Trump defends Kenosha suspect as acting in self-defense
"We’re looking at all of it. That was an interesting situation. You saw the same tape as I saw," the president told reporters during a news conference at the White House.
Trump described Rittenhouse as acting in self-defense, saying he was "very violently attacked" by demonstrators.
"And it was something that we’re looking at right now and it’s under investigation," Trump said. "But I guess he was in very big trouble. He probably would have been killed but it’s under investigation."
Asked if he backs his supporters taking matters into their own hands with weapons, Trump said he'd "like to see law enforcement take care of everything."
Rittenhouse, 17, faces homicide charges after he allegedly shot and killed two people during protests last Tuesday in Kenosha. The demonstrations came in response to the police shooting of Jacob Blake, but have grown violent at times.
The president has faced calls to condemn Rittenhouse, who attended a Trump rally and had posted support on social media for Trump and Blue Lives Matter.
Press secretary Kayleigh McEnany was asked earlier in the day if Trump condemned Rittenhouse's action, but she would not say.
"The president is not going to, again, weigh in on that," she said.
Separately, a man was killed in Portland Saturday amid clashes between right-wing groups and left-wing demonstrators. The man who died has been linked to the right-wing group Patriot Prayer. A suspect in the shooting has not been identified.
The New York Times tracked Rittenhouse's movements and actions on the night of the fatal shootings and found that he had been outside a car dealer and told The Daily Caller he was there to defend it from unrest.
Footage later shows Rittenhouse being chased by an unidentified group of people, according to The Times. After a gunshot is fired, Rittenhouse at one point turns and shoots a man in the head. He appeared to run away, stumbles a few moments later, and appears to shoot another man, The Times found, according to video footage.
Trump is scheduled to visit Kenosha on Tuesday despite pleas from state and local officials that he stay away, warning it could foment further division and unrest.
Donald Trump’s niece followed up her best-selling, tell-all book with a lawsuit Thursday alleging that the president and two of his siblings cheated her out of millions of dollars over several decades while squeezing her out of the family business. Mary L. Trump sought unspecified damages in the lawsuit, filed in a state court in New York City.
Manhattan’s district attorney said on Monday he might have grounds to investigate President Donald Trump and his businesses for tax fraud, as he seeks to persuade a federal appeals court to let him obtain Trump’s tax returns. Lawyers for District Attorney Cyrus Vance made the assertion in a filing with the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan, four days before it considers Trump’s request to block Vance’s August 2019 subpoena for the tax returns.
The imminent confirmation battle over RBG’s seat has prompted Trump to galvanize supporters from the rally stage—“Fill that seat!” they chanted Saturday—while Biden zeroes in on health care and Democrats open their wallets. Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death, and the future of the nation’s highest court, quickly moved front and center in an election year marked by a pandemic, protests against racial injustice, and impeachment.
The Justice Department announced Monday that New York City, Seattle and Portland, Ore., would be designated as jurisdictions "permitting violence and destruction of property" under President Trump's early-September order requiring federal agencies to submit potential funding cuts for cities "permitting anarchy." In a statement, the agency hit leaders of the three cities for rejecting federal law enforcement assistance in quelling protests while pointing to ongoing demonstrations that have continued for weeks over the treatment of Black Americans by law enforcement.