OPINION | This article contains opinion that reflects the author's views.
🚨 Are we doing a good job? | Send A Tip
The White House is standing by Joe Biden’s false statement that claims Kyle Rittenhouse is a white supremacist.
“It’s actual malice,” Kyle Rittenhouse said, adding that he has really good lawyers looking into it.
“Defaming my character for him to say something like that,” Rittenhouse said during an interview with Fox News.
In September 2020, then-candidate Biden shared an image of Rittenhouse along with a caption that read, “There’s no other way to put it.”
“The President of the United States refused to disavow white supremacists on the debate stage last night,” Biden said of Trump’s defense of Rittenhouse.
Rittenhouse was found not guilty on grounds of self-defense, which Trump correctly predicted over a year ago. “That was an interesting situation,” Trump said at the time. “You saw the same tape as I saw.”
“He was trying to get away from them, I guess, it looks like, and he fell,” Trump said about Rittenhouse. “But I guess he was in very big trouble,” Trump added. “He would’ve been — he probably would’ve been killed, but it’s under, it’s under investigation.”
Following the not-guilty verdict, Fox News reporter Peter Doocy pressed White House press secretary Jen Psaki on the issue. She attempted to dodge the question about whether Biden would apologize to Rittenhouse after he was found not guilty of murder.
Psaki responded, “He [Biden] has obviously condemned the hatred and the division and violence we’ve seen around the country by groups like the Proud Boys and groups that that individual has posed for photos with.”
Psaki then blamed President Donald Trump of “actively” encouraging white supremacists and militia during his presidency. Watch the clip:
DOOCY: "Will the president ever apologize to Kyle Rittenhouse for suggesting…that he is a white supremacist?"@PressSec deflects, claiming that President Trump "refused to condemn white supremacists and militia groups." pic.twitter.com/JrldQZSiXf
— Townhall.com (@townhallcom) November 23, 2021
“What we have seen are the tragic consequences of that when people think it’s ok to take the law in their own hands instead of allowing law enforcement to do its job,” she said.
Despite Psaki’s claim, prosecutors were unable in court to show Rittenhouse has any link to Proud Boys, according to NBC.
Here’s Biden post in 2020:
There’s no other way to put it: the President of the United States refused to disavow white supremacists on the debate stage last night. pic.twitter.com/Q3VZTW1vUV
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) September 30, 2020
“There is nothing in this evidence that would support that the shootings were race-based,” Attorney Cory Chirafisi explained. “We are hoping to try this case on the facts,” which the judge agreed to.
Rittenhouse says he was “set up” when taking a photo with individuals who were linked to Proud Boys. “I thought they were just a bunch of construction dudes based on how they looked,” Rittenhouse explained.
He says his lawyer was responsible and fired over the issue.
In an exclusive interview with NewsNation's Ashleigh Banfield, Kyle Rittenhouse says he never meant to pose with the Proud Boys, and blamed his former attorneys for introducing them.
Catch the full interview tonight on 'Banfield' at 10/9C.
— NewsNation Now (@NewsNationNow) November 24, 2021
In the meantime, Trump invited Rittenhouse to Mar-a-Lago this week after a jury found he acted in self-defense against a band of criminal adults in Kenosha last year.
Here’s the photo they took together:
Thank you, President Trump. It was an honor to meet you.
— 🇺🇸 Kyle Rittenhouse Defense Fund 🇺🇸 (@freekyleusa) November 24, 2021