On Saturday night, President Donald Trump had some scathing things to say about Empire actor Jussie Smollett. At a rally taking place in Green Bay, Wisconsin, Trump took aim at the controversial actor for his part in allegedly staging his own hate crime. Taking issue with Smollett's insistence that his assailants were wearing MAGA hats, the president couldn't help but slam the actor once again, earning some cheers from the crowd in response. The moment came after Trump spoke about his MAGA theme, which led into the rant about Smollett.
"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.' Can you believe it? Now that's a hate crime, right? He said he was beaten up by MAGA country. Turned out to be a total lie. But think of it. MAGA. Make America Great Again. And by the way, I have to tell you, that case in Chicago is a disgrace to our nation."
Bashing Empire actor Jussie Smollett is not anything new for Trump. Earlier this month, the president took a shot at the actor at the National Republican Congressional Committee, referring to him as "the actor nobody ever heard of." On that occasion, Trump also mentioned Smollett's claim of being attacked by "MAGA country." Smollett may no longer be facing any jail time associated with the accusation of filing a false police report, but the president of the United States doesn't appear to be letting the Empire star live it down. For his part, it seems most people agree with Trump on the assertion Smollett is guilty, as Saturday Night Live also satirized the scandal in a recent sketch on the show. You know you're in trouble when you're getting made fun of by both SNL and the president.
This strange ordeal first began in late January, when Jussie Smollett reported he'd been the target of an assault. According to the actor, two men had attacked him while spouting racial and homophobic slurs. They were also said to throw bleach on him and place his head into a noose, although Smollett exhibited no serious injuries. Allegedly, the assailants were also wearing MAGA hats during the assault, which is the part of the story that got President Trump's attention.
However, it wasn't long before the police investigation brought about a big twist in the story. After police identified the attackers as brothers Ola and Abel Osundairo, the assailants began to fully cooperate with the investigation. As it turns out, Smollett had worked with the Osundairos on Empire, and police say he paid them to help orchestrate a phony assault. The incident led to 16 felony charges against Smollett for filing a false police report. Controversially, the charges were later dropped after Smollett agreed to forfeit $10,000 and do community service. Regardless of how things look, the TV star is still maintaining his complete innocence.
The president of the United States may not be a fan of Smollett, but the actor's colleagues are sticking by him. Recently, the cast of Empire penned an open letter campaigning for Fox to keep Smollett on the series. As of now, an official decision regarding his future on the show hasn't been made. You can watch Trump's latest rant on Smollett below, courtesy of CBS News on Twitter.