Former South Carolina governor and U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley weighed in on the Jussie Smollett controversy, arguing the actor needs to be held criminally accountable for his actions.
“Thoughts on Jussie Smollett case: He must be held accountable in the strictest way. He must repay resources used to investigate and serve time for the division he caused,” Haley tweeted Tuesday.
“The media should be the most outraged. He played all of them for fools. He knew they would cover it.”
Thoughts on Jussie Smollett case: He must be held accountable in the strictest way. He must repay resources used to investigate and serve time for the division he caused. The media should be the most outraged. He played all of them for fools. He knew they would cover it.
— Nikki Haley (@NikkiHaley) February 19, 2019
Haley was the governor of South Carolina in 2015 when a true hate crime was perpetrated against African-Americans by white supremacist Dylan Roof in the Charleston church shooting.
Dylan killed nine members of the Emmanuel AME Church, including the congregation’s senior pastor.
Last month, Smollett told police that two white men physically attacked him after making racial and homophobic slurs in the upscale Streeterville neighborhood on Chicago’s north side.
The 36-year-old “Empire” star, who has been an outspoken critic of President Donald Trump, claimed one of the attackers yelled, “This is MAGA country.”
Smollett further alleged his assailants “poured an unknown chemical substance” on him and put a noose around his neck.
CBS affiliate WBBM-TV reported that sources informed the news outlet that Chicago police are seeking to interview the actor again after receiving information the attack was staged. Smollett has so far declined the follow-up interview request.
Smollett is said to have paid two Nigerian men $3,500 to carry out the fake assault.
If these reports prove to be true, he faces the prospect of being charged with filing a false police report.
According to the Media Research Center’s Newsbusters, the big three broadcast networks — ABC, CBS, and NBC — spent 101 minutes covering Smollett’s alleged hate crime between Jan. 29 and Feb. 14, before his story appeared to unravel.
Since then, from Feb. 14 to 18, they have spent 55 minutes.
MRC contrasted that coverage with the 24 minutes dedicated by the networks in total in coverage to the real hate crime perpetrated against a white autistic man by African-American teens in Chicago following Trump’s election.
He was kidnapped and tortured by black teens in early January 2017. The perpetrators broadcast the incident on Facebook Live.
WBBM-TV reported they cut their victim and forced him to drink from a toilet and say, “F— Donald Trump,” “F— white people,” and “I love black people.”
In response to Smollett’s reported refusal to be interviewed by police, Trump’s oldest son, Donald Trump Jr., tweeted, “No problem, its not like he faked a vicious hate crime and rehearsed it thoroughly to try to create a national narrative of hate against Trump supporters…”
No problem, its not like he faked a vicious hate crime and rehearsed it thoroughly to try to create a national narrative of hate against Trump supporters… Or that he went on TV to bolster his whole hoax to create attention for himself as a victim or anything like that… Right? https://t.co/CPDpp0LjGD
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) February 19, 2019
Trump Jr. added, “Or that he went on TV to bolster his whole hoax to create attention for himself as a victim or anything like that… Right?”
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.