White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany compared NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace’s noose incident to Jussie Smollett’s alleged hate crime hoax Monday.
Trump tweeted that Wallace’s noose controversy was a “HOAX” Monday morning and asked if the NASCAR driver had apologized. The president also attacked NASCAR for banning Confederate flags, claiming the combination of the two incidents “has caused lowest ratings EVER.”
McEnany defended the president following backlash from his tweet, comparing it to Smollett’s hoax on Fox News – a point that anchor Sandra Smith pushed back on. (RELATED: Bubba Wallace Tells NASCAR ‘Get Rid Of All Confederate Flags’)
“What the president is making is a broader point that this rush to judgment on the facts, before the facts are out, is not acceptable,” according to McEnany. “We saw it with the Covington kids, we saw it with Jussie Smollett, and now we saw it in this case.”
.@PressSec is asked about President Trump’s tweet ripping into NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace this morning:
“What the president is making is a broader point that this rush to judgment on the facts, before the facts, is unacceptable.”pic.twitter.com/HRyVMe2DVo
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) July 6, 2020
Smith noted that “people are going to quickly point out that that comparison is not fair.” She also suggested it was unfair to call it a hoax “when he stands by that he truly believes that that’s what it was.”
“The Federal Bureau of Investigation [FBI] does not stand by that assessment,” McEnany responded. “The president is merely pointing out that we’ve got to let facts come out before we rush to judgments, and there was no hate crime committed against Bubba Wallace.”
Wallace did not originally make the noose claim — NASCAR officials informed him of it. The FBI determined that the rope was not a noose and had been there since 2019. A photograph of the rope was released by NASCAR following the controversy and the FBI said in a statement “that no federal crime was committed.”
NASCAR releases photo to the media of the garage pull rope formed as a noose from the Bubba Wallace garage Sunday at Talladega Superspeedway.
This image was provide by NASCAR. pic.twitter.com/Z4ZyBzpREF
— Marty Smith (@MartySmithESPN) June 25, 2020
Smollett, a disgraced actor, is currently in the midst of a legal battle regarding his alleged hate crime hoax, which occurred in January 2019. Smollett has multiple charges that include accusations that he staged a fake hate crime against himself. (RELATED: Jussie Smollett Pleads Not Guilty To Second Round Of Disorderly Conduct Charges)