About an hour after Kyle Rittenhouse was found not guilty on all counts, Joe Biden was asked about the matter by a press pool. “I stand by what the jury has concluded,” Biden stated. However, the White House later released an official statement in which Biden said he was “angry and concerned” with the verdict. He still reiterated his respect for the jury system in his follow-up statement.
In a follow-up press release, Biden stated that he was “angry and concerned” with the Rittenhouse verdict while still reiterating that he respects the decision of the jury. He later urged “everyone to express their views peacefully.”
JUST IN: Pres. Biden responds to Kyle Rittenhouse verdict: “I stand by what the jury has concluded. The jury system works and we have to abide by it.” https://t.co/3e24Bl7iaD pic.twitter.com/v8bxygFxMU
— ABC News (@ABC) November 19, 2021
Biden has falsely accused Rittenhouse of being a “white supremacist” on the campaign trail. Shortly after the August 2020 unrest in Kenosha, Biden told Anderson Cooper that Rittenhouse was part of a “white supremacist militia” operating out of Illinois.
Then-candidate Biden made a similar claim in September, 2020 when he shared a video montage portraying Trump as sympathetic to “white supremacists”. The montage included an image of Rittenhouse.
Rittenhouse’s mother, Wendy Rittenhouse, announced she would be bringing a defamation lawsuit against Biden in November of last year. “Kyle is a caring young man. He went to Kenosha to help people. What Joe Biden did, showing my son’s picture and labeling him a white supremacist – I will take him down,” Wendy Rittenhouse told Tucker Carlson at the time.
There’s no other way to put it: the President of the United States refused to disavow white supremacists on the debate stage last night. pic.twitter.com/Q3VZTW1vUV
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) September 30, 2020
Jen Psaki was asked about Biden’s false claims at a press briefing on Monday. “Why did President Biden suggest that Kyle Rittenhouse, on trial in Kenosha, is a white supremacist?” Peter Doocy of Fox News asked Psaki. “What I’m not gonna speak to right now is anything about an ongoing trial, nor the President’s past comments,” she replied, sidestepping the question. Psaki also made vague comments about “vigilantes patrolling our communities with assault weapons.”
Multiple politicians have called for Biden to publicly apologize for falsely accusing Rittenhouse of being a white supremacist. “Joe Biden needs to publicly apologize to Kyle Rittenhouse” U.S. Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) wrote in a tweet. Others regurgitated similar false claims, including Rep. Cori Bush (D-MO), who claimed the verdict was the result of white supremacy. “This system isn’t built to hold white supremacists accountable. It’s why Black and brown folks are brutalized and put in cages while white supremacist murderers walk free,” Bush said.
Rittenhouse lead defense attorney Mark Richards also weighed in on Biden’s comments during a post-trial press conference. “Biden said some things that I think are so incorrect and untrue,” Richards said. “He’s not a white supremacist. I’m glad that he at least respects the jury verdict.”
NOW – Rittenhouse defense attorney Mark Richards: “Biden said some things that I think are so incorrect and untrue.” pic.twitter.com/DLmHeKmHlW
— Disclose.tv (@disclosetv) November 19, 2021