Trump Jr shares post defending alleged Kenosha shooter Kyle Rittenhouse

President's son also appears to celebrate federal charges brought against Portland protesters

Graig Graziosi
Friday 28 August 2020 15:11 EDT
Kenosha police chief defends vigilante shooter's motives

Donald Trump Jr retweeted a Twitter post in which a user explains how right-wing vigilante and alleged murderer Kyle Rittenhouse convinced him to vote for Donald Trump in the 2020 US election.

The original post was written by Tim Pool, an independent reporter with a primarily right-wing audience, and describes how Mr Rittenhouse’s decision to cross state lines, murder two people and maim a third has led him to support Mr Trump.

“Kyle Rittenhouse is a good example of why I decided to vote for Trump. Violent extremists were destroying people’s lives for months, 30 people were killed. Democrats rejected Federal assistance every time Trump offered it. Media lied about Trump deploying “secret police,” he wrote. “Finally some kid from a nearby town, about 20 minutes drive, decides to go up and protect businesses and offer medical support to people, even the rioters. He was threatened and shot at.”

He goes on to criticise the media, claiming that members of the press are attempting to paint “extremists” as “good guys” and goes on to say “it has to stop now”.

Mr Rittenhouse, 17, has been charged with first-degree intentional homicide, first-degree reckless homicide, attempted first-degree intentional homicide and two counts of first-degree recklessly endangering safety, all with a deadly weapon.

Mr Trump Jr also amplified a post in which Mr Pool noted recent federal charges that have been brought against 74 protesters in Portland.

“The DOJ is dropping the hammer,” Mr Pool wrote.

The US Department of Justice is charging 74 protesters from Portland with federal crimes. The charges include assaulting federal officers, arson, failing to obey lawful orders, and damaging federal property.

The charges are alleged to have occurred between 1 July and 24 August. Most of the charges are related to arrests that occurred between 20 July and 31 July, when Mr Trump sent federal agents into Portland ostensibly to protect a federal court house. However, protesters claim the federal officers intentionally ratcheted up violence against the protesters.

The DOJ’s aggressive move to prosecute protesters is a stark contrast to the policies put in place by the Multnomah County District Attorney, who said violations that did not involve deliberate property damage, theft, or threat of use of force against other people would not be prosecuted.

The protests in Portland, Oregon and Kenosha, Wisconsin were both sparked by police violence against unarmed black men. The killing of George Floyd set off months of protests, including Friday’s March on Washington in Washington DC and the Portland protests.

The police shooting of Jacob Blake – in which a police officer pursued Mr Blake to his car following a confrontation and shot him seven times in the back while he was trying to enter the vehicle – prompted the protests in Kenosha.

Mr Trump Jr has been a frequent critic of protesters and a frequent signal booster for right-wing narratives of the protests.

On Friday, Mr Trump Jr shared video of senator Rand Paul being harassed by protesters as he and his wife left the White House following Mr Trump’s Republican National Convention speech.

Earlier in the week, Mr Trump Jr retweeted a post by Andy Ngo that detailed prior criminal charges that were brought against Mr Blake. There is currently no evidence Mr Blake’s shooting was related to any of his past charges.

He also boosted another live-streamer who shared videos of cars burning at a Kenosha car dealership, with the message “peaceful protests”.

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