ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) U.S. President Donald Trump said on Thursday that the Department of Justice will "review" the case of actor Jussie Smollett, who was charged with staging a fake hate crime in Chicago before prosecutors abruptly dropped the case this week.
Trump wrote in an early-morning Twitter message announcing the review that the case had embarrassed the nation.
Smollett, who is black and gay, said two men attacked him on the street at night in January, making homophobic and racist remarks, pouring a chemical on him and putting a noose around his neck while shouting support for Trump.
Investigators later charged Smollett with paying $3,500 to the two men to pretend to attack him in order to garner public sympathy for himself.
Prosecutors dropped the charges on Tuesday, saying they stood by the accusation but that an agreement by Smollett to forfeit his $10,000 bond was a just outcome.
Smollett, 36, says he is innocent and did not stage the attack.
The county prosecutors' decision stunned the city's police chief, prompted the police union to demand a federal investigation, and enraged Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, a Democrat, who called it a "whitewash" that made a fool of the city.
Emanuel later pushed back against Trump getting involved, saying the president created the toxic environment that allowed Smollett to believe he could get away with the incident.