CNN’s Alisyn Camerota had some criticism for Sens. Kamala Harris (D-CA) and Cory Booker (D-NJ) Thursday morning after “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett was charged for filing a false police report after claiming he was a victim of a hate crime at the hands of Trump supporters.
Both 2020 Democratic presidential hopefuls had initially tweeted their support for Smollett without using the word “alleged” about the attack. Their tweets from last month calling the alleged attack a “modern day lynching” remained up Thursday morning.
.@JussieSmollett is one of the kindest, most gentle human beings I know. I’m praying for his quick recovery.— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) January 29, 2019
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.
The vicious attack on actor Jussie Smollett was an attempted modern-day lynching. I'm glad he's safe.— Cory Booker (@CoryBooker) January 29, 2019
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. https://t.co/EwXFxl5f2m
Booker and Harris said Monday that they were waiting for all the facts to emerge about the case before commenting further when questions arose about the alleged incident.
“There was a rush to judgment, most all of the Democratic candidates weighed in on Twitter before they knew all of the facts of the case,” Camerota said of their reactions.
CNN senior political reporter Nia-Malika Henderson pointed out that both candidates did not use the word “alleged” in their initial commentary on the case.
“Part of it is they are in this kind of, I think, environment where it's expected that people kind of come out and rush to judgment,” she said.
“I think they played into that narrative,” Henderson added, referencing that Smollett said the attack had been carried out by Trump supporters. ”I think they're going to have to learn from this. I mean, remember, at least Kamala Harris and Cory Booker, they are lawyers.”
“She’s a former prosecutor, a former AG,” Camerota emphasized in reference to Harris. “I mean, frankly, of anyone Kamala Harris should have exercised some caution.”
Harris and Booker had yet to comment Thursday morning on the latest news of Smollett being arrested and charged for the incident.