Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) had a bit of a tough time when she was asked her reaction to the story about the charges against Empire actor Jussie Smollett being dropped.
She refused to say that the dropping of the charges was wrong or outrageous, saying she still “didn’t understand” what happened.
“To be perfectly honest … I’m completely confused. I don’t understand. I don’t know. I don’t know the underlying evidence … I don’t know. I’m at a loss,” she told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer after the news came in.
But she said, “we’re going to have to leave it up to the judgement of the prosecutor.”
From Fox News:
“I think we’re going to have to leave it up to the judgment of the prosecutor … the police chief and the mayor, of course, to give us some better sense of what’s going on. I don’t know,” she said.
“But I think there’s a point that the mayor [Rahm Emanuel] made that I would like to emphasize because I’m seeing it around the country and it’s a very real issue, which is the seriousness of hate crime,” Harris continued, in part. “We have seen an increase around our country … and we cannot play games with it. We have to take it very seriously.”
Of course, that’s the take away. Not that maybe we should condemn fake hate crimes which are also serious, whether the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office or Harris think so or not.
Her “confusion” now is different from her initial reaction to the event which she denounced as akin to a “modern-day lynching” immediately after it happened without knowing any of the greater facts. She was also promoting a lynching bill in Congress at the time.
Then once information came out alleging Smollett’s own involvement, she said that “the facts were still unfolding” and that she wasn’t going to comment until “the outcome of the investigation.”
Then when Smollett was arrested, she said it distracted from “real problems.”
“When anyone makes false claims to police, it not only diverts resources away from serious investigations but it makes it more difficult for other victims of crime to come forward,” Harris tweeted, in part, while also claiming FBI statistics show an increase in the number of hate crimes in the U.S. “Part of the tragedy of this situation is that it distracts from the truth, and has been seized by some who would like to dismiss and downplay the very real problems that we must address. We should not allow that.”
But she didn’t condemn the fake hate crime nature of it or the false accusation using “MAGA country.”
State’s Attorney Kim Foxx who has come under fire for alleged interference in the case at the behest of Michelle Obama’s former chief of staff and the Smollett family has referred to Harris as a mentor.
Smollett and Harris have also protested together.