Donald Trump Jr. seemed to empathize with Kyle Rittenhouse, the 17-year-old Illinois teen accused of killing two protesters and wounding a third at a Black Lives Matter protest on Aug. 25 in Kenosha, Wisconsin. In an interview with the television show Extra, Trump Jr. sidestepped questions about Jacob Blake and expressed sympathy for Rittenhouse.
“We’re waiting for due process,” Trump Jr. said, when pressed by interviewer Rachel Lindsay. “We’re not jumping to a conclusion.” Putting himself in Rittenhouse’s shoes, Trump Jr. noted that “maybe I shouldn’t have been there.”
“He’s a young kid. I don’t want young kids running around the streets with AR-15s,” he continued. “Maybe I wouldn’t have put myself in that situation—who knows…? We all do stupid things at 17.”
Lindsay pressed Trump Jr. on this final statement, emphasizing that “it’s a little beyond stupid.” Trump Jr. responded that the killing of two people is: “really stupid—fine. But we all have to let due process play out and let due process take its course.”
Earlier in the interview, Lindsay pressed Trump Jr. on the Black Lives Matter protests erupting across the country. She also brought up Jacob Blake, the Black man whose shooting prompted the protests in Kenosha. Blake survived seven shots to the back from police, but remains hospitalized. In a recent video, Blake expressed that “every 24 hours is nothing but pain.”
Lindsay questioned Trump Jr. on the president’s silence regarding Blake’s shooting and on his decision to meet with police, rather than Blake’s family, on his recent trip to Kenosha. Trump Jr. said the president chose not to speak with the Blake family due to their desire to have an attorney present.