Donald Trump Jr. on Teen Accused of Killing 2 at Protest: 'We All Do Stupid Things At 17'
"We all have to let that process play out and let due process take its course"
Donald Trump Jr. sounded like his dad when he put himself in the shoes of Kyle Rittenhouse — a teen accused of killing two people — in an appearance on Extra that aired Tuesday, saying, "We all do stupid things at 17."
Speaking with host Rachel Lindsay Abasolo, President Donald Trump's eldest son spoke about Black Lives Matter, racial unrest and Rittenhouse, who is charged with killing two men at a Wisconsin demonstration last month.
Rittenhouse — who had traveled to the protest from a nearby part of Illinois to, in his words, protect businesses and "run into harm's way" — has been charged with first-degree intentional homicide and other crimes in the Aug. 25 shooting, which left two people dead and one other person injured.
Video and news reports show the deadly alternation unfolded chaotically.
Rittenhouse's attorney has said it was self-defense while he was being attacked by others.
Critics say Rittenhouse was the provocateur and that his behavior and the fact that he was armed with an assault-style rifle were the basis of any danger.
The two men who died — Anthony Huber, 26, and 36-year-old Joseph Rosenbaum — were in the area of the protest, held in response to the police shooting of Jacob Blake, a Black man shot seven times in his back by police in front of his three children.
"If I put myself in Kyle Rittenhouse['s shoes], maybe I shouldn't have been there — he's a young kid, I don't want 17-year-olds running around the street with AR-15s — maybe I wouldn't have put myself in that situation, who knows," Don Jr. said on Extra. "But we all do stupid things at 17."
When Lindsay Abasolo pointed out that it was "a little bit beyond stupid," Trump Jr. concurred, adding, "Really stupid, fine, but we all have to let that process play out and let due process take its course."
Trump Jr.'s words echoed those of his father, the president, who denounced violent protesters but demurred on Rittenhouse, recently telling reporters the alleged shooter was "violently attacked" and calling it "an interesting situation" that was "under investigation."
In his Extra interview, Trump Jr. also touched on police brutality and Black Lives Matter in general, saying that he "agreed" with the sentiment behind the movement and that the tagline is "a very good marketing message," but he doesn't agree with the sentiment behind the message.