President Donald Trump labeled the alleged Jussie Smollett hate crime hoax a “disgrace” to the United States during a Wisconsin rally Saturday.
“It’s called MAGA country. You know, I didn’t hear that term until that third-rate actor in Chicago went out and he said, ‘I was beaten up by MAGA country,’” Trump said as he touted his Make America Great Again slogan.
“Now that’s a hate crime, right? He said he was beaten up by ‘MAGA country,’” the president went on. “Turned out to be a total lie.”
“That case in Chicago is a disgrace to our nation,” said President Trump.
Smollett, an actor on the FOX series Empire, claimed that late one night in Chicago he was attacked by two men wielding a bleach-like substance and a noose. He said the two exclaimed, “This is MAGA country” during the attack.
Smollett was not cut from the series before it’s final episode of the season. Empire’s final episode of the season earned a rating of just 1.1 after a run of low ratings following Smollett’s February arrest on allegations he faked the hate crime, according to Variety.
The City of Chicago filed a lawsuit against Smollett after Cook County prosecutors dropped the charges against the actor. The lawsuit seeks restitution for costs involved in investigating Smollett’s hate crime claims.