Kyle Rittenhouse has hired bodyguard to protect him, saying in an interview on Monday night that he plans to move away and live a quiet life, as ‘people want to kill me, just because I defended myself.’
Rittenhouse, 18, spoke to Tucker Carlson for an interview broadcast on Monday night.
He said he had received multiple death threats, and feared for his life.
‘I was an innocent 17 year old who was violently attacked and defended myself,’ he said.
‘Apparently for a lot of the people on the left it is wrong to want to defend your community.
‘I have to have people with me because people want to kill me, just because I defended myself.
‘Some of the things people say, it’s just sickening.’
Rittenhouse sat down with Carlson days after being cleared on Friday of homicide, attempted homicide and reckless endangerment in the shooting deaths of Joseph Rosenbaum, 36, and Anthony Huber, 26, and the wounding of Gaige Grosskreutz, 27.
In footage shared exclusively with DailyMail.com, Kyle Rittenhouse slammed commentators on both the left and right as ‘sickening’ for polarizing Americans
Rittenhouse sat down with Carlson days after being cleared of homicide, attempted homicide and more in the shooting deaths of two men
Carlson spoke to DailyMail.com hours before his exclusive interview airs Monday night on Tucker Carlson Tonight. ‘I don’t think he sees himself as a poster boy for anything. In fact, he emphatically doesn’t. And that’s part of the tragedy of it,’ Carlson said
Asked where the police were, in the chaos and rioting after the shooting of Jacob Blake, Rittenhouse replied: ‘I’m not sure really.’
He added: ‘They have a hard job, for sure.’
He criticized the leadership of the state and city.
‘The National Guard should have been called August 23.
‘The city of Kenosha failed the community.
‘The governor, Tony Evers, failed the community.’
Jurors decided the rifle-wielding teen opened fire in self-defense as the trio chased and attacked him during the August 2020 riots in Kenosha, Wisconsin sparked by the police shooting of Jacob Blake, a black male.
A RACIALLY-TINGED TRIAL?
His unanimous acquittal prompted accusations from the left that a ‘racist’ two-tier justice system favors white defendants and gives a green light to heavily-armed vigilantes.
Conservatives, meanwhile, have lauded Rittenhouse for protecting his community against lawlessness and pointed out that not a single person he shot at during the fiery chaos was black.
‘It never had anything to do with race,’ Rittenhouse told Carlson.
‘It had to do with the right to self defense.
‘I’m not a racist person.
‘I support the BLM movement and peacefully demonstrating.
‘I believe there’s a lot of prosecutorial misconduct, not just in my case but in other cases,’ said Rittenhouse.
The teenager said his case – with numerous mistruths being spread – made him realize how many miscarriages of justice there must be, especially for people without the high profile and resources he had.
‘It’s just amazing to see how much a prosecutor can take advantage of someone,’ he said.
Rittenhouse said he had ‘really good lawyers’ who were looking into defamation charges. He said he thought Joe Biden – who labelled him a white supremacist – acted with ‘malice’.
Rittenhouse was represented initially by Lin Wood and John Pierce.
The pair are known for their passionate defense of right-wing figures: Pierce is now representing many of the Capitol rioters, and Wood was one of the most passionate pro-Trump legal voices making false claims of ‘election fraud’.
Yet Rittenhouse told Carlson he did not believe Wood and Pierce were acting in his best interests.
He was advised to speak to The Washington Post, which he now believes was a mistake.
He was also flown by Pierce to Florida to meet members of the white supremacist Proud Boys group, which saw him lumped into the same group as the far-right agitators.
His lawyers said he was part of a militia – although Rittenhouse said he had no idea what a militia was.
‘No wonder people are saying I’m a white supremacist, because he painted that narrative,’ Rittenhouse said of Pierce.
And he said the lawyers kept him in jail longer than necessary, to help further their own narrative.
‘My own lawyer said I would be safer off in jail,’ he said.
‘I was in jail for 87 days
‘They could have had me back in Wisconsin by mid September
‘But they wanted to keep me in jail until November 20.’
Rittenhouse said he had no running water in his jail cell.
‘I felt sick, I lost weight,’ he said, adding that he was seriously alarmed about the state of his health.
‘I did not shower until November 20. My skin was bleeding, it was coming off of my body. It was the nastiest thing ever.
‘I feel bad for Dave, because he had to be with me in the car for that three hour ride, and I smelt terrible.’
CARLSON CALLS HIM ‘A SWEET KID’
Carlson said Rittenhouse was ‘a sweet kid’, and before the interview told DailyMail.com he felt the teenager wanted to set the record straight.
‘He’s 18. He didn’t get into this to make a political point. This is his community and they were burning it down,’ said Carlson, speaking to DailyMail.com hours before his exclusive interview aired on Monday on Tucker Carlson Tonight.
‘I don’t think he sees himself as a poster boy for anything. In fact, he emphatically doesn’t. And that’s part of the tragedy of it, I don’t think he ever wanted any of this.’
Carlson had a production crew embedded with Rittenhouse and his legal team throughout the murder trial for an hour-long documentary to be screened next month on subscription service, Fox Nation.
Carlson is adamant that jurors reached the appropriate verdict despite what he slams as a slew of racist smears and groundless links to white supremacy from liberal commentators.
Chicago: Over a thousand demonstrators gathered at Federal Plaza in Chicago on Saturday to protest the acquittal
Protests over the verdict continued on Sunday in Kenosha, where a group of around 150 people gathered in the Civic Center Park outside the courthouse where Rittenhouse was cleared to protest the verdict
‘What’s so distressing, is that nobody seems willing to assess Kyle Rittenhouse on his own terms,’ Carlson said of the Antioch, Illinois native.
