Kyle Rittenhouse apparently decided that Tucker Carlson’s Fox News show was the perfect platform on which to declare he is “not a racist” and supports the Black Lives Matter movement.
Now that Rittenhouse has been acquitted of all five felony charges against him for shooting and killing two people and wounding another at a Black Lives Matter demonstration in Wisconsin last August, his extensive interview with Carlson—whose crew was embedded with Rittenhouse during the trial—will air.
Portions of the interview will be broadcast on Tucker Carlson Tonight on Monday and will be the 18-year-old’s first media appearance since the verdict.
“This case has nothing to do with race,” he said in one clip, released by Fox News on Sunday. “It never had anything to do with race. It had to do with the right to self-defense.”
“Right,” Carlson replied.
“I am not a racist person. I support the BLM movement,” Rittenhouse continued. “I support peacefully demonstrating.”
In another clip, Rittenhouse explains to a scowling Carlson that “I had to do it. I was just attacked. I was dizzy, I was vomiting, I couldn’t breathe.”
Rittenhouse shot and killed 36-year-old Joseph Rosenbaum and 26-year-old Anthony Huber, and wounded 26-year-old Gaige Grosskreutz. On Friday, he could be seen breaking down in tears as he was exonerated of all felony counts associated with crossing state lines, obtaining an illegally procured weapon, and joining up with a militia to ostensibly protect a car dealership from protesters marching against the police shooting of Jacob Blake.
His acquittal sparked protests in several cities across the country, including Chicago, New York City, and Los Angeles.
Carlson himself is also having a busy month. The host, known for stirring up moral panics and invoking racist dog whistles on his shows, also just released a three-part documentary baselessly claiming the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol was orchestrated by leftist antifa members. More footage of his interview with Rittenhouse, Fox News said on Friday, will be released in December on Fox Nation, along with a full “Tucker Carlson Originals” documentary.
The documentary, not at all conceived as a means of driving up subscriptions to the conservative channel’s streaming service, will feature extensive and exclusive access Carlson’s crew was given to Rittenhouse during his trial. The network did not announce the crew’s embed until after the verdict was handed down on Friday.
Rittenhouse’s attorney, Mark Richards, told CNN’s Chris Cuomo on Friday that it was a “definite distraction” to have a crew there with his client. “I did not approve of that. I threw them out of the room several times,” Richards said, noting that his antipathy was not directed at Fox News specifically but rather any film crew at all.
The lawyer added that Rittenhouse and his family were the ones who made the final decision on the crew’s presence. “I had a talk with Kyle,” Richards said. “All I can say is what I say. Kyle is going to have some hard choices in his life about the direction he goes and what he stands for.”
In a preview of the documentary’s footage that aired on Friday, Rittenhouse can be seen sitting in the back seat of a car after the verdict. “The jury reached the correct verdict,” he says, smiling in response to a crew member asking how he’s feeling. “Self-defense is not illegal.”