- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Actor Jussie Smollett is “pissed off” at the public’s reaction to his tale of a “MAGA country!” hate crime in Chicago.

The “Empire” actor sat down with ABC’s Robin Roberts this week to discuss a recent trip to Chicago where he says he was beaten, called racial and homophobic slurs, doused with a chemical and subjected to a rope being thrown around his neck.

Mr. Smollett says people do not want to hear “the truth” about alleged masked attackers who warned him Jan. 29 in the early morning hours of visiting “MAGA country.”

“At first it was the thing of like, listen, if I tell the truth then that’s it because it’s the truth,” the actor told Ms. Roberts. “Then it became a thing of, like, how can you doubt that? How can you not believe that? It’s the truth. Then it became a thing of, like, it’s not necessarily that you don’t believe that this is the truth. You don’t even want to see the truth.”

The actor recently handed over phone records to police, although much of the records were “limited and redacted.”

Mr. Smollett’s crisis manager, Chris Bastardi, told Fox News this week that his client “is the victim here, which has been stated by the Superintendent of Police.”

Jussie has voluntarily provided his phone records from within an hour of the attack and given multiple statements to police,” Mr. Bastardi said. “Chicago PD has repeatedly informed us that they find Jussie’s account of what happened that night consistent and credible.”

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