On Thursday, President Trump weighed in on the ever-twisting Jussie Smollett saga, tweeting that the Justice Department and the FBI would be reviewing why the 16-count criminal charges were suddenly dropped against the Empire actor.
“FBI & DOJ to review the outrageous Jussie Smollett case in Chicago. It is an embarrassment to our Nation!” Trump wrote.
But as the city of Chicago reels over the case which has taken center stage because of its handling by the State Attorney’s abrupt decision to let Smollett off the hook for the alleged staged racist attack, the city’s mayor who is equally outraged still doesn’t think the President should be poking his nose into local affairs, The Chicago Sun-Times reports.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who has expressed dismay over the Smollett case, tore into Trump, saying that he should “sit this one out”.
“President Trump, just sit this one out. … I take umbrage at the fact that, you have a person sitting in the Oval Office who drew a moral equivalency between those who are fighting bigotry and those who are perpetuating bigotry,” said Emanuel, who had been Chief of Staff in the Obama Administration before returning to Chicago to become mayor.
“Sit it out. We don’t need you. And especially, given that you don’t know how the criminal justice system works and given what happened.”
Emanuel doesn’t find validity in Trump’s statement condemning Smollett’s alleged hate crime, given that he refused to condemn white nationalists during a deadly neo-Nazi rally in Charlottesville Va.
“We have a President in the Oval Office who degrades it when he does not know the difference between somebody willing to use their body and their soul to fight bigotry and make it morally equivalent with those who want to perpetuate it,” Emanuel said Thursday while on Steve Cochran’s morning drive radio program on WGN-AM.
Emanuel is taking Smollett to task and has sent a demand letter to his attorneys asking for more than $130,000 in payment to the city of Chicago for the work that investigators did looking into the case.
He said it’s “a small way of both acknowledging guilt and, two, that we spent these resources and the taxpayers are deserved, at minimum” restitution.
“And I think there’s a whole level [of] ethical costs because he’s still walking around [saying] `Hey, I’m innocent. Everything I said from day one is true.’ We’re gonna get the resources back. But, come with those resources is, implicitly, if you pay it, that the city spent money to uncover what the grand jury discovered.”