Donald Trump Is Absolutely Fuming Over Jussie Smollett

Days after actor Jussie Smollett was found guilty of falsely reporting a hate crime, which he said he was victim to — a crime which Smollett, by all accounts, masterminded himself — members of the public are waiting with anticipation as to what the courts will come up with as a fair form of punishment.

Once a beloved figure in the Black and LGBTQ+ communities as an out and proud BIPOC actor, Smollett, who as of this report is still awaiting sentencing, could serve up to three years in prison for the charges, per The New York Times. Though the NYT and others have predicted his sentence could be as little as a few symbolic weeks, right now it's anyone's bet.

But even though Smollett has yet to be sentenced, it seemingly hasn't stopped ex-President Donald Trump for already calling any punitive measures Smollett receives unfair. So, how is it possible for Trump to already take umbrage against a lack of punishment — especially because, as of the time of this writing, he hasn't been given one yet? And why is he calling it a slight against GOP voters?

Donald Trump called the Jussie Smollett hoax 'a hate crime in reverse'

In a phone interview with Fox News' Laura Ingraham on December 10 (via The New York Post), Donald Trump made it evidently clear that he thought Jussie Smollett's guilty verdict was justified. But then, he went on to seemingly instrumentalize it as an example of how members of the Republican party — or, by all appearances, specifically white members of the Republican party — are supposedly maligned.

"This is really a hate crime," Trump called the hoax, which by definition was not a hate crime by its very nature as a staged crime. "Sort of a hate crime in reverse ... If he were a Republican, if he were on the other side, he'd be in jail for 25 years for hate crimes," he later stated.

Trump's accusations of the initial false report as a "hate crime in reverse" seem to be a rearrangement of the phrase "reverse racism," which has been heavily criticized as a myth of white victimhood, per The Atlantic. His claim about how Smollett's sentencing — which has not yet been adjudicated — would be harsher if he was a white conservative is also at odds with hard data regarding incarceration rates in the U.S. In a report published by CNN in October, a study conducted by the advocacy org The Sentencing Project using census data found that Black Americans are imprisoned at a rate five times higher than their white counterparts.