Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), who is running for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, used harsh language to condemn the alleged attack on actor Jussie Smollett, which the mainstream media widely reported as a homophobic and racist attack.
Now that reports indicate the attack was actually an orchestrated hoax, the New Jersey lawmaker is quickly changing his tune.
What did Booker say?
On the exact same day the Smollett attack made headlines nationwide — meaning before any concrete facts surfaced — Booker passed judgment and characterized what allegedly happened as a "modern-day lynching."
"The vicious attack on actor Jussie Smollett was an attempted modern-day lynching. I'm glad he's safe," Booker tweeted. "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."
What is Booker saying now?
While campaigning in New Hampshire on Sunday, media asked Booker to comment on the most recent reporting about the alleged Smollett attack, which indicate the actor orchestrated a hoax for reasons that remain unknown.
However, this time Booker cautioned to withhold comment about the latest developments until the facts are confirmed.
"Well, 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.
Booker went on to claim that "bigoted and biased attacks are on the rise, in a serious way," explaining, without evidence, that the majority of those attacks since 9/11 have been perpetuated by "right-wing terrorists" and "white supremacists."
"What we are seeing is attacks on people because they are different," Booker said.
.@eschor asks @CoryBooker to respond to reports that the Jussie Smollett attack may have been planned by the actor.… https://t.co/xhRYTUBRD7— Megan Pratz (@Megan Pratz)1550424486.0