'Actual malice': Kyle Rittenhouse puts Biden on notice over 'white supremacists' ad
Kyle Rittenhouse , w ho last week was acquitted of all charges in the shooting of three men during political unrest in Kenosha, Wisconsin, last summer, is putting President Joe Biden on notice for what could be defamation litigation.
In an interview that aired Monday night on Fox News, the 18-year-old told host Tucker Carlson what he thought of Biden linking him to white supremacists during the 2020 campaign.
"Mr. President, if I could say one thing to you, I would urge you to go back and watch the trial, and understand the facts before you make a statement," Rittenhouse said.
Rittenhouse said Biden linking him to white supremacists was "actual malice," and added that it's "defaming [his] character for [Biden] to say something like that."
The reference to Rittenhouse came when Biden released an advertisement on Sept. 30, 2020, in which he attacked former President Donald Trump, his 2020 rival, for not disavowing white supremacists during a debate.
The ad featured an image of Rittenhouse carrying a gun during the riots in Kenosha last year.
The teenager's mother, Wendy Rittenhouse, previously chastised Biden over the ad.
"He went to Kenosha to help people, and what Joe Biden did and showed my son’s picture, his image, and labeled him as a white supremacist, I will take him down," the elder Rittenhouse said in a Fox News interview last year.
On Friday, a jury found Rittenhouse not guilty on all five charges in the fatal shooting of two men and injuring of a third during that unrest. Rittenhouse, who was 17 at the time of the riots, claimed he was acting in self-defense when he fired his rifle.
Both during the trial and after its verdict, many on the Left have sought to make race the driving component behind Rittenhouse's actions. The unrest broke out after the August 2020 shooting of Jacob Blake, a black man, by police .
Rittenhouse dismissed any notions that race affected his actions.
"This case has nothing to do with race. It never had anything to do with race," he said. "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."
Reacting to the verdict last week, Biden said, "The jury system works, and we have to abide by it."
Biden later added to his reaction with a follow-up statement.
"While the verdict in Kenosha will leave many Americans feeling angry and concerned, myself included, we must acknowledge that the jury has spoken," he said in the statement issued by the White House. "I ran on a promise to bring Americans together, because I believe that what unites us is far greater than what divides us."
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