Ex-President Donald Trump says he met with Kyle Rittenhouse, the teenager who killed Black Lives Matter protesters and was acquitted.
On Monday, Rittenhouse, 18, visited the former president with his mother at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club in Florida, three days after the jury acquitted him. Last year, the teen killed two people during race riots in Wisconsin, while a third was seriously injured. The jury ruled that he acted in self-defence.
According to Trump, Rittenhouse had called him. “Kyle, I got to know him a little bit,” Trump told Fox News. “He asked if he could come over because he’s a fan. He came by with his mother. A very nice young man.”
Trump calls the trial a miscarriage of justice. “He should never have gone through this. It was prosecutorial misconduct, and it is happening to Democrats all over the country now.” After Friday’s verdict, Trump already sent congratulations to Rittenhouse in a statement. “If that’s not self-defence, then nothing is!”
In August 2020, Rittenhouse armed with an AR-15 rifle as a self-proclaimed “vigilante” travelled from Illinois to the neighbouring northern state of Wisconsin to “keep order and assist the police with rioters.” He shot two people. With his actions, Rittenhouse immediately sparked a flaming political discussion about firearms and self-defence.
In the run-up to the midterms in 2022, the matter is becoming very politicized. The Left sees an extremist right, and the right sees a hero. Republican Congressmen have said they want to offer Rittenhouse an internship.