(Trends Wide) — Former US President Donald Trump said he was recently visited at his Palm Beach, Florida resort by Kyle Rittenhouse.
It is about the teenager who was acquitted last week of all charges after fatally shooting two people and wounding a third during protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin, last summer.
“He called. He wanted to know if he could come over, say hi, because he was a fan,” Trump said during an interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity that aired Tuesday night.
Trump said the 18-year-old Rittenhouse had left Mar-a-Lago “a little while ago” and Hannity had previously said that her interview with Trump took place on Monday. During the interview, Fox showed a photo of Rittenhouse posing with Trump.
“He came with his mother. Really a good young man … That was mismanagement by the prosecution. He should not have had to suffer a trial for that. He was going to die,” said the former president.
Those comments were in line with those Trump had made while in office.
The Kyle Rittenhouse Trial
A 12-member jury panel deliberated for more than 25 hours on the case and ultimately acquitted Rittenhouse Friday of first-degree manslaughter and four other felony counts in a verdict that cannot be appealed.
The two-week trial, which captured the attention of the United States and was in many ways emblematic of the nation’s division, featured testimony from more than 30 witnesses, including Rittenhouse himself, and video clips from the night of the incident during the riots caused by the police shooting of Jacob Blake, a black man. The verdict opened a new debate on state laws on self-defense and the concept of the vigilante.
The politicization of the case comes amid an already tense political environment ahead of the 2022 elections and even the 2024 presidential race.
Trump, who appears to be preparing another run for the White House, has praised Rittenhouse as a symbol of the right to self-defense.
Meanwhile, President Joe Biden told reporters on Friday that he respected the not guilty verdict and that the jury trial system in the United States works and must be respected.
“Look, I agree with what the jury has concluded,” he said. “The jury system works and we have to respect it.” In a statement later that day, Biden acknowledged that the verdict “will make many Americans angry and worried, including myself,” but reiterated that “the jury has spoken.”