Al Sharpton commented on the latest news about actor Jussie Smollett’s assault claim.
Originally, Smollett claimed he was assaulted by two white men wearing MAGA hats but now his story is falling apart.
Now it looks like the assault was staged based on new evidence from two black men that talked with police about the incident.
Two law enforcement sources with knowledge of the investigation tell CNN that Chicago Police believe actor Jussie Smollett paid two men to orchestrate an assault on him that he reported late last month.
Smollett denies playing a role in his attack, according to a statement from his attorneys.
The men, who are brothers, were arrested Wednesday but released without charges Friday after Chicago police cited the discovery of “new evidence.”
The sources told CNN the two men are now cooperating fully with law enforcement.
With the storyline changing, Al Sharpton is also changing his tune.
When news first broke about Smollett, Sharpton urged President Trump to “denounce” the attack.
Rev. Al Sharpton is calling on President Trump to start speaking out — and tweeting up a storm — against the the MAGA hatred that apparently fueled the vicious attack on Jussie Smollett.
Sharpton joined us on “TMZ Live” to talk about what happened to his friend and said he doesn’t blame Trump for the homophobic, racially-charged attack. However, Sharpton said the President should strongly denounce the attackers to make it crystal clear his slogan shouldn’t be used as a battle cry for hate crimes.
Now Sharpton is calling for Smollett to be held accountable if the attack was indeed a hoax.
When initial reports broke, Sharpton claimed “we should come with all that we can come within law enforcement to find out what happened and the guilty should suffer the maximum.” Now that the story appears to be very different, Sharpton “still maintain(s) that.” And if it is found that Smollett and these gentlemen did in some way perpetrate something that is not true, they ought to “face accountability to the maximum.”
Sharpton’s call for accountability with Smollett is rich with irony.
Sharpton played a leading role in the Tawana Brawley hoax in the 1980s.
The New York Times highlighted Sharpton’s role in the Brawley incident.
Ms. Brawley’s spokesman was the Rev. Al Sharpton — a dapper television personality and political commentator these days, but a fiery street activist back then. At a news conference, he named suspects.
“We have the facts and the evidence that an assistant district attorney and a state trooper did this,” Mr. Sharpton said. He called Gov. Mario M. Cuomo a racist and warned that powerful state officials were complicit. When asked whether Ms. Brawley would speak with the state attorney general, Robert Abrams, Mr. Sharpton said that would be like asking someone in a concentration camp to talk to Hitler.