gearshifter is gone and replaced by a rotary dial, like ones found in contemporary Jaguars. Photo: Jaguar

The most astonishing part of the E-Type Zero program? The process is reversible. Classic Works will pull the donor car’s engine and transmission, ignition, exhaust and fuel system, crate it all up and store it, thereby effectively preserving even the exhaust note. When it comes time for the owner to sell it, he or she can either restore the car to original or simply sell it along with the crate of spares.

The E-Type Zero is visionary, and the vision is about keeping classic cars on the road in a post-petroleum world.

Jaguar took me to a hangar in Monterey to meet the E-Type Zero, painted a swimming metallic bronze and fettled to a straightness that is itself wildly anachronistic. This particular car, then in opalescent blue, had its star turn at the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, to bring attention to the Palace’s commitment to fight urban air pollution.

From a distance the Zero is indistinguishable from any other concourse-quality, drop-dead gorgeous Series 1.5 roadster (with the covered headlamps), except for the absence of the low-slung dual exhaust pipes. Without this metal underbrush, the roadsters’s fuselage is even tapered and torpedo-like.

The E-Type Zero conversion retains the car's double-wishbone front suspension, tubular front subframe, hydraulic brakes (including the rear inboard-mounted brakes) and unassisted rack-and-pinion steering.
The E-Type Zero conversion retains the car’s double-wishbone front suspension, tubular front subframe, hydraulic brakes (including the rear inboard-mounted brakes) and unassisted rack-and-pinion steering. Photo: Jaguar

This first Zero had been fitted with a dial-mimicking LCD screen instrument panel, as well as a center touch screen. Mr. Hannig said his people could, with some effort, re-use a car’s original Smith tach and speedo, as well as the machine-turned dash of the Series I models.

The Zero’s mahogany-rim steering wheel is also a bit smaller than original, a fact that came through when I tried to crank the steering at low speed. Oof.

Other vintage feedback included the rangy brake pedal, the stiff-legged wobble over rough pavement at slow speed, the outrageous view behind that outrageous hood. All that’s the same.

Behold, the world’s most beautiful electric vehicle, as if that weren’t a low bar to clear.

1968 JAGUAR E-TYPE ZERO

With 30-something more horsepower and an additional 50 lb-ft of electric torque, the Zero accelerates from 0-62 mph in 5.5 seconds, a least a second quicker than a vintage 4.2-liter E-Type.
With 30-something more horsepower and an additional 50 lb-ft of electric torque, the Zero accelerates from 0-62 mph in 5.5 seconds, a least a second quicker than a vintage 4.2-liter E-Type. Photo: Jaguar

Price $375,000 (est)

Powertrain All-electric, rear-drive; front-mounted air-cooled 40 kWh lithium battery pack; mid-mounted AC synchronous traction motor; single-speed reduction gear; open rear differential

Power/Torque 282 hp/332 lb-ft

Length/Width/Height/Wheelbase 175.3/65.3/46.5/96.0 inches

Weight 2,900 pounds

0-62 mph 5.5 seconds

All-Electric Range 170 miles (est)

Recharge Time 6-7 hours at 240V

More in Gear & Gadgets

Final Aquaman Trailer Plunges Jason Momoa Into Some Epic Action

We are weeks away from taking the plunge with Arthur Curry (Jason Momoa) and the Atlanteans of James Wan’s Aquaman. The DC superhero, last seen in Justice League, showed off an action-packed trailer to the Comic-Con crowd back in July, but Warner Bros. has saved one last look at the December blockbuster, and we have it for you now, below:

James Wan has established, in earlier conversations, that Aquaman will explore both the human side of Arthur, as well as the lure that’s bringing him back to the throne of Atlantis. And this new trailer certainly places its focus on those two aspects, with plenty of underwater action, and the split that’s driven between Aquaman’s two worlds.

This is a massive look at the final movie, clocking in at nearly 6 minutes of footage that covers the full sweep of James Wan’s movie. And it does an outstanding job of exploring the different realms that will be important to Aquaman’s journey… and not all of them are underwater (as you can see by the desert scenes that really do harken back to Raiders of the Lost Ark, as Wan has been teasing).

But the bulk of the footage does plunge audiences below the surface of the water, where Arthur Curry begins his movie as an outcast who has rejected his heritage, but slowly evolves into the warrior king.

