Kyle Rittenhouse says he wants to avoid politics — but has no problem talking to Donald Trump and Tucker Carlson
Following his acquittal on homicide and attempted homicide charges, teenage vigilante Kyle Rittenhouse insisted he has no desire to become more involved in politics. But in an article published by Vanity Fair on November 24, journalist Eric Lutz stresses that for someone who wants to keep his political involvement to a bare minimum, the 18-year-old Rittenhouse certainly isn’t shy about talking to prominent MAGA Republicans — including former President Donald Trump and Fox News’ Tucker Carlson.
Rittenhouse has received nonstop praise from the MAGA far right for his actions in August 2020, when the Illinois resident traveled to a racial justice protest in Kenosha, Wisconsin armed with an AR-15-style weapon. Rittenhouse, who was 17 at the time, shot three pro-Black Lives Matter protesters (two of them fatally). During his trial, Rittenhouse maintained that he acted in self-defense — and the jury returned a “not guilty” verdict on all charges.
Interviewed by television journalist Ashleigh Banfield for NewsNation on November 24, Rittenhouse insisted that he does not “want to get involved in politics at all” and that his trial was about self-defense and “not where you fall, left or right.”
Rittenhouse told Banfield, “I’m not a cause person. I’m just a person who was attacked and defended myself.”
Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida, Rep. Madison Cawthorn of North Carolina, Rep. Paul Gosar of Arizona and Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado are among the far-right MAGA Republicans who have offered Rittenhouse internships. So far, he hasn’t accepted any of them.
Lutz, however, writes, “But while he may not be accepting any of those internship offers from Matt Gaetz and other right-wing lawmakers trying to out-crazy one another, Rittenhouse hasn’t actually divorced himself from the politics of his case. Before he spoke with Banfield, he sat down for a fawning interview with Tucker Carlson, who had a film crew embedded with Rittenhouse and his defense during the trial for an upcoming documentary on Fox Nation. And, after talking to Carlson, he and his mother went down to Mar-a-Lago to visit Donald Trump, who posed for one of his traditional thumbs-up photos with the smiling teen.”
After Rittenhouse’s visit to Mar-a-Lago in South Florida, Trump described Rittenhouse as a “fan” and said, “Just left Mar-a-Lago a little while ago…. He never should have been put through that. That was prosecutorial misconduct, and it’s happening all over the United States right now with the Democrats.”
Lutz wraps up his article by expressing skepticism about Rittenhouse’s desire to limit his involvement with politics.
“He has seemingly tried to have it both ways — to accept the donations that have poured in as the right rallies around him and to accept Carlson’s offer to ‘memorialize’ his story, while at the same time insisting that there’s really nothing political about this, and if there is, it’s because of all those other people,” the Vanity Fair journalist writes. “This is, of course, a luxury — to decide what is and isn’t politics. It’s one that Joseph Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber — the men Rittenhouse killed — don’t have.”
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