Donald Trump Jr. mocked Empire star Jussie Smollett over the weekend, as the case of the actor's assault grew more and more complicated.
Smollett told Chicago police he was attacked last month by two masked men who cried "this is MAGA country" while carrying out a hate crime. The story has changed, however, as sources claimed that Smollett had orchestrated the attack himself. On Sunday, the president's eldest son weighed in, apparently amused by the whole story.
Trump Jr. employed a popular meme format for his tweet, and referenced the case of comedian Kathy Griffin.
It’s like clockwork with you two ladies. You and your father,(who hates you.)— Kathy Griffin (@kathygriffin) February 17, 2019
I retweet one of the dads typical stupid tweets, my response gets a ton of traction, then jr hops on instantly, and plagiarizes a tweet that’s been around for at least 12 hours. You really showed me.🤣 pic.twitter.com/yh6AJjkwkL
"Kathy Griffin: No one can ruin a career faster than I can," Trump Jr. wrote. "Jussie Smollett: Hold my bleach!!!"
The fictional dialogue did not sit well with many people, who felt that Trump Jr. was making light of a serious and nuanced situation. One of the first to respond was Griffin herself. The comedian was condemned in 2017 when she posted a photo of herself holding a mask that looked like the severed head of President Donald Trump. She retweeted Trump Jr.'s post with a comment of her own on Sunday.
"It's like clockwork with you two ladies. You and your father,(who hates you,)" she wrote. "I retweet one of the dads typical stupid tweets, my response gets a ton of traction, then jr hops on instantly, and plagiarizes a tweet that's been around for at least 12 hours."
You tried with me, went through all the paces to try to violate my 1st amendment rights, and...EPIC FAIL. I had my most successful world wide comedy tour, gave a speech at Oxford University about the 1st Amendment, and have a film about it, premiering at SXSW next month. Boom! //t.co/aIy8sgJZz8— Kathy Griffin (@kathygriffin) February 17, 2019
"You really showed me," Griffin added with a laughing crying emoji. In another tweet, she mocked Trump Jr. for not tagging her in his initial tweet, accusing him of cowardice.
The response to President Trump she referenced was in regards to his post about Saturday Night Live this weekend. The president accused the show of "real Collusion" and threatened "retribution."
"You tried with me, went through all the paces to try to violate my 1st amendment rights, and... EPIC FAIL," Griffin replied.
Trump Jr. posted many other memes, articles and commentary on the Smollett case over the holiday weekend, tracing the responses of politicians and celebrities. One post was removed from Instagram, and Trump Jr. said that the platform itself took it down. He accused the Facebook-owned social media app of trying to "censor any conservative voices." A representative for Instagram later told Breitbart that it was taken down "in error."
Smollett's case is still under investigation, and police have not yet accused the actor of orchestrating his own attack. However, on Tuesday morning TMZ reported that Smollett's screen time is getting significantly reduced.