CNN, CBS, Rev. Al Sharpton, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) have thrown “Empire” star Jussie Smollett under the bus after police sources released devastating new details about an alleged attack on him by President Trump supporters.
Smollett, an openly gay black actor, has claimed that two masked white men yelled racist and anti-gay slurs at him and shouted “This is MAGA country!” before punching and kicking him, pouring bleach on his head, and looping a rope around his neck late last month in Chicago.
Doubt about the legitimacy of his claim abounded after two Nigerian brothers who were extras on “Empire” and close to Smollett were taken into custody under the suspicion that they were the two men that attacked him.
Police then released the two men, male models and actors Ola and Abel Osundairo, after gathering “new evidence” and announcing that they needed to talk to Smollett again, according to CBS News.
According to CBS News’ sources, police found masks, bleach, and rope in the brother’s apartment. CNN reported that, according to their law enforcement sources, police have been able to connect the brothers to the purchase of the rope placed around Smollett’s neck. CNN’s sources also say the police have good reason to believe Smollett paid the two Nigerians to attack him.
TMZ’s sources, which have not always provided reliable information about this case, say police also found magazines with pages torn out in the Osundairos apartment. They’re reportedly working on determining if those missing pages match the cut-out letter used in a threatening letter Smollett claims he received just over a week before the alleged attack.
That’s a lot of information coming from sources, not official Chicago Police channels, but CNN is handling the information that they’re getting from their sources with a high degree of certainty. Even Rev. Al Sharpton let his doubt about Smollett’s attack story be known.
“I, among many others when hearing of the report, said that the reports were horrific and that we should come with all that we can come with in law enforcement to find out what happened and the guilty should suffer the maximum,” Sharpton said Sunday night, according to NY Daily News. “I still maintain that. And if it is found that Smollett and these gentlemen did in some way perpetrate something that is not true, they ought to face accountability to the maximum.”
Pelosi deleted a tweet that she had previously written in support of Smollett, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
"The racist, homophobic attack on @JussieSmollett is an affront to our humanity,” she had written on Twitter. “No one should be attacked for who they are or whom they love.”
CNN, for their part, is going very hard after Smollett. Chief media correspondent Brian Stelter, one of the most anti-Trump journalists in a network full of anti-Trump journalists, asked his discussion panel, “Do you think ‘Good Morning America’ was too soft on him?” in reference to an interview Smollett recently gave where he doubled-down on his story and insinuated that people they don’t believe him are racist.
In a piece published Monday morning, Stelter amazingly defended anyone who had doubts about Smollett’s claims. He even criticized “liberal celebrities and Democratic politicians” for rushing to believe Smollett 100 percent and empathized with Trump supporters who felt insulted by the way the media covered the case.
Stelter also quoted someone on his “Reliable Sources” discussion panel, who pointed out that people may have been too hesitant to express their doubts about Smollett’s story because they didn’t want to be seen as attacking the credibility of a gay black man.
As for the rumors that Smollett will be the subject of a Grand Jury investigation, Fox 32 Chicago reporter Rafer Weigel said that his Chicago Police sources indicated it’s a possibility if Smollett continues to not show up for more questioning.