Donald Trump met Kyle Rittenhouse on Tuesday, the former president revealed, after the 18-year-old rang and asked to meet him.
Rittenhouse, who was acquitted on Friday by a Wisconsin court over the August 2020 shooting of two protesters, was in Florida on Sunday for an interview with Fox News’s Tucker Carlson.
He told Carlson he had previously been considering leaving his Illinois home and living in Naples, Florida, but was now unsure where he would be based.
On Tuesday he was meeting Trump, and the former president told Sean Hannity that the teenager was ‘a fan’ of his.
‘Kyle called. He wanted to know if he could come over, because he’s a fan,’ Trump said.
Donald Trump met Kyle Rittenhouse on Tuesday, with the teenager traveling from his Illinois home to Florida ahead of an interview at the weekend with Tucker Carlson
Kyle Rittenhouse went to visit Donald Trump at Mar-a-Lago on Tuesday, the former president said
Kyle Rittenhouse on Monday night accused Joe Biden of defamation, saying he acted with ‘malice’ and his lawyers were contemplating suing
Rittenhouse sat down with Carlson days after being cleared of homicide, attempted homicide and more in the shooting deaths of two men
‘Really a nice man. He came over with his mother.’
Trump said Rittenhouse should never have been brought to trial, insisting that he acted in self-defense.
‘That was prosecutorial misconduct,’ said Trump.
‘He would have been dead.
‘He’s a really good young guy. 18 years old. Just left Mar-a-Lago a little while ago.
‘That was prosecutorial misconduct, and it should never have happened.’
WISCONSIN CHRISTMAS PARADE TRAGEDY
He was asked about the deaths of six people in Waukesha, Wisconsin on Sunday – killed when Darrell Brooks drove his SUV into the crowd at a Christmas parade.
Brooks, a well-known criminal with a 22-year rap sheet, who had been released from jail two weeks previously on a $1,000 bond, should never have been bailed, Trump said.
‘He was out on bail.
‘And he was a rough cookie,’ said Trump.
‘Looks like they caught him in another act.
‘The good news is he hated Trump, based on early reporting.
‘He should never have been out.’
The former president called it ‘a terrible, terrible situation’.
Terrifying video posted to social media shows a speeding red SUV collide into a group of people marching in the middle of the street during the annual holiday parade in Waukesha, some 20 miles west of downtown Milwaukee
A family’s chairs lie discarded on the side of the parade route on Monday morning
A person walks past a police car blocking Main Street the morning after a car plowed through a holiday parade in Waukesha
RUSSIAN MEDDLING AND ‘FAKE NEWS’
Hannity asked Trump how he felt about the dossier produced by British former intelligence officer Christopher Steele, commissioned by the Democrats.
The dossier alleged that the Kremlin held compromising material on Trump, and was blackmailing him.
It has now emerged that a key source of information for the dossier was not telling the truth.
Hannity remarked that refuting the claims made in the file ‘consumed three years of your presidency,’ adding: ‘It was all based on a lie.’
Trump said the dossier was reported on because the media ‘are corrupt.’
He added: ‘They are. I say it and I don’t want to say it much. I say it and I hope in the future I won’t have to. They are the enemy of the people.
‘We could have a country that would be able to heal and get together except the media foments it.
‘I came up with the term with the fake news. But it’s really the corrupt news.
‘They are so important – they used to have a high approval rating and now have a lower rating than Mitch McConnell. People got wise to it. It’s a shame.’
Trump said the news outlets that published stories based on the dossier should retract them.
‘They should retract it. They won Pulitzer prizes for their coverage of Russia.
‘Our country focuses on so many of these fake investigations. We don’t focus on greatness any longer.
‘Everything is an investigation. You look at what is going on now.
‘They have an unselect committee.
‘The way they are treating people.
‘And yet Antifa, who are bad, and BLM. All of the death and destruction they cause and they don’t go after them.
‘They go after people that in many cases, not in all cases but many cases are patriots.
‘You have should bad people.
‘You look at what happened at the Capitol. You had bad people that were want patriots at all and they came from other places like Antifa and including others, and they led a lot of people astray. They don’t want to cover that.’
Trump supporters, egged on by the president himself, stormed the Capitol on January 6
The mob overran the Capitol Police shortly after Trump urged them to ‘fight’ on his behalf
Rioters are seen on January 6, storming the Capitol. Trump on Tuesday said there were ‘patriots’ among them
BIDEN’S INTERNATIONAL WEAKNESS
Trump laid into his successor, accusing him of weakness and of embarrassing the United States.
He was especially blunt about Biden’s son, Hunter.
Asked whether he felt that China and Russia had a dossier of compromising material on Hunter Biden, Trump replied: ‘They probably do, and I hope they don’t, and I wish the family well.
‘That’s dirty stuff, and it’s a dirty game.
‘If that were my kids they’d be in jail for the rest of their lives.’
He said he had ‘sanctioned Russia like they had never been sanctioned before.’
He said he got along ‘really great with President Xi, and President Putin.’
Donald Trump appeared on Sean Hannity’s show on Tuesday night
‘They are all at the top of their game. We need somebody at the top of their game. Maybe cognitive tests should be mandated.
‘Look what’s happening. Look how weak we look.
‘You don’t think Russia and China are looking and laughing all the way to the bank?
‘I can just see Abdul – head of the Taliban, who we dealt with – ‘Hey, Abdul, the Americans have left! No way? Yes! They left, with all their equipment.’
He added: ‘What we’ve done is so horrible.’
Trump said he was particularly dismayed by the terrible scenes in Afghanistan in August, as the U.S. withdrew following his agreement with the Taliban.
The New York billionaire has frequently said that Biden was right to follow his plan to get out of Afghanistan, but wrong in how he went about it.
