Now that Kyle Rittenhouse has been acquitted of shooting three individuals in self-defense during an August 2020 riot in Kenosha, Wisconsin, attention has turned to his likely lawsuits against those in the media and politics who defamed him ahead of that verdict.
That would include President Joe Biden, who as a candidate during the 2020 campaign, clearly insinuated that Rittenhouse was a racist, white supremacist. Now, Biden is squarely in the legal sights of Rittenhouse and his attorneys, the Washington Examiner reported.
The Illinois teen, undoubtedly echoing the words of his lawyers, claimed that Biden had used “actual malice” in “defaming my character,” and unfairly painting him as a hateful bigot.
The Carlson interview
Those remarks came during an exclusive sit-down interview Rittenhouse held with Fox News host Tucker Carlson, and were in reference to a campaign ad that then-candidate Biden had produced in September 2020 to attack then-President Donald Trump over his alleged affinity for white supremacists.
That video, pairing words from Trump during a presidential debate with images of white nationalists and supremacists marching or fighting in the streets, also included an image of Rittenhouse armed with a rifle during the Kenosha riot.
There’s no other way to put it: the President of the United States refused to disavow white supremacists on the debate stage last night. pic.twitter.com/Q3VZTW1vUV
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) September 30, 2020
According to Mediaite, Carlson asked Rittenhouse to respond with his thoughts on President Biden, for all intents and purposes, smearing him as a white supremacist.
“Mr. President, if I would say one thing to you, I would urge you to go back and watch the trial and understand the facts before you make a statement,” Rittenhouse said.
Carlson noted that it is “not a small thing” to be incorrectly labeled as a racist supremacist, to which Rittenhouse replied, “No, it’s actual malice, defaming my character, for him to say something like that.”
Rittenhouse on Biden calling him a White Supremacist: “It’s actual malice, defaming my character, for him to say something like that.”
— Benny (@bennyjohnson) November 23, 2021
Others on the hook
President Biden is certainly not alone in the category of those who may be sued for defamation by Rittenhouse and his attorneys, as he is joined by numerous other blatantly dishonest media figures and elected officials who made similarly baseless and defamatory accusations between the shootings and the acquittal.
Asked whether he had any plans to “hold some of these liars to account,” Rittenhouse replied, “I have really good lawyers who are taking care of that right now,” and added, “So I’m hoping one day there will be some — there will be accountability for their actions that they did.”