The trial of Kyle Rittenhouse ended this week when a jury found him not guilty on all counts related to a shooting last year during a violent protest in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
After weeks of intense media attention, pundits of all stripes spoke out — including former President Donald Trump, who offered congratulations to the acquitted teen.
“The jury system works”
As the Washington Examiner explained, Trump wasted no time offering a statement in which he asserted that if Rittenhouse’s actions were “not self-defense, nothing is.”
His remarks stood in contrast to those of President Joe Biden.
Although the current president indicated that he still believes “the jury system works,” he went on to note that the verdict in the Rittenhouse trial left many Americans — including himself — “angry and concerned.”
For his part, Trump issued a statement through his political action committee Save America, which he has frequently used to reach the public since he was booted from most leading social media platforms earlier this year.
“Congratulations to Kyle Rittenhouse for being found INNOCENT of all charges,” Trump said. “It’s called being found NOT GUILTY.”
“It was a great decision”
The former president referenced the defendant’s claim that he only fired his rifle in the face of imminent threats by others in the crowd. Video evidence and testimony during the trial appeared to back up his accusations and he was cleared of wrongdoing in the shooting that left two men dead and another injured.
Trump offered even more of his thoughts on the matter on Friday evening during an interview with Fox News Channel personality Laura Ingraham.
“It was a great decision,” he said. “I was surprised it had to go this far. Somebody should have ended it earlier, and frankly, the case should have never been brought. It was prosecutorial misconduct in my opinion and there’s plenty of it going on in this country right now. That was disgraceful.”
The ex-president went on to describe Rittenhouse as “the poster boy” for justified self-defense claims, adding: “I think he would have been dead if he waited a quarter of a second when that gun was pointed at his head.”
Although Trump and many other Americans agreed that the jury reached the appropriate verdict, many in the mainstream media clearly saw it differently. Trump accused outlets like CNN and MSNBC of “trying to spew hatred” and stoke civil unrest throughout the Rittenhouse trial.