Ann Coulter Claims “All” Hate Crimes Are “Hoaxes,” After Jussie Smollett’s Arrest
Conservative commentator Ann Coulter claimed, without offering any evidence, that “all hate crimes are hoaxes” in a tweet written in response to the news that Empire actor Jussie Smollett had been arrested and charged after he falsely asserted he was the victim of a violent and homophobic attack in Chicago last month.
“Alright, this particular hate crime turned out to be a hoax, but let’s remember, ALL OF THEM are hoaxes,” she wrote.
Alright, this particular hate crime turned out to be a hoax, but let's remember, ALL OF THEM are hoaxes. #Smollett
— Ann Coulter (@AnnCoulter) February 21, 2019
In fact, hate crimes have been on the rise, and the number of hate groups in the United States rose for the fourth year in a row in 2018, according to an analysis conducted by the Southern Poverty Law Center that found the number of hate groups rose by 7 percent last year to 1,020, a 30 percent jump from 2014.
“We’re seeing a lot of bad trends,” Heidi Beirich, the director of the intelligence project at the Southern Poverty Law Center, said in an interview on Wednesday. “There are more hate groups, more hate crimes and more domestic terrorism in that same vein. It is a troubling set of circumstances.”
Coulter’s comments followed remarks from President Donald Trump, who demanded Smollett answer for “MAGA and the tens of millions of people you insulted with your racist and dangerous comments.”
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 21, 2019
Smollett has continued to insist that the attack took place exactly as he reported it. His legal team released a statement promising to “conduct a thorough investigation and to mount an aggressive defense”:
“Like any other citizen, Mr. Smollett enjoys the presumption of innocence, particularly when there has been an investigation like this one where information, both true and false, has been repeatedly leaked. Given these circumstances, we intend to conduct a thorough investigation and to mount an aggressive defense.”
Investigators had difficulty corroborating Smollett’s claims. Earlier today, he was excoriated by Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson, who said Smollett “took advantage of the pain and anger of racism to promote his career.”