‘Biden should never have allowed that mess in Afghanistan,’ he said.
‘We were going to get our American citizens out first, and others who deserved it.
‘You take your soldiers out last. And all your military equipment. They left $85 billion worth of the best equipment in the world,’ he added.
Trump said he was dismayed by a Taliban procession of U.S. military equipment ‘when we essentially surrendered’.
Trump was damning in his assessment of Biden’s energy policy, describing the Green New Deal as ridiculous.
‘I thought it was a hoax when it first came out,’ he said.
He said those currently running the country were ‘allowing other countries to surpass us’ and called on the United States to return to energy independence.
Trump said the U.S. was blessed with natural resources like oil and gas ‘which China does not have’.
He mocked the promotion of renewable energy, saying: “Wind is ruining our beautiful prairies and our beautiful lands, it’s killing our birds.
‘You see what happened in Texas when the windmills froze.’
He said the rising fuel costs were hurting ordinary Americans.
‘It’s actually the biggest tax increase you could imagine,’ he told Hannity.
‘We got inexpensive gasoline. We had clean energy. We had the best numbers on the environment you’ve had in 50 years.
‘We filled up the strategic reserves – no other president wanted to do it.
‘We filled them up – 75 million barrels.
‘Now the Biden administration wants to use that, and force down the price of gasoline. It’s ridiculous.’
Trump said he was close to agreeing tighter regulation of Silicon Valley when he lost the election, and would have been tougher in a second term.
He told Hannity about his meetings with Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.
‘He came to the White House on numerous occasions,’ Trump said.
‘You look at what he’s done – very unfair for our country. Very unfair for the world, actually.
‘He was concerned we were doing things – we would have had that under control,’ said the former president, referencing attempts to regulate Silicon Valley.
‘He would often come to the White House trying to get goodies. He didn’t do too well.’
Zuckerberg, pictured with Trump in Sept 2019, said allowing Trump on Facebook was too risky
Trump, 75, is continuing to tease a run for the presidency in 2024.
Asked what he would do if he were re-elected, Trump told Hannity he would finish what he started.
‘There are many things I would complete,’ he said, mentioning the border wall and trade deals with Europe.
‘I had to waste a lot of time with fake investigations.’
New polling data suggests Trump leads Joe Biden in the five key battleground states narrowly lost by the Republican last year ‒ Arizona, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin.
The former president spoke to Sean Hannity on Tuesday night, discussing COVID, foreign policy, energy, the environment and his plans for 2024
The poll conducted by Trump’s pollster Tony Fabrizio, and obtained by Politico, sees the margins of Trump’s lead range from three points in Georgia to 12 in Michigan.
Fabrizio told Politico: ‘Poll after poll clearly demonstrates that Trump is still the 800lb gorilla in the [Republican party] and would be its 2024 nominee should he run.
‘This new data clearly shows that today the voters in these five key states would be happy to return Trump to the White House and send Biden packing.’
Nationwide, Biden is currently polling at 42 per cent thinking favorably of his leadership, and 52 per cent unfavorably, according to Real Clear Politics‘ poll of polls.
Trump is around the same, with 41 per cent favorable and 52 per cent unfavorable.
And, while he mulls attempting to retake the White House, he is keeping himself in the public conscience through his emailed statements – weighing in almost daily on issues ranging from Kyle Rittenhouse’s acquittal to oil reserves.
He is also publishing a hardcover collection of hundreds of photographs from his administration, featuring his own captions, some handwritten.
The book – Our Journey Together – is scheduled for December 7, but not through a traditional New York publisher.
It will instead be released by a new company formed by son Donald Trump Jr. and campaign aide Sergio Gor, Winning Team Publishing.
”Our Journey Together’ features unforgettable moments from our time in Washington: building the Southern Border Wall; cutting America´s taxes; confirming almost 300 federal judges and 3 Supreme Court justices; rebuilding our military; creating Space Force; dealing with Kim Jong-Un, President Xi, President Putin, and many other world leaders,’ the former president said in a statement Friday.
While Barack Obama, George W. Bush and other recent predecessors of Trump wrote memoirs and announced multi-million dollar deals with Penguin Random House and other publishing houses soon after leaving office, New York publishers have resisted working with Trump – especially after the Jan. 6 siege of the U.S. Capitol by some of his supporters.
Trump, pictured on December 31, 2020, is weighing up a new run at the White House
Simon & Schuster dropped a book by one Trump backer, Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri, and faced widespread anger within the company for reaching a deal for a memoir by Trump’s vice president, Mike Pence.
Trump has referred at times to publishing a memoir, ‘the book of all books,’ but has otherwise granted interviews to Michael Wolff, Jonathan Karl of ABC News and others writing about him.
Should he release a memoir through Winning Team, it would be a test for how a new publisher could manage sales and distribution for a book which could well sell millions of copies.
The web site for Winning Team Publishing offers few details – no masthead or listings for books besides Trump’s. (‘Official Merch’ is ‘coming soon’).
Gor declined to discuss Winning Team’s plans, but says that additional authors have been signed.
Winning Team Publishing continues a wave of conservative imprints, among them the Daily Wire’s DW Books and All Seasons Press, formed this year by those who allege they are being ‘silenced’ by mainstream publishers.
Trump’s statement included a link to the company site, where the book can be preordered for $74.99 in standard format (new photo books have been known to sell for anywhere from $40 to more than $150) and $229.99 for a signed copy.
‘Our Journey Together’ is also listed on Amazon.com, whose founder Jeff Bezos Trump has often attacked, though as of midday Friday it was not available for purchase.
According to Amazon, the book is 320 pages, with a suggested reading audience of 12 years and up.