×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Trump Calls Out Jussie Smollett Over ‘Racist and Dangerous Comments’

President Donald Trump weighed in on the arrest of Jussie Smollett Thursday, calling out the actor for “racist and dangerous comments.”

The “Empire” actor was taken into police custody Thursday morning on a charge of filing a false police report and disorderly conduct. During a press conference shortly after his arrest, Chicago police said Smollett set up a hate crime hoax because he was “dissatisfied with his salary” on the Fox show.

Trump addressed the incident on Twitter. He wrote, “@JussieSmollett — What about MAGA and the tens of millions of people you insulted with your racist and dangerous comments!? #MAGA.”

When Smollett initially reported the incident, he alleged that the attackers yelled “MAGA,” a reference to Trump’s campaign slogan “Make America Great Again.” Smollett also claimed his attackers poured bleach on him and put a noose around his neck.

On Jan. 31, Trump was asked about the alleged attack and said, “I can tell you that it’s horrible. It doesn’t get worse.” But his son, Donald Trump Jr., had been retweeting reports that cast doubt on Smollett’s claims.

In the initial days after Smollett alleged he had been attacked, a number of political figures, celebrities, and LGBTQ organizations spoke out in defense of the actor and musician. But the veracity of Smollett’s story was quickly questioned from some figures on the right, and in recent days a number of Trump supporters have called out Democrats, activists, and the media for a perceived rush to judgment.

Police now believe that Smollett paid the two men who attacked him to help orchestrate the assault. The brothers, Olabinjo Osundairo and Abimbola Osundairo, have been cooperating with investigators.

If Smollett is found guilty of falsifying a police report, he could face time in prison.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel issued a statement in which he praised the police for getting to “the bottom of what was reported as a hate crime,” but also noted the city’s shared values of tolerance. He said “a single individual who put their perceived self interest ahead of these shared principles will never trump Chicago’s collective spirit.”

According to CBS News, Emanuel had not commented extensively at the time Smollett first made his claims.

“The alleged statement of what happened her is horrific, and there’s no place for it in the city of Chicago,” Emanuel said.

Smollett had been an outspoken advocate for LGBTQ equality, and had been active in the Human Rights Campaign. On Jan. 29, as news of the alleged attack was reported on outlets around the country, HRC’s president, Chad Griffin, wrote on Twitter that he was “sick to my stomach” and urged quick and thorough action by law enforcement.

On Thursday, Griffin wrote that the news about Smollett’s arrest was “both devastating & frustrating. But I want to ask everyone feeling angry, hurt & disappointed to channel that into productive activism – because there are thousands targeted by hate violence each year who need our help.”

“The rising tide of hate violence has had a devastating impact on Black people, LGBTQ people, religious minorities & those living at the intersections,” he added. “At least 26 transgender people were killed in 2018 alone – and many were clearly bias motivated crimes.”

More Politics

  • Theresa May

    British Prime Minister Theresa May Announces Resignation

    British Prime Minister Theresa May has confirmed she will step down as Conservative leader on June 7. She set the timetable for her resignation, Friday. It paves the way for a contest to decide on a new U.K. Prime Minister. She will remain as Prime Minister until a new leader is in position. The Prime [...]

  • Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi displays

    Narendra Modi Wins New Mandate in Indian Election and Divides the Film Industry

    India has returned the Narendra Modi-led National Democratic Alliance coalition to power for a second term, with a huge mandate. In doing so, it polarized the film industry. The NDA won 351 seats out of a total of 542. The biggest democratic exercise in the world, more than 600 million Indians voted across six weeks. [...]

  • tammy brook

    FYI Brand Group Launches Social Impact Division

    FYI Brand Group, the music and fashion brand marketing and public relations firm founded by Tammy Brook, is launching a social impact division dedicated to campaigns centered around creating a call to action for social good. Organizations that have signed on to work with FYI include the American Cancer Society and Black Lives Matter; the [...]

  • Lauren Ash44th Annual Gracie Awards, Show,

    Politics and New Abortion Ban Laws Dominate 2019 Gracie Awards

    Female empowerment was in the air Tuesday night as showrunners, writers and performers gathered at the 44th annual Gracie Awards to celebrate women breaking barriers and shattering glass ceilings within the entertainment industry. Sandra Oh, Patricia Arquette, Rachel Maddow and Connie Britton were among the honorees at the ceremony, which took place at the Beverly [...]

  • Jeff Daniels MSNBC

    Jeff Daniels Says 'It's the End of Democracy' if Trump Gets Re-Elected

    Jeff Daniels took a swipe at President Donald Trump and the GOP during an appearance on MSNBC on Monday. Daniels spoke with Nicolle Wallace on MSNBC about his role as Atticus Finch in the Broadway production of “To Kill a Mockingbird,” a story about racial politics and discrimination in 1930s Alabama, and spent the segment [...]

  • James Marsden attends the 2019 MOCA

    New Abortion Ban Laws Take Center Stage at MOCA Gala

    Forty years ago in Los Angeles, the decision to invest millions in a museum dedicated exclusively to contemporary art — not to mention its formerly desolate downtown location, where the vibe was more apocalyptic than artsy — was a risky proposition. But now that the city’s cultural heart has shifted south of Hollywood, it seems [...]

  • Spectators watch the 2019 Eurovision Song

    U.S. Music Industry Delegation Convenes in Tel Aviv for Eurovision

    This past weekend, squeezed between a string of Eurovision Song Contest parties, Tel Aviv’s posh Norman hotel played host to an intimate, invite-only dinner of music industry delegates from the United States. The rooftop-set event was designed as a highlight on the itinerary of the Creative Community for Peace (CCFP) weeklong trip to Israel. CCFP, [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content