Donald Trump is once again taking shots at Jussie Smollett and his alleged hate crime case.
During a fundraiser at his Chicago hotel on Monday (October 28), the president, in-front of a room full of his supporters and police officers, went after the former Empire actor for pegging his alleged attack on Trump supporters. Smollett had claimed his attackers wore red baseball caps and proclaimed America was “MAGA country” before assaulting him. Later, Abimbola and Olabinjo Osundairo, brothers from Nigeria, claimed responsibility for the attack and reportedly told investigators that Smollett had paid them to orchestrate the assault. Smollett denies the claims.
Trump told the International Association of Police Chiefs that the seemingly false accusation was "a real big scam, just like the impeachment of your president is a scam."
Trump also took aim at Chicago Police Chief Eddie Johnson, who refused to attend his event in protest of the president’s immigration policies. He claimed the chief is protecting “criminals and illegal aliens” instead of city residents and promotes values that are a “disgrace.”
During his speech, Trump also criticized the city of Chicago itself, comparing the city’s crime problem to Afghanistan. “All over the world they're talking about Chicago. Afghanistan is a safe place by comparison,” he said. “It is embarrassing to us as a nation.”
Hours after the speech, Chief Johnson responded to the comments by POTUS, saying the rhetoric Trump spewed at the event only served to reinforce his decision to skip the event. “Comments like that being made just lets me know I am doing the right thing and moving Chicago in the direction it should be going,” he told reporters at a briefing at the department’s South Side headquarters, according to the Chicago Tribune.
Chicago’s new mayor Lori Lightfoot also responded to Donald Trump’s statements about Chicago via Twitter. Lightfoot blasted Trump’s comments as “insulting, ignorant buffoonery.”
“Luckily, in this city, we know the truth and we will not let anyone — no matter how high the office — denigrate who we are as a people or our status as a welcoming city,” she wrote in-part. “It is ironic that you have chosen to speak at a law enforcement conference after you have demonstrated zero respect for the rule of law and actively work to destabilize communities.”
2/It is ironic that you have chosen to speak at a law enforcement conference after you have demonstrated zero respect for the rule of law and actively work to destabilize communities.— Lori Lightfoot (@LightfootForChi) October 28, 2019
Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images