“It’s called MAGA country,” Trump told the crowd as he repeated one of Smollett’s claims about his Jan. 29 attack. “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?”
“Turned out to be a total lie,” POTUS added as the crowd cheered.
He continued: “By the way, I have to tell you that case in Chicago is a disgrace to our nation.”
It’s not the first time Trump has chided the embattled actor. On April 3, at the National Republican Congressional Committee he called Smollett “the actor nobody ever heard of.”
“How about the guy from Chicago? The actor that nobody ever heard of,” Trump said as people in the crowd chuckled. “He said he got taken out by ‘MAGA country.’ I said, ‘What the hell was that?’ I guess that’s a hate crime, right?”
Smollett told officers he was assaulted by two masked men on the streets of Chicago as they shouted racist and homophobic slurs.
The actor, who is African-American and gay, claimed the attackers wrapped a noose around his neck, doused him with a chemical and shouted, “This is MAGA country.” Police later said Smollett orchestrated the whole thing for attention and paid brothers Ola and Abel Osundairo to stage the attack.
The Empire star was arrested, and charged with 16 felony counts of disorderly conduct for allegedly filing a false police report. He pleaded not guilty, yet in a surprise move on March 26, the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office dropped the charges after he agreed to forfeit his $10,000 bail and perform community service.
Amid the controversy, Smollett was written out of the final episodes of Season 5 of Empire. His fate on the upcoming sixth season remains unknown.