Rittenhouse says photo with Proud Boys was a set-up by his former lawyer

Kyle Rittenhouse said during a Tuesday interview that he had no idea that those he posed for a picture with in January were members of the Proud Boys.

The teen explained his side of the story in an interview with NewsNation’s Ashleigh Banfield regarding the photo taken in a bar, in which the teen was wearing a t-shirt that said “FREE AS F**K.”

“You have stated that you are not a racist, but there’s video footage of you using hand signs that are used by groups that are considered many to be white supremacists,” 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?”

“That’s a good question,” Rittenhouse responded. “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.

“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. “If I had known that they were Proud Boys, I would have said absolutely not.”

Rittenhouse said he was specifically referring to former attorney John Pierce, who sent him to the bar to meet the Proud Boys members.

“Your attorney arranged for a then-17-year-old to go to a bar to meet those people?” Banfield said.

“For them to do security,” Rittenhouse said.

The host went on to ask Rittenhouse if he now regrets the encounter, to which he replied, “I definitely don’t think it looked good to hang out with people who are now known to be Proud Boys.”

He added: “I definitely wouldn’t do that again.”

Rittenhouse also told Banfield that he fired Pierce and another attorney, Lin Wood, because of the situations they put him in and because he believes they were using him. Regarding Wood specifically, the teen said the Georgia-based attorney embraced “insane” political conspiracy theories related to former President Donald Trump’s 2020 election loss.

He also said the two lawyers wanted to use a false militia argument in order to defend him and that they “didn’t respect my wishes.”

Rittenhouse, who was acquitted of five charges including two murder counts in Kenosha on Friday, said the two attorneys were fired after he and his mother discovered that they had raised $2 million for his bail but left him in jail because they wanted to use his cause continue raising money ahead of the November 2020 election.

“Did she fire him because she found out that the money was in the pot but wasn’t being put towards bail?” Banfield asked.

“We fired him because he was, like, going on with all this QAnon and election fraud stuff and just stuff we don’t agree with,” Rittenhouse said.

“And so it was his political views that led to you firing Lin Wood,” Banfield asked.

“A mixture of a little bit of that,” Rittenhouse replied.

“He’s insane… How he thinks he’s God and he just says all these weird things. Like, ‘we’re going to keep that boy in jail because there’s not gonna be any… civil or criminal cases come the election,’ which is just complete insanity,” Rittenhouse added.

Missy Halsey


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