A History of Melania Trump’s Most Talked-About Fashion Moments

Avoiding public criticism as the First Lady of the United States would be a near impossibility: Not only are you, essentially, the most visible woman on the planet, but you’re also held to standards that might not necessarily reflect your own views, but rather those of your husband. And since assuming the position in January 2017, Melania Trump has certainly experienced her share of controversy. Call it sexist or just call it the reality of assuming the post of First Lady, but a great deal of the wrath directed at Mrs. Trump—like others before her—has been centered around her fashion choices.

Former first lady Michelle Obama endured plenty of public punches over eight years, with pearl-clutchers crowing about propriety because—horror of horrors—the woman wasn’t shy about exposing her arms and legs in sleeveless tops and shorts. In 2009 it was considered a scandal when she wore a pair of $540 Lanvin sneakers to a food bank event. Nancy Reagan courted drama when it was revealed she frequently borrowed clothing and jewelry from top couturiers without disclosing it—an unethical move. Even Mary Todd Lincoln got dragged for buying extravagant ball gowns during the Civil War.

Point is: it’s nothing new to pay extra-close attention to what women in highly visible political positions buy—or don’t buy—and wear. Yet Trump’s choices have held a particular weight because, well, look who her husband is. And while the speculation around some of her fashion choices felt a bit forced, if definitely juicy (see: the one about her secretly supporting Hillary Clinton by wearing a white pantsuit to the 2018 State of the Union), other sartorial decisions have justifiably drawn global attention and public outrage.

The 48-year-old’s biggest gaffe, for example, was a shocker: While traveling to Texas for an unannounced visit to a shelter housing children separated from their parents at the U.S. border in June 2018, Mrs. Trump wore a $39 Zara jacket with a message on the back: “I Really Don’t Care, Do U?”

Many Americans were highly disturbed by the choice, and the jacket—which FLOTUS wore to board and disembark her plane at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland—ignited a fierce debate online and across cable news. A spokesperson for the First Lady essentially said the reaction was blown out of proportion, and that it was just a jacket, but it was difficult to see it that way given the tensions surrounding the visit, and the fact that Trump surely has advisers who easily could have said “Hey, maybe that slogan parka isn’t the best idea today.”

Because FLOTUS’s jacket choice might have just become the most glaring political fashion “don’t” of all time, keep reading for a look at her other style moments that have gotten America talking since she stepped into the national spotlight.

Every Showstopping Outfit Lady Gaga’s Worn While Promoting ‘A Star Is Born’

Like many others on the Internet, I can’t stop thinking about Lady Gaga and her new movie, A Star Is Born. When I wake up in the morning, my first thought is to check how it’s doing on Rotten Tomatoes. (It’s at 96 percent, BTW.) My second thought is to see what the last entry is in Gaga’s slay-worthy press tour wardrobe. “Oscar season” hasn’t even officially started. I’m not sure I’ll make it until February.

Mother Monster’s currently on a worldwide tour promoting A Star Is Born,, and her outfits—no surprise—have been stunning. The pale pink Valentino Haute Couture gown she wore in Venice, even as it started to rain on the red carpet; the veiled Armani Privé moment that made for a dramatic reveal in front of photographers in Toronto; the Jonathan Simkhai body-con dress she wore to make an entrance riding on the side of a boat: Gaga is giving us old Hollywood glam with a dash of pop flair in every country. And the result? Hyperventilation. Tears. Spontaneous sweating. Gaga’s red-carpet outfits will end my life, I know it. (Which is a shame, because I really wanted to see A Star Is Born.)

Don’t understand why I’m freaking out? Allow these lewks to do the talking.

We bring you the trends. You make them your own. Sign up for our daily newsletter to find the best fashion for YOU.

The *A Star Is Born* Soundtrack Is Finally Here, and Twitter Users Are Off the Deep End

Fans knew from Lady Gaga’s incredible vocal runs on “Shallow” that the full soundtrack for A Star Is Born would be incredible. Well, it dropped at midnight on Friday (October 5) to coincide with the movie’s nationwide premiere, and, yes, the rumors are true: It’s an Oscar-contending work of art, and Twitter will never be the same.

Actually, the hype began in the wee hours leading up to the album drop. Little Monsters swarmed Twitter, declaring the A Sound Is Born soundtrack the greatest album of the past three years before it even came out. But fans’ prerelease excitement had nothing on their reactions to the album itself. If tweets are to be believed, literally everyone has been streaming this soundtrack on repeat since midnight. How fans are listening to the soundtrack varies, though: A few have only been listening to “I’ll Never Love Again,” while one user said they’ve listened to everything but “I’ll Never Love Again,” so that they can experience it for the first time in theaters.

