In the aftermath of the national outrage over the charges against “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett being dropped, President Trump on Thursday called for a federal investigation into the case.

The Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) took issue with Trump’s call, and Chairwoman Karen Bass (D-CA) blasted him in a statement:

“Yesterday, President Trump bizarrely called for a federal investigation into actor Jussie Smollett’s case instead of focusing on his Administration’s attempt to strip Americans of their health care,” said Chairwoman Bass. “The President’s silence on the rise of white nationalism across the country only signals his complicity. Where was the President’s call for an investigation when white nationalists marched across the campus of the University of Virginia resulting in an anti-racist demonstrator losing her life? Instead of focusing on Jussie’s case, the President should be demanding that his Attorney General release the full Mueller report to the American people. But in true Trump fashion, the President is attempting to distract and divide instead of demonstrating transparent and ethical leadership.”

Let’s address the most explosive and patently false parts of this statement, shall we?

First, the myth that Trump has not condemned white nationalism is just that, a myth. He did not call neo-Nazis “fine people” and in fact explicitly condemned them during the presser he gave in which the question came up after the Charlottesville riots. Democrats like Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and 2020 presidential candidate Sen. Cory Booker (NJ) have both also recently made similar claims about Trump’s supposed lack of speaking out on this issue, and it’s just not true.

It’d be nice to be able to call on the mainstream media to fact check these bogus claims, but they, too, are busy spreading the lie.

Secondly, why would Trump have called for an “investigation” into the tragic death of Heather Heyer, the young woman who was run over by a car during the Charlottesville riots? The police arrested James Alex Fields, Jr., the perpetrator of the attack that killed her. He was charged, tried, and convicted of Heyer’s murder as well as for the injuries he caused to others who were at the protest.

And just this week Fields pled guilty to 29 hate crimes charges related to the case. He will spend the rest of his life in prison.

In other words, no investigation is needed here because the justice system worked . . . unlike in the case of Jussie Smollett, where it appears political favors were called in to the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office to get him off the hook for allegedly staging a hate crime hoax.

Thirdly, who is Bass to condemn anyone else’s supposed silence on the rise of hate-filled ideologies? The Congressional Black Caucus has had an up-close and personal relationship with the Nation of Islam’s anti-Semitic leader Louis Farrakhan for decades and refuses to cut ties with him. Select members have condemned him in the past, but until the group severs ties with him altogether, it’s just lip service.

In fact, in an interview last year, a spokesman for the NOI told the LA Sentinel that while some members of the CBC sometimes disappointed Farrakhan, he was always open to receiving calls from Bass and Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA):

However, Min. Tony did speak highly of two Black congressional representatives, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (California) and Congresswoman Karen Bass (California).

“I have to say, I thank God for {Congresswoman} Maxine Waters and Congresswoman Karen Bass,” said Tony. “I think our Black politicians should stand down. Minister Farrakhan will take a call from a Maxine Waters or Karen Bass. He will stop what he’s doing… come and correct him, he’s told them. But don’t let anyone tell you I’ve done something wrong without checking.

Also, Bass said in a statement on behalf of the CBC that Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) should be able to keep her position on the sensitive House Foreign Affairs Committee in spite of her repeated use of anti-Semitic tropes. In the same statement, Bass condemned anti-Semitism but—again—it’s lip service.  Her actions in defending Omar betray any declarations she, as the leader of the CBC, makes against anti-Semitism.

When it comes to condemning the rise of hateful ideologies in America, Bass should look at her own caucus members instead of Trump. He’s not the one rubbing elbows with Louis Farrakhan and turning a blind eye to anti-Semitism. Just ask Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who earlier this week said “Israel has never had a better friend than” Trump.

–Stacey Matthews has also written under the pseudonym “Sister Toldjah” and can be reached via Twitter.–


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