The circumstances surrounding the dropped charges against Empire actor Jussie Smollett after he was accused of lying about an alleged homophobic assault are a complete mess at this point. And now, to make matters worse, here comes President Donald Trump, eager to take a celebrity imbroglio and turn it into a federal case—literally.
As with many Trump tweets, it’s not clear if the FBI is actually doing anything, or if Trump is just saying stuff. I’ve reached out to the Justice Department to see where their presidentially announced investigation currently stands, and will update this post if they respond.
In the meantime, though, this is turning into exactly the sort of scandal Trump loves. It’s about a black person, so he can be racist. It’s about a political opponent, so he can be conspiratorial. And it’s about a celebrity, so he knows there’s a lot of press interest. Is it a good use of the president of the United States’ time? Of course not. Will his supporters cheer him on anyway for dipping his totally unbiased fingers into this situation? Probably. Do I deeply wish I hadn’t gotten out of bed this morning? You know it.