Trump condemns 'horrible' attack on actor Jussie Smollett
President Donald Trump on Thursday called the attack of “Empire” star Jussie Smollett “horrible," condemning the assault committed by individuals who the actor alleged referenced the president's campaign slogan as they attacked him.
Smollett, who is black and openly gay, was attacked in Chicago just after 2:30 a.m. Tuesday, the Chicago Tribune reported, by two people who also poured an unknown chemical substance on the actor and wrapped a rope around his neck before fleeing the scene. The two assailants also allegedly yelled racial and homophobic slurs during the attack.
Police are investigating the incident as a potential hate crime.
“It doesn’t get worse, as far as I’m concerned,” Trump said of the attack during an Oval Office exchange with the White House press pool on Thursday.
As they wrapped the rope around his neck — which a friend of the actor described as a noose — Smollett told detectives the attackers yelled, “This is MAGA country,” the Tribune reported. Trump did not comment on the alleged reference to his campaign slogan.
The 36-year-old actor was hospitalized and later released.