Donald Trump turned his ire toward Jussie Smollett on Saturday while speaking to a crowd of supporters in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The president riled up his base by attacking the Empire actor and the Chicago prosecutors who dropped the case against Smollett, according to Variety.
Trump skipped out on the White House Correspondents’ Dinner to hold a rally in Wisconsin, where he covered a range of topics from sanctuary cities to the Paris climate accord, but he drew raucous applause when he turned to the topic of Smollett and the high-profile case against him.
“It’s MAGA country,” he said. “I didn’t hear that term until that third rate actor in Chicago went out and said I was beaten up by MAGA country, can you believe it? Turned out to be a total lie.”
Smollett told police that he was attacked by two men who shouted “this is MAGA country” at him while they placed a noose around his neck and poured a substance that smelled like bleach on him.
Prosecutors determined that the attack may have actually been staged by Smollett, who they say paid two other actors to fake a hate crime against him in order to gain attention. Police charged the actor with 16 charges related to filing a false police report. Chicago prosecutors dropped the case, angering many who felt that the actor should face justice if he made a false statement to police. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel called the dropping of the charges a “whitewash of justice.”
Despite the fact that the case against Smollett has been dropped, the city is suing the actor to recoup the costs of prosecuting and investigating his alleged crimes. The Chicago State attorney Kim Foxx has also continued to be under intense scrutiny for her handling of the case.
Cook County Judge Marc Martin criticized Foxx while overseeing a separate case involving the felony disorderly conduct of Candace Clark.
“I’d like to know why Ms. Clark is being treated differently than Jussie Smollett. It’s a disorderly conduct case. A lot less egregious than Mr. Smollett’s case. I have a problem with it,” the judge said, according to Page Six.
Trump also told his “Make America Great Again” rally attendees that they had taken their country back by electing him.
“You took back your country,” he said. “You have always been loyal to your nation. Now you finally have a president who is loyal to you.”
The crowd responded with loud cheering and chants of “four more years!”