- Former President Donald Trump praised himself after a jury found Kyle Rittenhouse not guilty on all charges.
- Trump said he had “helped save Kenosha” after protests spiked in Wisconsin following the shooting of Jacob Blake.
- He said he called in the National Guard, which the AP fact-checked he did not actually do.
Former President Donald Trump on Friday said he was “very happy” to see Kyle Rittenhouse fully acquitted of all charges, adding that he himself “helped save Kenosha” last year.
A jury on Friday acquitted Rittenhouse, now 18, of all charges, finding him not guilty of fatally shooting two men and injuring a third during a protest in 2020.
In August last year, Rittenhouse, then 17, crossed state lines to get to Kenosha demonstrations over the police shooting of Jacob Blake, a 29-year-old Black man who was shot repeatedly by police in Kenosha. Armed with an AR-15-style rifle, Rittenhouse opened fire on protesters and shot at people within close range, police said, killing Joseph Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber and injuring Gaige Grosskreutz. Rittenhouse has since become a symbol for right-wing gun rights advocates.
Trump, speaking with Fox News host Laura Ingraham on Friday night, called the not-guilty verdict “great.”
“I think that it was a great decision,” Trump said. “I was very happy to see it. A lot of people were happy to see it — most people.”
“I helped save Kenosha,” Trump said, later on in the interview with Ingraham, specifying that when he was president, he sent in “a lot of people” to deal with the protests following the Blake shooting.
“You had a governor that, he didn’t want to call in anybody,” Trump said. “He wanted to just let it burn.”
“We saved it and we saved Kenosha — very early,” Trump told Ingraham. It was really a horrible couple of nights. They got individual stores, the place didn’t burn down to the ground because we sent in a lot of good people. This is supposed to be handled by governors or mayors — they’re mostly Democrats.”
Trump has previously made similar statements just days after the Rittenhouse shooting, remarks that the Associated Press debunked. Trump last year said he had deployed the National Guard to Wisconsin in the wake of the Blake shooting.
The AP fact-checked that it was Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers, a Democrat, who had activated the National Guard’s deployment. The National Guard from Arizona, Michigan, and Alabama came into Wisconsin at the direction of Evers, “not in a federal status,” the governor said.