White House backs away from Biden's 'white supremacist' comments about Kyle Rittenhouse
White House press secretary Jen Psaki distanced President Joe Biden from past comments he made alluding to Kyle Rittenhouse, suggesting to reporters at Tuesday's briefing that when Biden compared Rittenhouse to white supremacists on the campaign trail, he was really denouncing former President Donald Trump.
Rittenhouse, found not guilty by a jury on all charges related to multiple shooting deaths at a 2020 protest in Kenosha, Wisconsin, has said in recent interviews that he believes Biden had maliciously defamed his character.
"Well, let's be clear what we're talking about here. This is about a campaign video released last year that used President Trump's own words during a debate as he refused to condemn white supremacists and militia groups, and President Trump, as we know from history, and as many of you covered, didn't just refuse to condemn militia groups on the debate stage — he actively encouraged them throughout his presidency," Psaki said in response to a question on the subject. "So, you know, what we've seen are the tragic consequences of that when people think it's OK to take the law into their own hands, instead of allowing law enforcement to do its job, and the president believes in condemning hatred, division, and violence. That's exactly what was done in that video."
A reporter noted to Psaki that Biden also claimed during a televised interview that Rittenhouse "was part of a militia coming out of Illinois."
"The president spoke to the verdict last week. He has obviously condemned the hatred and division and violence we've seen around the country by groups like the Proud Boys and groups that that individual has posed in photos with," she responded. "Beyond that, I'll leave it to his comments around the verdict."
You can watch Tuesday's entire briefing below.
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