(Video Credit: NewsNation Now)
Kyle Rittenhouse claimed in an interview with NewsNation’s Ashleigh Banfield that he didn’t know the men that he posed for a picture with in a bar in January were with the Proud Boys and asserted that his former attorney John Pierce was the one who set it up.
A photo made the rounds in January that showed Rittenhouse posing with another man, who was alleged to be a member of the Proud Boys, in a bar while making an “okay” gesture and wearing a shirt that said “FREE AS F**K.”
Banfield asked Rittenhouse on Tuesday about the photo during the interview.
“You have stated that you are not a racist, but there’s video footage of you using hand signs that are used by groups that are considered by many to be white supremacists. Why have you associated with members of groups like the Proud Boys? Why have you used hand signs that are commonly associated with white supremacy?”
“That’s a good question,” Rittenhouse replied. “I didn’t know that the okay hand sign was a symbol for white supremacy, just as I didn’t know those people in the bar were Proud Boys. They were set up by my former attorney, who was fired because of that, for putting me in situations like that with people I don’t agree with.”
“If I had known that they were Proud Boys, I would have said absolutely not,” he contended.
Kyle Rittenhouse flashing the white power sign while drinking with the Proud Boys Jan. 5 at Wisconsin bar. pic.twitter.com/0CoFU8KeOX
— Marty & mom 🐕🦺🐈⬛🐈⬛ (@colleengrott) January 17, 2021
Rittenhouse laid the blame at the feet of Pierce for the whole setup. He fired his attorneys John Pierce and Lin Wood after the blowup over the incident and claimed they were using him for political reasons.
“Your attorney arranged for a then-17-year-old to go to a bar to meet those people?” Banfield asked Rittenhouse.
“For them to do security,” he responded. He remarked that he didn’t hire them because he didn’t “want anything to do with them.”
“I found out they were Proud Boys when I saw the headlines,” Rittenhouse stated. “I thought they were just a bunch of, like, construction dudes based on how they looked.”
Banfield asked him if he regretted the incident and he replied, “I definitely don’t think it looked good to hang out with people who are now known to be Proud Boys. I definitely wouldn’t do that again.”
Rittenhouse also had a lot to say about Lin Wood.
“[Wood] thinks he’s God,” Rittenhouse noted in the interview. “And he just says all these weird things like, ‘We’re going to keep that boy in jail because there’s not going to be any civil or criminal cases come the election,’ which is just complete insanity.”
“We fired him because he was like going on with all this QAnon and election fraud stuff and just stuff we don’t agree with,” Rittenhouse stated.
He also blamed his former legal team for his being kept in jail for 87 days when he could’ve waived extradition and made bail.
Kenosha County Circuit Judge Bruce Schroeder ruled that the prosecution could not introduce evidence connecting Rittenhouse to the Proud Boys because the bar incident occurred after the fact and would have maligned his character in front of the jury.
Prosecutors attempted to portray Rittenhouse as a white supremacist who was hunting down and shooting supporters of Black Lives Matter during the trial.
Kyle Rittenhouse was acquitted on all charges in connection to shooting and killing two attackers and wounding a third during the Kenosha riots in 2020. His actions were ruled as self-defense.
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