Jussie Smollett will be dropped from this season’s remaining two episodes of “Empire,” but producers have not given any indication of what happens next. There have been no reports that the actor, accused of staging a hoax hate crime, will be fired or written out of the show permanently.
“The events of the past few weeks have been incredibly emotional for all of us,” producers of the show, including Lee Daniels, said, according to Deadline Hollywood. “Jussie has been an important member of our Empire family for the past five years and we care about him deeply.”
They called the allegations “very disturbing,” but said they are letting the legal process play out.
Smollett on Thursday surrendered to police and was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct for allegedly filing a false police report. He was released on a $100,000 bond, and then headed to the “Empire” set, where he told the cast and crew, “I swear to God, I did not do this.”
His only apology was to say, “I’m sorry I’ve put you all through this and not answered any calls,” and “I wanted to say I’m sorry and, you know me, I would never do this to any of you, you are my family.”
Smollett insists three weeks ago two men attacked him, tied a noose around his neck, poured bleach over him, beat him, and yelled, “This is MAGA country,” a reference to President Trump’s campaign slogan.
Chicago Police in a scathing press conference Thursday allege Smollett staged a hoax to “to further his own public profile,” and because he was “dissatisfied” with his salary.
Image via Wikimedia
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Marjorie Taylor Greene Feels “Insulted” That Herschel Walker Didn’t Want Her Campaigning With Him
Far-right Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) recently complained that she should’ve been given a more high-profile role in the failed political campaign of Georgia gubernatorial candidate Herschel Walker.
Speaking on the War Room podcast of federally indicted anti-LGBTQ Trump adviser Steve Bannon, Greene said, “I was never asked very often by the Herschel Walker campaign to come speak at any of his campaign events.”
“He was campaigning all over the state, running for Senate, but they only asked me a couple of times in my own district, which I find extremely insulting,” Greene added.
“The audacity and really frank rudeness of the campaign consultants and Mitch McConnell and Lindsey Graham where they thought, you know, ‘We’re going to keep Marjorie Taylor Greene away from Herschel Walker,'” she continued.
“I think it was really a major mistake and an insult to me and insult to people who support me and Republicans all over Georgia.”
Marjorie Taylor Greene said it is “extremely insulting” that the Herschel Walker campaign didn’t ask her to campaign statewide for him. pic.twitter.com/Vg58W6cT9d
— PatriotTakes 🇺🇸 (@patriottakes) December 7, 2022
Contrary to her personal beliefs, Greene’s advocacy probably wouldn’t have helped Walker’s scandal-ridden campaign.
During his unsuccessful run to become Georgia’s next senator, multiple women accused Walker of abuse, impregnating and abandoning his kids, and pressuring his former lovers to get abortions. These accusations were especially damning considering that Walker himself supports a total abortion ban.
While Greene has emerged as one of the loudest voices among congressional Republicans, she’s also among the most unhinged.
In her past social media comments, she has advocated for violence against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and former President Barack Obama, said that an airplane never hit the Pentagon during the September 11 terrorist attacks, claimed that all school shootings are fake, said that California wildfires were started by a Jewish-owned space laser, and accused former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton of slicing off a child’s face and wearing it.
Her social media posts caused her to lose her House committee assignments early into her freshman year.
Meanwhile, Bannon is no stranger to scandal himself. He co-founded the right-wing news site Breitbart and was chief executive officer of Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign. He also served as White House chief strategist and senior counselor to the president from January 2017 until August 18, 2017, when Trump fired him.
In August 2020, Bannon was indicted by a federal grand jury, accused of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and money laundering connected to the “We Build the Wall” campaign, a $25 million GoFundMe crowdfunding, which claimed to be raising money to help Trump construct a border wall between the U.S. and Mexico.
‘The Hypocrisy Is Just Absolutely Insane’: Morning Joe Slams GOP ‘Idiots’ for Criticizing Brittney Griner Release
MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough bashed Donald Trump and other Republicans for their “absolutely insane” hypocrisy on the prisoner swap that returned WNBA star Brittney Griner from a Russian penal colony.
