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The VMAs’ most savage moments: Cardi B, Nicki Minaj and more feuding celebrities

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From Kevin Hart calling out Donald Trump to J-Lo being recognized for her career, here are some of the most notable moments from the 2018 MTV Video Music Awards.
USA TODAY

The savagery just kept coming at the 2018 MTV Video Music Awards as one celebrity after another took advantage of the global audience to air their grievances against President Donald Trump and their political opponents, but mostly, against one another. 

Below are some of the pettiest moments from the ceremony.

More: 7 things you may have missed at the VMAs

Tiffany Haddish vs. Fifth Harmony

Kicking off the show with a monologue alongside Kevin Hart, Tiffany Haddish showed no mercy to the currently-on-hiatus girl group Fifth Harmony — as well as their former member Camila Cabello.

“So for those of you watching at home — hi, Fifth Harmony!” Haddish cracked, after botching Cabello’s name.

“Y’all know I can’t read that, right!” she exclaimed as the crowd laughed. “I only speak English and that’s mostly Ebonics.”

Kevin Hart vs. President Trump

Haddish wasn’t the only one pulling punches during the VMAs’ opening monologue, with Kevin Hart unloading on President Trump while referencing the NFL’s anthem kneeling controversy.

“This game you’re allowed to kneel … You can do whatever you want, there’s no old white men to stop you,” he said, comparing the VMAs to a “typical day at the White House.”

“Beefs pop off, (there’s) bad language, people run to the bathroom and send out crazy tweets,” he said. “In your face Trump, suck it.”

More: Kevin Hart faces boycott threats from Trump supporters after ‘kneeling’ jab

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Nicki Minaj vs. ???

Accepting the award for best hip hop artist, Nicki Minaj used her time at the mic to plug her Queen Radio Beats 1 show — and tease some forthcoming drama.

“Tune in to Queen Radio to see who ‘(expletive)-sucker of the Year’ is,” she said, leaving the stage to applause.

The target of Minaj’s onstage ire could be any number of people, considering the rapper has spent the past few weeks calling out everyone from Travis Scott and Safaree in various tweets to half of her male rapper peers in Barbie Dreamsa song that she included in her VMAs set, just in case listeners forgot how vicious her insults could be.

Minaj’s speech wasn’t all shade, as she took the opportunity to defend one particular Fifth Harmony member against Haddish’s digs.

“And Tiff, don’t be coming for Fifth Harmony,” Minaj said. “Because Normani (Kordei) is that (expletive).”

Logic vs. the border wall

Rapper Logic wore his political leanings on his sleeve during his VMAs performance of his song “One Day,” wearing a T-shirt reading “(Expletive) The Wall.”

Logic led a procession of families displaced by the border crisis onto the stage, including representatives from organizations including the National Domestic Workers Alliance and United We Dream, all of whom wore shirts printed with “We Are All Human Beings.”

Jennifer Lopez vs. Drake

Fans haven’t forgotten JLo and Drake’s short-lived relationship. And neither, apparently, has Lopez, who showed her sense of humor during her VMAs performance celebrating her Micheal Jackson Video Vanguard award. It was easy to miss the Drake references during her medley of hits, but viewers paying attention could hear his track “In My Feelings” among the many songs she danced to in her performance.

More: We swooned when Jennifer Lopez called A-Rod her ‘twin soul’ at VMAs

VMAs 2018: The winners’ list

Cardi B vs. Nicki Minaj

Returning to the spotlight with her VMAs appearance after giving birth to her daughter Kulture in July, Cardi B made several moves that fans interpreted as antagonistic towards Nicki Minaj, an artist with whom she’s been embroiled in some long-simmering drama.

In Cardi’s opening performance, she referred to herself as the “empress,” which may or may not have been a reference to Minaj’s “Queen” album. More convincingly shady was Cardi’s best new artist speech, in which she talked about re-emerging after welcoming her daughter, ending with the pointed words, “And that’s something money can’t buy, (expletive).”

More: Twitter takes down Backstreet Boys over ‘cringey’ performance

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