As stupid as it may sound, the fact that the alleged racist and homophobic attack on “Empire’s” Jussie Smollett happened to an actor means that outlets like TMZ are covering it — and doing a better job than CNN, thank goodness.

So it’s TMZ that is reporting some new information, including a statement from the Smollett family that seems to blame President Trump for his hateful words inspiring hateful actions.

TMZ reports:

Jussie’s family just gave TMZ a statement, saying the actor’s story has never changed, and he is one of the increasing numbers of hate crime victims. They go on to say, “Hateful words lead to hateful actions.” This seems pointed at the President, particularly because Jussie says the attackers screamed “MAGA Country” as they left.

The family says, “This was a racial, homophobic hate crime … We want people to understand these targeted hate crimes are happening to our sisters, brothers and our gender non-conforming siblings.”

The statement goes on … “These are inhumane acts of domestic terrorism and they should be treated as such.” They also make it clear Jussie won’t be silenced by the attack, saying … “We, as a family, will continue to work for love, equity and justice until it reigns supreme.”

Domestic terrorism?

TMZ also reports that a woman who lives in Smollett’s building in Chicago saw a suspicious man who looked like a “redneck” loitering outside the building about an hour and a half before the alleged attack.

Rob Elgas of ABC 7 says Chicago police have confirmed TMZ’s report about the neighbor:

So, the suspicious character she said looked like a redneck differs from the description Smollett gave to police?

We’ll apologize in advance if suspects are apprehended and it turns out it all went down like Smollett said (noose and bleach and “MAGA country and all), but the skeptics online far outweigh the true believers.

As Twitchy reported earlier Thursday, Smollett told detectives he was on the phone with his manager while Smollett was being attacked by men shouting, “This is MAGA country,” but Smollett refused to turn over his phone so detectives could independently verify his story.

Sorry for whatever happened, but convincing the public that this was domestic terrorism is going to be a tough one.


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