Kyle Rittenhouse accused his former attorney on Tuesday of setting him up by organizing a meeting with the Proud Boys group, photographs from which were used to label him a white supremacist.
Rittenhouse, who was acquitted Friday of all five charges stemming from his August 2020 shooting of three men during a protest, gave an interview Tuesday to NewsNation’s Ashleigh Banfield, where he commented on the footage of him flashing a “white power sign” while posing with members of the Proud Boys.
“You have stated that you are not a racist, but yet there is a video footage of you using the hand signs that are used by groups that are considered by many to be white supremacist,” Banfield said. “Why have you associated with members of groups like the Proud Boys? Why have you used hand signs that are commonly associated with white supremacy?”
“I didn’t know that the OK hand sign was a symbol for white supremacy, just as I didn’t know those people in the bar were Proud Boys,” Rittenhouse responded.
“They were set up by my former attorney, who was fired because of that, for putting me in situations like that with people I don’t agree with,” he added. (RELATED: ‘Actual Malice’: Rittenhouse Responds To Biden Calling Him A ‘White Supremacist’)
this should be the only picture people use when talking about kyle rittenhouse. doing the white power symbol after he murdered people at a black lives matter protest. pic.twitter.com/BEmleAdjUo
— Vincent Martella (@VinMan17) November 19, 2021
The Proud Boys were founded by Canadian Vice Media co-founder Gavin McInnes in 2016 as an organization of “western chauvinists.” The group was officially labeled as a terrorist organization in Canada following its members’ participation in the riot at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.
The 18-year-old claimed that his former lawyer John Pierce arranged, but did not himself attend, the meeting with the white nationalist group in a Wisconsin bar. Pierce, he said, wanted to hire the members of the group to “do security.”
Rittenhouse also said he thought that those people were “a bunch of construction dudes based on how they looked” and learned of their links to the white supremacist group only from the headlines.
“I definitely don’t think it looked good to hang out with people who are now known to be Proud Boys. I definitely wouldn’t do that again,” Rittenhouse said.