At Monday’s press briefing, CNN reporter Kaitlan Collins asked President Donald Trump whether he plans to denounce the Trump supporters who have engaged in violence while clashing with Black Lives Matter protests.
Trump initially tried to claim the right-wing demonstrators’ behavior wasn’t violent, saying that they had a paintball gun and “paint is not bullets” — but then Collins quickly reminded him of Kyle Rittenhouse, the teenager charged with murder after fatally shooting two protesters in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Trump’s reaction was to defend him.
“That was an interesting situation,” said Trump. “He was trying to get away from them … and then they very violently attacked him.” Trump added that “He probably would’ve been killed,” but that “it’s under investigation.”
Rittenhouse has been staunchly defended by a group of right-wing commentators and lawyers, who claim he acted in self-defense. Current video footage does not make clear whether that was the case.