CHICAGO – Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Thursday emphatically urged President Trump to butt out of the ongoing drama over embattled EMPIRE actor JUSSIE SMOLLETTE.
“My recommendation is the president go to Opening Day baseball, sit on the sidelines and stay out of this,” Emanuel told a group of reporters.
The mayor then called Chicago a “Trump-free zone” and blamed the president for creating a “toxic” and “hate-filled” environment that allowed Smollett to think he could get away with faking a hate crime.
Emanuel is a frequent critic of the president, who said this week he’d have federal authorities look into the tangled Smollett case. The mayor said Trump and Smollett are part of the same “vicious, toxic cycle,” a cycle he wants to break.
The exiting mayor also suggested that Smollett write a $130,000 check to Chicago with “I’m accountable for the hoax” written on the memo line.
Smollett was accused of faking an anti-black, anti-gay hate crime against himself in order to drum up publicity for his role on a Fox television show. Denying the claims of fraud, he maintained that on Jan. 29, two men beat him, poured bleach on him and placed a rope around his neck before yelling, “This is MAGA country” (a blunt reference to Trump’s campaign slogan “Make American Great Again”).
A week before the alleged attack, Smollett told authorities he received a threatening letter at work. Chicago police believe he made that up, too.