During an Oval Office briefing with the White House press pool Thursday, Donald Trump addressed the horrific attack of “Empire” star Jussie Smollett.
When asked about the incident, Trump responded, “I can tell you that is horrible.”
“It doesn’t get worse, as far as I’m concerned,” he added.
Smollett, who is one of the few openly gay Black actors in Hollywood, was attacked in Chicago around 2:30 a.m. Tuesday by two people who called him racial and homophobic slurs before pouring an unknown chemical substance on him and wrapping a rope around his neck.
The men fled the scene before police arrived.
Police are investigating the incident as a potential hate crime.
Smollett told investigators that as they wrapped the noose around his neck, the assailants yelled, “This is MAGA country,” the Tribune reported.
While Trump did not comment on the claim that the attackers were supporters, people on social media have not shied away from blaming the president.
Even after he condemned the attack, the president was slammed for failing to recognize how his divisive rhetoric and speeches have empowered radical intolerance.
(Photos from left: Mark Wilson/Getty Images, Alexander Tamargo/Getty Images)