GOP lawmakers and conservative media attacked President Joe Biden for agreeing to free Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout for Griner, who had been convicted of possessing cannabis oil, and not former U.S. Marine Paul Whelan, who was convicted of spying. The “Morning Joe” host ripped their complaints.
“The hypocrisy is just absolutely insane,” Scarborough said. “I mean, the same Republicans that were criticizing Joe Biden for not bringing Paul Whelan home failed to place blame on the man who was actually in the White House when Whelan was arrested illegally, jailed illegally. Why didn’t Donald Trump do anything in 2018 to get Paul Whelan home? Why didn’t he do anything in 2019 to get Paul Whelan home? Why didn’t Donald Trump do anything in 2020 to get Paul Whelan home? He was praising Vladimir Putin the entire time, why not actually call his buddy and ask him to release an American? I guess because he just didn’t give a damn.”
“Despite celebrating the releases of other Americans imprisoned while he was in office, Donald Trump didn’t publicly utter Whelan’s name even once as president,” Scarborough continued. “This is according to a review of public remarks and tweets, carried out by The Independent. Trump clearly had the power to negotiate a prisoner swap deal, however, never was this evident in 2020, when he negotiated with, get this, not with his friend Putin to get Paul Whelan home. He didn’t give a damn that Putin arrested Whelan and let him rot in jail. Instead, no, he was negotiating with the Taliban, and he freed up 5,000 Taliban terrorists. What did he get in exchange? Nothing, he got nothing in exchange and he wanted to actually invite the Taliban, the people who actually allowed the 9/11 attacks to happen, to be launched from their country, he invited them on Sept. 11 to Camp David.”
“When these idiot, and they are total idiots, when these idiots going around talking about Joe Biden being a bad negotiator, they are literally talking in defense of with Donald Trump — the biggest loser, the worst negotiator we have ever had,” Scarborough added. “He falls in love with dictators in North Korea, he completely kowtows to Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, and he doesn’t even give a damn about Paul Whelan, lets him rot in jail for three years while Biden and [secretary of state Tony] Blinken and this administration are working their tails off to try to get him home.”
‘Don’t Say Gay’ Florida GOP Lawmaker Quits One Day After Pleading Not Guilty to Federal Felony Fraud Charges
Joe Harding, the Florida Republican state representative who authored the highly-controversial and some say unconstitutional “Don’t Say Gay” law has just resigned, one day after pleading “not guilty” and assuring his constituents on social media he is working “for a fair and just resolution” to federal felony fraud and money laundering charges.
Harding’s resignation also comes one day after he was stripped of his committee assignments, and is effective immediately, Florida Politics reports.
The charges involve a COVID-related Small Business Administration loan for $150,000, according to the Dept. of Justice, which notes if convicted on all charges he could get 35 years in prison.
“I want the public and my constituents to know that I fully repaid the loan and cooperated with investigators as requested,” Harding told his constituents via Facebook on Wednesday. “On advice from counsel, I will be unable to say anything more specific about the legal proceedings until a later date and refer any questions or concerns related to this matter to my attorney. I ask that you keep me and my family in your prayers as we work for a fair and just resolution. Thank you, and may God bless you.”
Also on Wednesday Harding shuttered his Twitter account.
In another statement Harding wrote: “To my many colleagues that have reached out to me, including many I have deep policy disagreements with, thank you. It has been the honor of a lifetime to serve alongside you for the past two years.”
Florida Politics notes Harding ended his statement with a bible verse, Jeremiah 29:11-12. That verse can have several different meanings depending on the version of the Bible.
Nadine Smith, the executive director of Equality Florida, responded to news of Harding’s resignation via social media: “So much harm to students, parents and teachers because of his raw political ambitions. He slandered entire communities and trafficked in lie after lie that has emboldened violent bigotry. He will have his day in court but his legacy is already a despicable one.”
Harding is not the only family member accused of criminal acts.
“Harding’s indictment follows a September guilty plea from his brother-in-law, Patrick Walsh,” Florida Politics notes. “As reported by Fresh Take Florida, Walsh pleaded guilty to wire fraud and money laundering charges connected to his receipt of nearly $8 million in disaster relief loans.”
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