Kyle Rittenhouse has visited Donald Trump at his Mar-a-Lago resort following his controversial acquittal by a Wisconsin jury last week – with the former US president describing him as a “really nice man”.
Rittenhouse, 18, was found not guilty of shooting dead two men and injuring another during demonstrations against police brutality in Kenosha, Wisconsin, in August 2020 – having claimed self defence.
On Tuesday night, Trump told Fox News’s Sean Hannity that Rittenhouse was a “fan” who asked to visit him in Florida after the trial.
“He came over with his mother. Really a nice young man and what he went through…that was prosecutorial misconduct,” Trump claimed. “He shouldn’t have to suffer through a trial for that. He was going to be dead.”
‘Kyle would’ve been dead’
Rittenhouse also posed for a picture with Trump and his mother, with a photo of the pair also airing on Hannity.
“If he didn’t pull that trigger,” Trump said, “that guy that put the gun to his head, in one quarter of a second, he was going to pull the trigger — Kyle would’ve been dead.”
‘He’s a really good guy’
Rittenhouse was armed with an AR-style semiautomatic rifle and had travelled from Illinois for the demonstrations, which were sparked when police shot unarmed Black man Jacob Blake.
His acquittal has enraged anti-racism and gun control activists, who argued that Rittenhouse should not be able to claim self defence after discharging a lethal weapon.
But Trump told Hannity that “he’s a really good young guy. Just 18-years-old. Just left Mar-a-Lago a little while ago and he should never have been put through that.”