Trump reacts to Smollett charges: 'What about MAGA'

President TrumpDonald TrumpBiden administration still seizing land near border despite plans to stop building wall: report Illinois House passes bill that would mandate Asian-American history lessons in schools Overnight Defense: Administration says 'low to moderate confidence' Russia behind Afghanistan troop bounties | 'Low to medium risk' of Russia invading Ukraine in next few weeks | Intelligence leaders face sharp questions during House worldwide threats he MORE is blasting Jussie Smollett, saying the "Empire" actor insulted "tens of millions of people" with his "dangerous" claim of an assault.

Trump weighed in on Smollett just minutes after Chicago police heavily criticized the actor for what they alleged was a false police report he made, claiming he was the victim of a racist and homophobic attack.


Smollett had claimed to Chicago police last month that two men beat him, tied a rope around his neck and poured an unknown chemical substance on him. The 36-year-old entertainer later told police that his assailants shouted “This is MAGA country” during the attack, a reference to Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign slogan, "Make America Great Again."

When asked about the attack shortly after news reports surfaced, Trump had called it “horrible.”

Smollett was arrested Thursday and charged with felony disorderly conduct for filing a false police report. 

“This stunt was orchestrated by Smollett because he was dissatisfied with his salary,” Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said at a news conference. “So he concocted a story about being attacked.”

Smollett, Johnson said, “took advantage of the pain and anger of racism to promote his career.”

“We understand the seriousness of this matter and we respect the legal process. We are evaluating the situation and we are considering our options," 20th Century Fox Television and Fox Entertainment said in a Thursday statement, when asked to respond to Smollett's arrest and his "Empire" employment status. 

Updated at 11:51 a.m.