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Trump weighs in on supporter charged with murder amid protests in Kenosha

Trump holds news conference ahead of visit to Kenosha
Posted at 2:08 PM, Aug 31, 2020

After President Donald Trump blasted violence that has transpired at Black Lives Matter protests, claiming that Democrats are encouraging riots, Trump was asked to address a violent encounter involving a supporter of his last week.

Kyle Rittenhouse, 17, was charged on Wednesday for the deaths of two demonstrators in Kenosha, Wisconsin, and for wounding a third protester. It has since been determined through social media that Rittenhouse is a supporter of Trump.

During his Monday news conference, Trump said about the incident in Kenosha, "That was an interesting situation. He was trying to get away from them, I guess… and he fell & then they very violently attacked him.

Trump added, “He probably would've been killed."

Trump’s statement was in line with claims made by Rittenhouse’s attorney, who said that the shootings were in self-defense.

Rittenhouse "has suddenly found himself at the center of a national firestorm and charged with murder after defending himself from a relentless, vicious and potentially deadly mob attack in Kenosha, Wisconsin,” attorney John Pierce of Pierce Bainbridge said in a statement last week.

The exact circumstances that led to last week’s shooting are unclear, but several videos posted on social media have given investigators some insight.

One of the videos appeared to show Rittenhouse scuffling with demonstrators before firing several shots. He is then seen walking away from the incident with the gun dangling from his chest while holding his hands up.

While officers initially did not confront Rittenhouse at the scene late Tuesday, he was arrested the next day.

Trump is scheduled to visit Kenosha on Tuesday, the site of ongoing unrest following the shooting of Jacob Blake. Blake was shot seven times in the back by Officer Rusten Sheskey. Per department policy, Sheskey is on paid administrative leave.

Protesters supporting the Black Lives Matter movement have called on both Sheskey’s firing and arrest for the shooting.

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany told reporters earlier on Monday that Trump will visit businesses damaged amid the unrest.

Earlier in the day, McEnany said Trump is "not going to wade into that"in addressing the Rittenhouse incident.