Former President Donald Trump laced into actor Jussie Smollett following his conviction for staging a hate crime during a Friday evening interview.
Trump joined Fox News host Laura Ingraham by phone to discuss several topics, one of which was the former “Empire” star’s conviction on five of six counts for staging a fake attack against him by two brothers he told to pose as Trump supporters.
After the early morning ‘attack’ on a Chicago street, Smollett claimed his assailants shouted, “This is MAGA country!” — claims that immediately raised red flags with several observers at the time.
During the segment, Ingraham played clips of several media figures who were quick to blame the attack on then-President Trump before waiting for any facts to emerge from the incident.
“Mr. President, you just heard the left blame you back in 2019 for Jussie Smollett’s phony race attack. Of course, he was found guilty on five of the six accounts,” said Ingraham, who then asked for Trump to respond.
“It’s a disgrace when happened,” the former president began. “He said MAGA country tried to hang him, that MAGA country was bad. And if somebody, if he were a Republican, if he were on the other side, he’d be in jail for 25 years for hate crimes.”
Trump then noted that the two Nigerian brothers who were the “assailants” were wearing red caps resembling “Make America Great Again” hats.
“And it turned out they were caught and they admitted everything,” he said. “And that this even went to trial, it’s so crazy what happened and he tried to get away. But they got it and they got it strong, and he was convicted almost all of the counts.”
Later in the segment, Trump remarked that Smollett’s set-up “was an absolute con job.”
“He was a conman and he wanted to try to get sympathy so he could have his contract renewed for a ridiculous television series, but that didn’t work out too well,” Trump continued.
“And then on top of it, he got caught. And you know, it’s interesting. He wouldn’t have been caught except he pressed it all the way. He pressed it too far. He wanted apologies and everything else, and then the police came in,” said the former president.
“They did an amazing job and they caught him cold and he deserves it. But this is a hate crime. This is really a hate crime, sort of a hate crime in reverse and he’s not going to get away with it,” he added.
During testimony on his behalf, Smollett admitted to changing the description of the alleged assailants, saying he “assumed” they were white but altered his story later because he said that was the “right” thing to do.
“I didn’t wаnt to аssume they were Cаucаsiаns. So I sаid, ‘Let me chаnge thаt аnd just sаy they were pаle skinned,’” Smollett said. “They could’ve been а white person, they could’ve been а pаle someone else.”
A Cook County Circuit Court jury of six men and six women deliberated more than nine hours over two days before rendering their verdicts.
“It’s probably going to be somewhere near a three-year sentence that he is facing. And he got on that witness stand and he lied, and that’s going to a major aggravating factor in the judge’s mind,” former criminal defense attorney Bob Bianchi, author of “Hate Crime Hoax,” told Fox News following Smollett’s conviction in predicting what the actor’s sentence will be.