Trump Says Kenosha Suspect Shooter Kyle Rittenhouse Was ‘Very Violently Attacked’

September 1, 2020 Updated: September 1, 2020

President Donald Trump at a press conference late Monday weighed in when asked about Kyle Rittenhouse, the teen suspect who was arrested over the fatal shooting of two people amid riots in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

“Are you going to condemn the actions of vigilantes like Kyle Rittenhouse?” Trump was asked.

“We’re looking at all of it, that was an interesting situation, you saw the same tape as I saw,” Trump said. “And he was trying to get away from them, I guess, it looks like [it], and he fell. And then they very violently attacked him, and it is something that we’re looking at right now and it’s under investigation.

“I guess he was in very big trouble, he probably would’ve been killed,” the president added. “It’s under investigation.”

Kyle Rittenhouse, 17, of Antioch, Illinois, was arrested on Aug. 26 after the deadly Wisconsin shooting that resulted in two deaths late Aug. 25.

Prosecutors in Kenosha County have charged the teen as an adult with six counts, including one count of first-degree reckless homicide and one count of first-degree homicide.

Rittenhouse’s lawyer has said that his client acted within his rights in self-defense. The teen’s extradition hearing has been delayed until Sept. 25.

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers on Aug. 26 received support from almost 1,000 National Guard and over 200 federal law enforcement agents, including FBI and U.S. Marshals, deployed to Kenosha to help bring the violence under control. The White House told Evers that up to 2,000 National Guard troops from across the nation would be made available if he needed to request further support.

Trump will on Sept. 1 visit Kenosha, where the shooting of 29-year-old Jacob Blake on Aug. 23 had triggered a fresh wave of protests.

A viral video appeared to show Blake being shot at close range.

Blake, who was the subject of a warrant for sexual assault, resisted arrest by Kenosha police officers before walking away from officers. He then walked to his car and was reaching inside before he was shot seven times in the back by a police officer.

The Wisconsin Department of Justice announced on Aug. 26 that Blake “admitted that he had a knife in his possession,” and that a knife was recovered from the driver’s side floorboard of his vehicle.

The arresting officers had been responding to a domestic incident involving Blake. A female caller had told the police that her boyfriend was present and wasn’t supposed to be on the premises. Blake is suffering paralysis from the shooting and is recovering in a Milwaukee hospital.

“I didn’t like the sight of it,” Trump told reporters on Aug. 29 regarding the police shooting of Blake.

The police officer who shot Blake, Rusten Sheskey, has since been placed on administrative leave and is under investigation by the Wisconsin Division of Criminal Investigation under the state’s Department of Justice.

Late on Aug. 31, Trump criticized former Vice President Joe Biden for failing to condemn far-left agitators and Antifa extremists as the Democratic presidential candidate condemned violent protests across the country.

Janita Kan and Isabel van Brugen contributed to this report.

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