On the day that out actor Jussie
Smollett turned himself into police in Chicago, President Donald
Trump, conservative commentator Ann Coulter and California Senator
Kamala Harris weighed in on the case.
Smollett, who stars on the Fox drama
Empire, has been charged with one count of felony disorderly
conduct for filing a false police report claiming he was the victim
of a racist and homophobic attack.
Smollett, who is black and came out gay
in 2015, has said that he was attacked last month by two men in
downtown Chicago. The men hurled racial and homophobic slurs and
told Smollett that he was in “MAGA country.”
At a press conference Thursday, Chicago
Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said that Smollett staged his own
attack because he was “dissatisfied with his salary” on Empire.
Smollett, who is out on bail, has denied the charges.
“@JussieSmollett – what about MAGA
and the tens of millions of people you insulted with your racist and
dangerous comments? #MAGA,” Trump said in a tweet.
Coulter also weighed in on the case,
saying that all hate crimes are a “hoax.”
“Alright, this particular hate crime
turned out to be a hoax, but let's remember, ALL OF THEM are hoaxes.
#Smollett,” she said.
Senator Kamala Harris, who is vying for
the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, released a statement on
“Like most of you, I've seen the
reports about Jussie Smollett, and I'm sad, frustrated and
disappointed. When anyone makes false claims to police, it not only
diverts resources away from serious investigations but it makes it
more difficult for other victims of crime to come forward,” Harris
“At the same time, we must speak the
truth: hate crimes are on the rise in America,” she added, noting a
17% increase in hate crimes over the past year. “I will always
condemn racism and homophobia. We must always confront hate
directly, and we must always seek justice.”