That’s not the only song that has fans absolutely losing it. It looks like the intentionally overmanufactured pop tune “Hair Body Face” is a surprise hit, which only proves that Lady Gaga achieves perfection even when she’s trying to do the exact opposite.

If you haven’t heard it yet (which begs the question, um, why the hell not?), it’s available on all major streaming services. You can also experience it the way it’s intended to be, in theaters everywhere.

Peep the reactions, below:

Related Stories:

Lady Gaga Didn’t Need A Star Is Born to Be Taken Seriously

Lady Gaga Deserves an Oscar Just for Her A Star Is Born Interviews

Watch Lady Gaga Tear Up While Surprising Fans at A Star Is Born Screening

Watching Lady Gaga Cry While Receiving a Standing Ovation for A Star Is Born Will Wreck You

The *A Star Is Born* Soundtrack Is Finally Here, and Twitter Is Off the Deep End

Fans knew from Lady Gaga’s incredible vocal runs on “Shallow” that the full soundtrack for A Star Is Born would be incredible. Well, it dropped at midnight on Friday (October 5) to coincide with the movie’s nationwide premiere, and, yes, the rumors are true: It’s an Oscar-contending work of art, and Twitter will never be the same.

Actually, the hype began in the wee hours leading up to the album drop. Little Monsters swarmed Twitter, declaring the A Sound Is Born soundtrack the greatest album of the past three years before it even came out. But fans’ pre-release excitement had nothing on their reactions to the album itself. If tweets are to be believed, literally everyone has been streaming this soundtrack on repeat since midnight. How fans are listening to the soundtrack varies, though: A few have only been listening to “I’ll Never Love Again,” while one user said they’ve listened to everything but “I’ll Never Love Again,” so that they can experience it for the first time in theaters.

That’s not the only song that has fans absolutely losing it. It looks like the intentionally over-manufactured pop tune “Hair Body Face” is a surprise hit, which only proves that Lady Gaga achieves perfection even when she’s trying to do the exact opposite.

If you haven’t heard it yet (which begs the question, um, why the hell not?), it’s available on all major streaming services. You can also experience it the way it’s intended to be, in theaters everywhere.

Peep the reactions, below:

Related Stories:

Lady Gaga Didn’t Need A Star Is Born to Be Taken Seriously

Lady Gaga Deserves an Oscar Just for Her A Star Is Born Interviews

Watch Lady Gaga Tear Up While Surprising Fans at A Star Is Born Screening

Watching Lady Gaga Cry While Receiving a Standing Ovation for A Star Is Born Will Wreck You

Ben Affleck Breaks Silence About Rehab And Addiction

Since entering rehab a little over a month ago, Ben Affleck has kept a low profile. The actor/director is focused on his health and recovery at this moment, and he appears to be taking the process seriously — particularly as he works on bettering himself not merely for his health but for the sake of his soon-to-be ex-wife, Jennifer Garner, and their three young children. While a couple of people, including his brother Casey Affleck, have spoken on Ben Affleck’s account, Ben Affleck has opted not to open up about the process yet publicly, for understandable reasons. But as Affleck enters his 40th day inside the rehabilitation center, the celebrity provided an update on social media about his recovery process, admitting that it’s a running journey, not a clear destination, and that it’ll continue to be a long ongoing process. Here’s what Affleck wrote to his fans in his update about his rehab stint.

As the confessional Instagram post from Ben Affleck admits, the road to recovery doesn’t come easily. It’s going to remain a process for Ben Affleck, even as he begins to finish up his time with rehab (presumably). It’s now up to Affleck to make sure he stays healthy and sober once he checks out of rehab. That’s never easy for an addict, but it’s something he’ll need to do in order to keep himself controlled, focused and sober in the tough months to come. However, by hearing people’s stories and being open about his own struggles, Ben Affleck continues to find the inner strength to push forward.

This recent rehab visit is Ben Affleck’s third. The actor was previously in rehab in 2001 and then he went to rehab again in December. As Affleck notes in the post above, seeking help is a sign of courage, not weakness, and Ben Affleck hopes he can inspire others to seek help if they need it as well. Addiction is tough, and it is something that one is never truly able to shake away. But thankfully, Affleck is seeking treatment and he is hopefully finding the support and help he needs in this difficult process. Meanwhile, we’ll continue to provide you with updates and news breaks here at CinemaBlend.