The Smollett saga . . .
Check out this dinner dish with a dash of Smollett sauce.
Pull up a dining chair.
Former Obama White House BFF Valerie Jarrett and communications and political consultant Hilary Rosen are hosting a private D.C. dinner Monday to honor their close friend Tina Tchen as the new president and CEO of Hollywood’s Time’s UP, an advocacy organization fighting gender discrimination and sexual harassment in the entertainment industry.
- Um, dinner host Tchen, former chief of staff to first lady Michelle Obama and whose top adviser was Jarrett, is the one who weighed in via phone to Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx acting on behalf of the “concerned” family of “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett.
- Backshot: Smollett’s incendiary story of racial assault took a dramatic turn when the cops began eyeballing him as the probable puppet master of his own publicity stunt.
- Buckshot: Foxx then reached out to Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson to inform him of the Smollett family’s concerns and eventually recused herself from the case because of the contact she had via the Smollett family. The case was then turned over to the Feds.
Um, dinner host Rosen was a top press/publicity adviser during the height of the Smollett scandal.
“I have notworked with Jussie since last spring,” Rosen told Sneed on Friday.
“It was short term and there was nothing more for me to do,” she added. “Tina is not involved and has not been involved since beyond that one phone call (to Foxx about Smollett.)
“We are just a bunch of Washington women who know Tina from when she was at the White House; who are involved in women’s equality and sexual harassment issues; and getting together at the private dinner to honor her.
“This is not a fundraiser.”
Is there a whiff of something out of whack here? Former Smollett press adviser Rosen co-hosting a dinner for Tchen, whose involvement in the Smollett case raised heavy eyebrows?
“All roads do not lead to Chicago, Jussie Smollett has nothing to do with friends getting together or with Smollett conspiracy theories,” said Rosen. “It is silly to make that connection.”
Former White House insiders tell Sneed Tchen and Jarrett are not only this/close and chummy on the Tinseltown scene, but they got to know Foxx as a frequent visitor at Hollywood fundraising events.
A phone call to Foxx’s office netted this response: “The state’s attorney will be in Chicago Monday night discussing marijuana legalization at the 47thWard Democratic Organization.Not sure if she was invited anywhere else.”
Smollett’s Chicago case, which still sparks of outrage in Chicago, is now in the hands of special prosecutor/mega legal eagle Dan K. Webb.
Will Webb discover a few former White House spoons were used to simmer down the boiling Smollett stew?