‘My view after spending a few hours with him and talking to him about his life is that he was not an especially political kid. You know, he liked Andrew Yang.
‘He was a 17-year-old kid from a working class family who always had a job. He was a fry cook, a lifeguard, this is not someone from a privileged background – just the opposite.
‘He wasn’t in a militia. He had no weird views on race. If anything, he’s probably pretty liberal on race.
‘He went to Kenosha because a bunch of his relatives lived there, he worked there and he was upset because of what was happening there.
‘The police were doing nothing about it. The mayor of Kenosha was doing nothing about it. The governor of Wisconsin allowed it to happen. And so it fell to the 17-year-old kid.
‘The kid takes a stand against violence and he’s immediately threatened.’
Carlson said he supported Rittenhouse’s version of events from the start because he watched video clips of the shootings which would eventually form the bedrock of a successful defense which argued that Rosenbaum, Huber and Grosskreutz were the aggressors who presented a threat to his life.
Rittenhouse was dressed in a suit and tie for the interview as the family dined at Smokin’ Jerry’s Tiki Hut Bar & Grill in Placida, Florida on Sunday afternoon
Kyle Rittenhouse was found not guilty on all counts. The verdict came in at 12.15pm Friday in Kenosha, Wisconsin, leading to fears that the city might once again erupt in violence
In contrast, he says multiple commentators continue to repeat erroneous information on the case and that several oversees outlets were so confused by the US media’s racially-focused narrative that they wrongly reported the ‘victims’ as black.
‘The story had nothing to do with race. These were all entitled white kids,’ Carlson told DailyMail.com.
‘Why did they think that? Because that was the implication of the American media coverage.
‘Why would you do that? Why would you make people hate each other more on the basis of their race?
‘It’s impossible to get that stuff back in the bottle. They’re destroying the country. They’re literally destroying the country.’
Carlson has faced criticism himself from rival media outfits, with CNN’s Brian Stelter accusing his upcoming documentary of exploiting a tragedy to ‘drive subscriptions’ for Fox Nations.
Rittenhouse lawyer Mark Richards also told CNN’s Chris Cuomo that he disapproved of giving access to a film crew but understood the teenager needed to raise money to crowdfund his defense.
‘We weren’t part of Kyle Rittenhouse’s defense team, that’s not our job. Our job is to get as much information as we can and deliver it to our viewers,’ countered Carlson, whose producers have denied paying Rittenhouse or offering any similar financial incentive.
‘It’s funny, I mean CNN has literally worked hand in hand with the Department of Justice to punish the enemies of the Joe Biden administration. That’s very sinister.
‘We have very capable producers and they were able to get more information about the case than CNN was able to get.’
Member of the right praised Rittenhouse’s acquittal, including Rep Marjorie Taylor Greene
Carlson, before Monday night’s broadcast, said he was hopeful viewers would take the time to watch his show so they can make up their own minds about the catastrophic shooting and the ensuing, 19-day trial that gripped the US.
‘I still believe in the core premise of journalism which is, if you bring people facts, some percentage of them will make up their own mind in a rational, thoughtful way,’ he said.
‘I supported him from day one because I watched the video. I didn’t think that he broke the law and that turned out to be true. But I didn’t know him and so this gives people an hour of video to assess what they think of him.
‘People will reach their own conclusions, but, you know, no one who watches this will come away thinking Rittenhouse is some kind of hater because he certainly isn’t.
‘And how dare people make the claim that he’s a white supremacist. I hope he sues the sh*t out of everyone who said that because it’s just so dishonest. It’s mind boggling actually.’
As for the future, Carlson fears it will prove incredibly difficult for Rittenhouse to resume anything resembling a normal life.
‘As far as I can tell, he wants to get a nursing degree at Arizona State University. My own adult take on that is that, that might be pretty hard,’ Carlson added.
‘I don’t know if he understands because he’s been in jail and in the middle of a murder trial. I don’t think he has perspective on how famous he’s become and what a symbol he’s become. I don’t think he gets that. I mean, how could he get that?’
Left-wing response to Rittenhouse’s acquittal
Cori Bush, a congresswoman for Missouri and member of ‘The Squad’ described Rittenhouse’s acquittal as ‘white supremacy in action’.
‘This system isn’t built to hold white supremacists accountable,’ she said.
‘It’s why Black and brown folks are brutalized and put in cages while white supremacist murderers walk free.
‘I’m hurt. I’m angry. I’m heartbroken.’
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez agreed, tweeting: ‘What we are witnessing is a system functioning as designed and protecting those it was designed for.’
Fellow Squad member Ayanna Pressley added: ‘Racism & white supremacy remain the bedrock of our legal system. My heart breaks for the family & loved ones of those whose lives were stolen, and the trauma our communities face today and every day.
‘The struggle for accountability, for justice, for healing goes on.’
The head of the House Progressive Caucus, Pramila Jayapal, said: ‘I’m heartbroken.
‘If we’re ever going to tackle racial injustice in America, we have to admit our justice system isn’t working for Black, brown and Indigenous people. Then, we have to transform it.
‘It won’t be easy but I’m committed to organizing alongside you to make it happen.’
Bill de Blasio, the mayor of New York, said that ‘to call this a miscarriage of justice is an understatement.’
He tweeted: ‘Anthony Huber and Joseph Rosenbaum are victims. They should be alive today.
‘The only reason they’re not is because a violent, dangerous man chose to take a gun across state lines and start shooting people.’