A 17-year-old boy arrived at a Black Lives Matter protest in Kenosha, Wisc., armed with an AR-15-style rifle. Those who support Trump will tell you that the armed, pale-faced teen was there to keep the peace and nothing helps keep the peace like an assault weapon. During the protest, the armed thug opened fire, allegedly killing two protesters, and since the shooting, the Trump administration and Fox News pundits have bent over backward to call the killings anything other than what they are.
And here is why: Kyle Rittenhouse is a Trump supporter.
He apparently posted his support for the president on Twitter. Oh, and he helped wipe graffiti from a building. I wish I was joking about the graffiti part but Fox News won’t stop pointing out that Rittenhouse was recorded on video cleaning graffiti from a building some time before allegedly killing two people.
And now leaked documents show the levels with which the Trump administration was willing to go to support their own. According to NBC News, federal law enforcement officials were told that when speaking about Rittenhouse, they needed to make comments that are sympathetic to the shooter.
Internal Department of Homeland Security talking points obtained by NBC News found that Homeland Security officials were told to claim that Rittenhouse “took his rifle to the scene of the rioting to help defend small business owners.”
“Another set of talking points distributed to Homeland Security officials said the media were incorrectly labeling the group Patriot Prayer as racists after clashes erupted between the group and protesters in Portland, Oregon,” NBC News notes.
It remains unclear whether the directives originated at the White House or within Homeland Security’s own press office, but my money’s on the fat orange man who sits at the Resolute desk.
To earn Trump’s gaze, you only need to do one thing: support his dumb-ass moves wholeheartedly and that’s what Rittenhouse had done. He reportedly supported Trump and the police on his social media before leaving his Antioch, Ill., home on Aug. 25 armed with an AR-15-style rifle, authorities said. Rittenhouse, after attempting to flag cops down to say he was the man they were looking for only for police to ignore him because...white boy, was arrested and charged with first-degree murder and is currently fighting extradition to Wisconsin. His attorneys claim that he was acting in self-defense.
Three former Homeland Security officials told NBC News that “it was unusual for law enforcement officials to be instructed to weigh in on a case involving a particular group or individual before investigations had concluded.”
“It is as unprecedented as it is wrong,” Peter Boogaard, who was a spokesperson for Homeland Security during the Obama administration, told NBC News.
From NBC News:
The Rittenhouse talking points also say, “Kyle was seen being chased and attacked by rioters before allegedly shooting three of them, killing two.”
“Subsequent video has emerged reportedly showing that there were ‘multiple gunmen’ involved, which would lend more credence to the self-defense claims.”
The document instructs officials, if they are asked about Rittenhouse, to say they are not going to comment on an ongoing investigation and to say that “what I will say is that Rittenhouse, just like everyone else in America, is innocent until proven guilty and deserves a fair trial based on all the facts, not just the ones that support a certain narrative. This is why we try the accused in the court of law, not the star chamber of public opinion.”
Officials were instructed to bring conversations back to the need to preserve law and order: “This is also why we need to stop the violence in our cities. Chaotic and violent situations lead to chaotic, violent and tragic outcomes. Everyone needs law and order.”
Trump has already come out
asking if Rittenhouse is doing OK in jail and whether he needs an extra blanket or reading materials claiming that Rittenhouse was “trying to get away from them,” referring to the young men he shot and killed. Allegedly.
I would say that this is bizarre for a president and the Department of Homeland Security to be so invested in a shooting, but nothing we’ve seen so far in 2020 has remotely made any sense, and did I mention that the boy was white and that he’s a Trump supporter?