Rahm Emanuel: Smollett Thought He Could Get Away With ‘Hoax’ Because of ‘Toxic Environment’ Created by Trump

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel (D) is blaming President Donald Trump for creating a “toxic environment” in which Empire actor Jussie Smollett “thought he could take advantage of a hoax about a hate crime.”

At a news conference Thursday, Emanuel — who has called the dropped charges in the Smollett case a “whitewash of justice” — took aim at the President for fostering a culture which, in his view, enabled the incident.

“Let me be really clear about something,” Emanuel said. “The only reason Jussie Smollett thought he could take advantage of a hoax about a hate crime is for the environment — the toxic environment — that Donald Trump created.”

The Chicago Mayor — who previously served as former President Barack Obama‘s chief of staff — went on to denounce Trump for drawing a “moral equivalency” in an apparent reference to the president’s comments on Charlottesville.

“This is a president who drew a moral equivalency between people who are trying to perpetuate bigotry, and those who are trying to fight bigotry,” Emanuel said. He added, “President Trump should literally take his politics, move it aside. He’s created a toxic environment. Now he’s created a toxic, vicious cycle, in my view.”

Watch above, via CBS.

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Joe DePaolo is a Senior Editor at Mediaite. Email him here: Follow him on Twitter: @joe_depaolo