“What about MAGA and the tens of millions of people you insulted with your racist and dangerous comments?!” Trump tweeted at the actor on Thursday.
The “Empire” actor was charged Wednesday with a felony for allegedly filing a false report. Smollett claimed he was assaulted by two masked men who yelled racist and homophobic slurs at him, wrapped a noose around his neck and poured bleach on him. The 36-year-old actor claimed the two men then said “this is MAGA country,” referring to the president’s “Make America Great Again” slogan.
But a Chicago Police Department investigation revealed that Smollett allegedly paid the two men to carry out the attack, according to Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson.
“Why would anyone, especially an African-American man, use the symbolism of a noose to make false accusations?” Johnson said Thursday. “How could someone look at the hatred and suffering associated with that symbol and see an opportunity to manipulate that symbol to further his own public profile.”
Despite Trump’s vocal criticism of Smollett, the president has been noticeably silent on another recent crime. A lieutenant in the U.S. Coast Guard is a domestic terrorist and a self-identified white nationalist who had a cache of weapons he was planning to use to “murder innocent civilians on a scale rarely seen in this country,” and who wanted to kill Democrats, federal prosecutors said in court filings this week. Trump has not yet reacted to the federal prosecutors’ charges.