Donald Trump Jr, the U.S. president's eldest son, said of 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse, who has been charged in the killing of two protesters and the attempted murder of a third in Kenosha, Wisconsin, "we all do stupid things at 17."
“We're waiting for due process. We're not jumping to a conclusion,” Trump Jr said during an interview Tuesday on the TV show Extra.
“If I put myself in Kyle Rittenhouse['s shoes], maybe I shouldn't have been there. He's a young kid. I don't want young kids running around the streets with AR-15s. ... Maybe I wouldn't have put myself in that situation — who knows? We all do stupid things at 17.”
“It's a little beyond stupid," the show's host, Rachel Lindsay, pushed back. “Really stupid — fine," Trump Jr. shot back. "But we all have to let due process play out and let due process take its course.”
Social media posts praising Wisconsin shooter Kyle Rittenhouse were widely shared a week after Facebook and Twitter said such content violated policies and would be taken off their platforms.
On the third night of protests in Kenosha, Rittenhouse shot three protesters, two fatally, with an assault rifle. He has been charged as an adult with two counts of first-degree homicide for the deaths of Anthony Huber and Joseph Rosenbaum, and one count of attempted homicide. Rittenhouse’s lawyer has said he plans to argue self-defense.
The protests against police brutality and racism in Kenosha were in response to the shooting of Jacob Blake, a 29-year-old Black man, by police on August 23.
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Facebook designated the killings a mass shooting and pledged to remove content praising the shooter, but as of last week posts calling Rittenhouse a “patriot” were still racking up thousands of shares, according to data from social media monitor CrowdTangle.
One post, on a page called “Confederate,” said Rittenhouse was acting in self-defense against an armed “mob” and contrasted media coverage of the shooting with that of a Black man suspected of involvement in a shooting death during protests in Atlanta.
The criminal complaint against Rittenhouse said two of the people shot appeared to be unarmed and one appeared to be holding a handgun.
The post has been shared more than 600 times, per CrowdTangle, which is owned by Facebook.