On his radio program Thursday, Rush Limbaugh said many in the media and on the left wanted Jussie Smollett's hate crime story to be true because it goes along with their narrative that America is a racist, homophobic country.

Limbaugh was not surprised to see pundits, celebrities and presidential candidates immediately believe Smollett's account -- despite many unanswered questions -- because he believes they wanted his story to be true.

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"The left is nothing but phony hate crimes, phony alleged hate crimes, phony charges, made-up stories," Limbaugh said. "They know these things probably aren't true, but they want them to be, and that's why they report them as true."

He said that in the mind of the American left, even if the Smollett case isn't real, hate crimes are happening everywhere, and they believe they must "raise consciousness."

"It's just outrageous what the left is doing to this country, and the picture of this country that they're painting each and every day, the false narratives that they are establishing, many of which they know to be untrue."

The "Empire" actor claimed he was attacked by two masked men as he was walking home from a Subway sandwich shop at around 2 a.m on Jan. 29. The actor, who is black and gay, said the masked men beat him, called him racist and homophobic names, put a noose around his neck, poured bleach on him and yelled "This is MAGA country" before fleeing.

Smollett was charged in Chicago Thursday with disorderly conduct for allegedly filing a false police report. According to police, Smollett paid two men $3,500 to stage the attack because he was dissatisfied with his salary.

Some liberals, however, are still not criticizing Smollett. Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) said Thursday night she cannot yet "make sense" of what happened.

"There are still some questions that we have, some answers that have to be given," she said at an event. 

Others, including comedian D.L. Hughley, argued in response to Smollett's arrest that President Trump often lies without consequences. 

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