When news of the alleged Jussie Smollett attack first broke, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) could not get to her phone to tweet about it quickly enough.
Harris froze up when asked for her response to the developments in the case on Monday, then said that the “facts are still unfolding.” Watch below:
Harris did not hold back, however, when she first heard about it. She immediately sent out a tweet, calling it “an attempted modern day lynching,” and further stated, “We must confront this hate.”
Smollett, an openly gay actor best known for his role on the “Empire” TV show, first reported that he had been assaulted in Chicago while going out to get a sandwich at 2 a.m. on January 29.
Smollett alleged that his attackers yelled, “This is MAGA country” and racial and homophobic slurs at him, hung a noose around his neck, and poured what appeared to be bleach on him.
He also claimed to have recently received a threatening racist letter. The actor’s account triggered an outpouring of support on social media.
But even as word of the alleged attack first started to circulate, more than a few people thought it sounded a bit fishy.
And despite the multitude of surveillance cameras in the area, video of the alleged attack could not be found. Then, the house of cards started to crumble.
In a matter of days, police took two men seen in the area on surveillance footage into custody.
After questioning the men, who turned out to be two brothers who had ties to Smollett, the investigation took a turn. Police began looking into whether Smollett had paid the men to stage the attack.