Ahead of his trip to Wisconsin, President Trump hailed claims that the teenager, who was accused of fatally shooting and injuring two protesters in Kenosha last week, was defending himself – when he attacked Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and other Democrats and she accused of inciting “left-wing political violence”.
During a press conference at the White House, Trump appeared to support claims that 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse was acting in self-defense – he said the teenager stumbled and that “he would have likely been killed” had he not used his gun .
“He was in very big trouble,”
The defendant’s legal department alleges that he defended himself. The social media video shows Rittenhouse, who is charged with murder, being followed before falling and shooting at his pursuers.
Also on Monday, the president tried to tie Biden and his party to the riots across the country, amid protests against racial injustice and police brutality, finding that the riots are taking place in “Democratic-run cities”.
“The violence is fueled by the rhetoric of left-wing politicians,” said Trump. “The rioters and Joe Biden have one side and they’re both on the side of the radical left.”
Trump’s comments come the day before he is expected to travel to Kenosha, Wisc., A city hit by protests against the police shooting of Jacob Blake, a black man who was shot seven times in the back after Police responded to a phone call about a domestic dispute and the shooting of protesters.
Protesters are demanding that the officer who authorities say shot Blake – Rusten Sheskey – be released and charged with attempted murder.
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Blake’s death sparked new demonstrations against racial injustice and police brutality months after George Floyd’s death when he was arrested by Minneapolis police officers.
Both Kenosha Mayor and Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers, a Democrat, said they believe Trump’s visit comes at a bad time. Evers sent Trump a letter asking him not to come. He said the visit would “only delay our work in order to overcome the division and move forward together.”
Trump will not meet with Blake’s family during his trip to Kenosha and said during the press conference Monday that the family lawyer wanted to make a phone call and the president “did not think it was appropriate”.
The president and other Republicans have tried to lay blame for the violence and riot in cities against left-wing groups like Antifa, trying to link Biden to the more radical wing of the Democratic Party amid the unrest.
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Trump added Monday that Biden would “give Antifa what they want” should he be elected.
When asked about the weekend violence in Portland, Oregon, where a President’s supporter was shot after a large caravan of Trump supporters and Black Lives Matter protesters crashed into the streets, Trump insisted that his supporters ” for a while there were peaceful protest. “
Videos recorded before the shooting show people engaging in fistfighting and Trump supporters firing bear spray and paintballs at counter-protesters who, in return, throw objects at the trucks trying to block their progress by standing at intersections.
Trump also refused to condemn the violence and unrest caused by the brawls between his supporters and counter-protesters when questioned by a reporter, arguing that “paint is not bullets” and that it is a “defense mechanism “Acts.
The president’s comments come just hours after Biden accused Trump of “poisoning” the nation’s values while condemning the violence in recent protests on Monday, accusing Trump of fighting for guilt.
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In his most direct attacks to date, Biden accused Trump of causing the divisions that sparked the violence, gave an unusually blistering speech in Pittsburgh and distanced himself from radical forces involved in the clash.
He said of Trump: “He doesn’t want to shed any light on the darkness, he wants to generate warmth and he stirs up violence in our cities. He cannot stop the violence because he has stoked it for years.”
Biden also accused Trump of being too “weak” to urge his own followers to stop acting as an “armed militia”. And he drew on his 47-year career in politics to defend himself against Republican attack.
“You know me. You know my heart. You know my story, the story of my family. Ask yourself: Do I look like a radical socialist with a thing for rioters? Really?”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.