Kyle Rittenhouse — the teen who was acquitted Friday after he shot three people, killing two, at a racial justice protest in Kenosha last summer — told Tucker Carlson that he is “not a racist person.”
“I support the BLM movement, I support peacefully demonstrating,” he said in a clip released by Fox News, teasing an interview with the host that will air Monday night. Shortly after the jury announced its verdict on Friday, the network announced the interview special.
On Sunday, Fox aired a “sneak peak” of the interview, where Rittenhouse denied that his actions that day were related to race. “This case has nothing to do with race. It never had anything to do with race,” he told Carlson. “It had to do with the right to self-defense. I’m not a racist person. I support the BLM movement, I support peacefully demonstrating.”
Those words, however, seem to contradict some of Rittenhouse’s actions since the shooting. He was photographed this past winter posing with Proud Boys and making a “white power” hand gesture in a Wisconsin bar. The teen has become a darling of the far-right, with numerous Republicans boisterously cheering the jury’s rendering of “not guilty” verdicts.
According to his lawyer, Mark Richards, Rittenhouse paid for his defense attorneys and expert witnesses through crowdfunding. “I did not approve of that,” Richards said on CNN. “I threw them out of the room several times.”
Richards went on to explain that people who were helping Rittenhouse and his family raise funds also insisted on giving access to Carlson’s documentary crew. “The people who were raising the money to pay for the experts and to pay for the attorneys were trying to raise money. And [the documentary] was part of it,” Richards said.
After the Rittenhouse interview airs on television, Fox will release a follow-up documentary from Tucker Carlson Originals, which the network promised would contain “exclusive behind-the-scenes access to Rittenhouse and his defense team.” If Tucker Carlson Originals sounds familiar, that’s because it’s the team behind the propaganda film Patriot Purge, which floated the theory that Jan. 6 was a “false flag” operation. The film was so controversial, it led two Fox News contributors, Jonah Goldberg and Stephen Hayes, to resign from their paid positions at the channel in protest shortly after its release.