Kenosha GOP chairwoman says ‘80% of people in the city support teenage gunman Kyle Rittenhouse’ – and the remaining 20% are ‘probably people that can’t stand Trump’
- Erin Decker said on Tuesday that Rittenhouse had been acting in self-defense
- The 17-year-old shot dead two protesters and wounded another on August 25
- He had been smacked over the head with a skateboard when he opened fire
- Anthony Huber and Joseph Rosenbaum, two BLM protesters, were killed
- A third was injured; Rittenhouse is now being held in custody in Illinois
- His lawyers say he was acting in self-defense and was being hunted like ‘prey’
- Trump on Monday defended the teenager and said he’d been beaten up
- Trump traveled to Kenosha on Tuesday to survey the damage from the riots
The chair of the Kenosha Republican Party said that 80 percent of people support Kyle Rittenhouse – the 17-year-old who shot dead two protesters last weekend with an AR-15 rifle – and that the other 20 percent are people who ‘can’t stand the president’.
She said the majority of the town’s residents supported Rittenhouse, who opened fire while sitting in the street after he’d been smacked over the head with a skateboard.
Rittenhouse was among a group of self-styled militia men who had gone to Kenosha to try to protect the city from looters amid uproar over the shooting of Jacob Blake, an unarmed black man who was shot seven times in front of his kids.
He had been running through the streets with an AR-15 when he tripped.
Anthony Huber, a BLM protester, smacked him over the had and he opened fire. He killed Huber and Joseph Rosenbaum, another protester, and injured another, but was not arrested until the following day. He has now been charged with murder.
His attorneys have received a ground-swell of support for him from predominantly conservative Americans who say he was defending a city that the police had let slip into complete unrest.
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Kyle Rittenhouse, 17, (above) has been charged as an adult with two counts of first-degree homicide and one count of attempted homicide following the shootings on the third night of protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin in the wake of the police shooting of Jacob Blake
Kenosha GOP Chair Erin Decker appeared on Fox and Friends on Tuesday morning ahead of Trump’s visit to the city
Decker echoed that sentiment in her interview.
‘It looks like it was self-defense, and, talking to people around the area, I would say about 80 percent of the people support what Kyle did,’ she said, adding the remaining 20 percent of people ‘are probably the people that can’t stand Donald Trump and can’t stand anything conservative or Republican, so they’re just going to attack anything that resembles that.’
Rittenhouse remains in custody in Illinois, his home state. He is next due before a judge for an extradition hearing on September 25.
Decker said that the majority of residents were relieved when Trump sent in the National Guard to deal with the unrest last week.
“I believe the same people that support Donald Trump are happy that he came into the city—or sent troops into the city—and that includes Republicans, independents and Democrats.
‘I believe they’re the same people that support Kyle Rittenhouse.’
Last night, the president defended Rittenhouse during a White House briefing and said he’d been ‘very violently attacked’ before he opened fire.
‘He was trying to get away from them I guess, it looks like, and he fell on then they very violently attacked him,’ Trump said.
Joseph Rosenbaum (left) and Anthony Huber (right) were killed and Gaige Grosskreutz was shot in the arm in a series of encounters that were captured on cellphone videos
Rittenhouse’s lawyer John Pierce praised the teenager for his actions in an interview with Fox News’ Tucker Carlson and argued that he was only defending himself against a mob trying to disarm and hurt him
‘It was something that we are looking at right now and it’s under investigation, but I guess he was in very big trouble. He probably would’ve been killed. It’s under investigation,’ he added.
Rittenhouse’s attorney, John Pierce, appeared on Tucker Carlson Tonight on Monday night to defend him too.
Carlson was last week admonished by viewers for asking if it was a surprise that the the shootings had happened.
Pierce, appearing on his show, said: ‘This is 100 percent self defense.
‘The only individuals Kyle shot were the three individuals attacking him and putting him at risk.
‘This is a 17-year-old kid, this is amazing what he did.’
Pierce said the incident escalated when a shot was fired as Rittenhouse tried to retreat from a group of protesters who, he claims, became enraged that the teen was trying to put out fires.
‘They began screaming that Kyle needed to be killed and they were going to kill him. They started relentlessly hunting him as prey as he ran down the street attempting to retreat,’ Pierce said.
‘Mr Rosenbaum, who was leading the attack on him, set upon him immediately… began to assault him from behind, attempted to take his weapon, take his firearm, and Kyle, when he turned, he instantaneously had no choice but to defend himself by firing because he was in imminent danger of serious bodily harm or death.’
Pierce denied that Rittenhouse brought the AR-15 across state lines from Illinois to Wisconsin.
‘That firearm never crossed state lines. It is a legal firearm in Wisconsin,’ Pierce said, adding they would be arguing it is within his second amendment rights.