This article has been updated to include the GOP response to Kamala Harris
She said it was a modern-day lynching; she said it without evidence; now that the evidence disproved her assumptions, she has nothing to say.
2020 presidential candidate Kamala Harris was literally speechless when confronted by reporters about recent revelations that "Empire" star Jussie Smollett may have staged a hate crime in order to allegedly gain attention. Upon initially hearing about the alleged hate crime, Harris accepted it at face-value despite the obvious holes in Smollett's initial story.
"Jussie Smollett is one of the kindest, most gentle human beings I know. I’m praying for his quick recovery," she said on Twitter. "This was an attempted modern day lynching. No one should have to fear for their life because of their sexuality or color of their skin. We must confront this hate."
Since then, evidence shows that Smollett may have paid two Nigerian brothers to pull off an elaborate hate crime hoax allegedly because the actor did not appreciate the lack of media attention over a racist letter he received in the mail. When confronted by a reporter on Monday if her opinions regarding the Smollett incident have changed in light of the new evidence, Kamala Harris struggled to utter a phrase before side-stepping the issue.
"Which tweet? What tweet?" Harris asked as the reporter questioned her about the "modern day lynching" comment.
"Um ... I ... I ... Okay, so I will say this about that case, the facts are still unfolding, and, um, I’m very, um, concerned about obviously, the initial, um, allegation that he made about what might have happened," she said. "And it’s something we should all take seriously whenever anyone, um, alleges that kind of behavior, but there should be an investigation. And I think that once the investigation has concluded then we can all comment, but I’m not going to comment until I know the outcome of the investigation."
Ronna McDaniel, chairwoman for the Republican National Committee, has since criticized Kamala Harris for seemingly not remembering her being quick to blame Trump supporters for the Jussie Smollett attack.
"Kamala Harris had no problem using inflammatory rhetoric to tie the #JussieSmollettHoax to @realDonaldTrump & his supporters," tweeted McDaniel. "Now that she has the facts, why can't she even remember her divisive language? Why is she giggling about it?"
It is important to note that Harris has not deleted her poorly-aged tweet in support of Smollett as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi did. The California senator's deflection echoes that of Cory Booker over the weekend; he told people to withhold judgment until more facts came out.
"The information is still coming out. I'm going to withhold until all the information actually comes out from on the record sources," Booker said over the weekend.
Like Kamala Harris, Cory Booker took Smollett's allegation at face-value without waiting for all the facts to come out.
"The vicious attack on actor Jussie Smollett was an attempted modern-day lynching. I'm glad he's safe," Booker tweeted in response to the attack. "To those in Congress who don't feel the urgency to pass our Anti-Lynching bill designating lynching as a federal hate crime– I urge you to pay attention."
While it's nice that both Harris and Booker believe that evidence and due process should decide someone's guilt, they were singing a completely different tune during the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation hearing, during which they immediately believed Christine Blasey Ford's accusation of sexual assault against the judge without a shred of evidence or a corroborative witness.