Teen accused in protest killings sat in front row at Trump rally, report says

On social media, 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse posed with guns and posted frequently about supporting law enforcement and Blue Lives Matter.

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A scathing new report is calling Kyle Howard Rittenhouse a law enforcement-obsessed teen who appeared in the front row at a rally for President Donald Trump in January. 

Rittenhouse, 17, has been charged with murder after shooting two people Monday during protests against police violence in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Demonstrators have taken to the streets in the wake of Jacob Blake‘s shooting Sunday by Kenosha Police officer Rusten Sheskey.

The teenager from Antioch, Illinois reportedly traveled across state lines, armed with what has been described as a “long gun,” to help support law enforcement and protect public property. 

Read More: Fox News host Tucker Carlson says teen who shot protesters was ‘maintaining order’

Rittenhouse’s attendance at a campaign rally for Trump in Des Moines, Iowa on Jan. 30 was first reported by Buzzfeed News. The young man is seen just feet away from the president’s podium, standing in the front row. He posted a TikTok video from the event, a clip that has since been deleted. 

In a statement to Buzzfeed News, Trump campaign spokesperson Tim Murtaugh said, “President Trump has repeatedly and consistently condemned all forms of violence and believes we must protect all Americans from chaos and lawlessness. This individual had nothing to do with our campaign, and we fully support our fantastic law enforcement for their swift action in this case.”

Read More: Federal investigators launch civil rights probe into Jacob Blake’s shooting

The outlet did a deep dive into Rittenhouse’s social media accounts, which show the 17-year-old posing with guns and posting frequently about supporting law enforcement and Blue Lives Matter. 

Rittenhouse’s Facebook page had disappeared by Wednesday, along with its page for the suburban Grayslake-Lindenhurst-Hainesville Public Safety Cadet Program, of which he was a former member.  

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In his TikTok bio, Rittenhouse wrote, “BLUE LIVES MATTER” and “Trump 2020,” the latter accompanied by two American flag emojis. 

In a video interview with The Daily Caller, Rittenhouse told them that his “job was to protect this business and to help people.” He said, “I have to protect myself, that’s why I have my rifle, but I also have my med kit.” 

Rittenhouse was arrested in Antioch, which is located about 20 miles northeast of Kenosha, and he will be extradited to Wisconsin, facing charges of first-degree intentional homicide. 

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