Former President Donald Trump met Kyle Rittenhouse at the Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, according to a photo released by Trump’s spokeswoman.
Rittenhouse was acquitted of all charges last week in connection to his self-defense killing of two men and wounding of another during a violent riot in Kenosha, Wisconsin, last year.
Trump spokeswoman Liz Harrington released a photo of the former president and Rittenhouse flashing a thumbs up in front of photos from Trump’s time as president.
— Liz Harrington (@realLizUSA) November 24, 2021
“He’s a really good young guy … just left Mar-a-Lago a little while ago, and he should never have been put through that. That was prosecutorial misconduct, and it’s happening all over the United States right now with the Democrats,” Trump told Fox News on Nov. 23, the day before Harrington posted the photo on Twitter.
“[Rittenhouse] should not have had to suffer through a trial for that. He was going to be dead if he didn’t pull that trigger, that guy that put the gun to his head in one-quarter of a second he was going to pull the trigger. Kyle would have been dead.”
Rittenhouse told “Tucker Carlson Tonight” on Monday that he was “extremely defamed” in the aftermath of the shooting. Rittenhouse added that he has to have a security detail due to constant death threats.
“I was an innocent 17-year-old who was violently attacked and defended myself,” Rittenhouse told Carlson. “I don’t think I would be able to go out and get a job and not have to deal with harassment.”
During and after the trial, misinformation about what happened on the night of the shooting was widespread. The falsehoods included claims that Rittenhouse shot three black men, traveled across state lines with a gun, and wielded an AK-47.
In a video released during his campaign for president, Joe Biden called Rittenhouse a white supremacist. All of the men Rittenhouse shot were white. White House press secretary Jen Psaki would not say on Wednesday whether Biden planned to apologize for the statement.
Rittenhouse said this week that the white supremacist one was an example of “actual malice” and suggested he may sue Biden for defamation.
Shortly after the verdict, Biden said in a statement that he acknowledged the decision of the jury and called for people who didn’t agree with the decision to express their views peacefully. The not-guilty verdict on Friday last week was followed by a small protest on Sunday.
Zachary Stieber contributed to this report.