President Biden’s controversial remarks about Kyle Rittenhouse, in which he appeared to refer to the teen as a “white supremacist” were referenced in court during proceedings.
Judge Bruce Schroeder told jurors to “pay no heed to the opinions of anyone, even the president of the United States” in reaching their verdict.
He seemed to have been referring to comments Mr Biden made on the 2020 election campaign trail.
In September 2020, Mr Biden posted a video on social media which included a clip of Mr Rittenhouse carrying the AR-15 he used to shoot dead two men and wound a third during a night of unrest amid anti-racist protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin, one month earlier.
“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,” Mr Biden tweeted alongside the video, referring to Mr Trump’s refusal to condemn white supremacists during a presidential debate.
Mr Rittenhouse’s mother Wendy said she was angry with Mr Biden and accused him of defaming her son. She vigorously defended her son against the notion he was a supremacist.
“He is not a white supremacist. He is not a racist,” Wendy Rittenhouse said in an interview with Fox News as the trial was underway.
“I was in shock. I was angry. President Biden don’t know my son, whatsoever,” she said.
When asked by a reporter what the White House response was to the “not guilty” verdict in the case, press secretary Jen Psaki replied: “Let me talk to the president, talk to our team and we will get you a statement as soon as we can.”
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