Washington, March 29 (IANS) US President Donald Trump said that he has asked federal authorities to review the case of “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett, who was accused of staging a hate crime against himself in Chicago, adding that the incident was “an absolute embarrassment to our country”.
“I think the case in Chicago is an absolute embarrassment to our country and I have asked that it be — that they look at it,” Trump told the media at the White House lawn on Thursday.
“Somebody has to at least take a very good hard look.”
Trump announced earlier on Thursday that the Justice Department would review Smollett’s case after conservatives decried a prosecutor’s decision on Tuesday to unexpectedly drop all charges against the actor.
“FBI and DOJ to review the outrageous Jussie Smollett case in Chicago,” Trump said in a tweet. “It is an embarrassment to our nation.”
Smollett went to police in January claiming he had been attacked by two men who tied a noose around his neck, poured bleach on him, used racial and homophobic slurs, and shouted, “This is MAGA country”, a reference to Trump’s “Make America Great Again” slogan.
Initially reacting to Smollett’s claims, Trump denounced the alleged attack, as others did.
But after Chicago police investigated, they alleged that Smollett had hired two men to stage the attack, though those charges were dropped by the prosecutor on Tuesday.