US President Donald Trump has commented on Empire actor Jussie Smollett‘s arrest, hours after the 36-year-old handed himself in to Chicago Police for a charge of filing a false police report.

Smollett alleges he was assaulted on January 29 by two men who hurled racist and homophobic language and placed a noose around his neck. He also alleged the men used the phrase “this is MAGA country,” a reference to Trump’s “make America great again” motto.

But Smollett was arrested yesterday under suspicion that he orchestrated the attack himself by paying two brothers to rough him up. Both men are reportedly cooperating with Chicago Police in the investigation.

Addressing the media after Smollett’s arrest, Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson accused Smollett of fabricating the assault to boost his own career. 

“Why would anyone, especially an African-American man, use the symbolism of a noose to make false accusations?” Johnson said.

“How could someone look at the hatred and suffering associated with that symbol and see an opportunity to manipulate that symbol to further his own public profile?” 

Smollett denies fabricating the attack.

Taking to Twitter, Trump suggested Smollett had not only betrayed supporters with his allegedly false accusation, but had unfairly scapegoated the president’s supporters.

Trump’s tweet comes as some of the president’s more hardcore supporters suggest that other victims of assault from prominent right-wing figures faked those accusations for notoriety.

Smollett’s bond was set at AUD $141,000, and he is slated to face court again on March 14.

Image: Alexander Tamargo / Getty Images