Politics

Trump accuses Jussie Smollett of hate crime against his supporters

President tweets from Japan

TOKYO - President Donald Trump took time from his Japan state visit Sunday to slam actor Jussie Smollett for not apologizing to his supporters after his alleged staged attack.

The gay black actor said in January that he'd been the victim of a hate-fueled attack in Chicago, but police announced weeks later that he had staged the attack.

At the time, the "Empire" actor told detectives the two men who attacked him spouted racial slurs and shouted, "This is MAGA country," a reference to Trump's "Make America Great Again" campaign slogan.

In a tweet early Sunday, Trump described Smollett's actions as a "hate crime."

"In addition to great incompetence and corruption, The Smollett case in Chicago is also about a Hate Crime. Remember, 'MAGA COUNTRY DID IT!'" he tweeted. "That turned out to be a total lie, had nothing to do with 'MAGA COUNTRY.' Serious stuff, and not even an apology to millions of people!"

In March, prosecutors suddenly dropped the charges against the actor, drawing criticism from then-Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. Smollett had been accused of disorderly conduct and filing a false police report about his alleged attack.

An Illinois judge last week ordered authorities to unseal his criminal case file. Cook County prosecutors will release the documents in the case by June 3.

This is not the first time Trump has criticized Smollett over the case. In March, he called the actor "an absolute embarrassment to our country."


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