“Well, hindsight being 20/20, probably not the best idea to go down there,” he said Monday on the podcast You Are Here from right-wing media company the Blaze. “Can’t change that. But I defended myself and that’s what happened.”
Rittenhouse was acquitted of homicide and attempted homicide after shooting and killing Joseph Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber and injuring one other during unrest at a racial justice protest last summer. Because both Huber and Rosenbaum served time in prison, the right has tried to paint them as dangerous individuals who got what was coming to them. You Are Here co-host Sydney Watson told Rittenhouse that she found it “kind of impressive” that “of all the people that you shot at, you killed probably two of the worst on the planet.”
“Congratulations. Good job, you,” she told him, according to The Washington Post.
But Rittenhouse disagreed, saying that the shootings “nothing to be congratulated about” and that he wishes he “would never have had to take somebody’s life.”
But he was not totally contrite. Rittenhouse also bragged to the podcast hosts that he played Call of Duty — a first-person shooter video game — every night of the trial and said “fuck you” to LeBron James because the basketball star accused him of faking his tears on the witness stand. When Watson asked if he regretted going to Kenosha that night, Rittenhouse admitted it was “probably not the best idea.”
“You don’t like when people call you a hero?” Watson asked. “Does it make you uncomfortable?”
“It does — it really does … Because I don’t think I did anything heroic. I just defended myself,” the teen replied.
Regardless of his wishes, the right has already adopted Rittenhouse as a star. Following his acquittal, he has been making his way through the right-wing universe by sitting down for interviews with people like Tucker Carlson and Charlie Kirk. He even visited to Mar-a-Lago where he and his mother met former President Trump. “He’s a fan,” Trump later said of the teen. Even far-right extremist groups are praising Rittenhouse. According to The Salt Lake Tribune, the far-right group Proud Boys, which the Southern Poverty Law Center has identified as a “hate group,” plans to hold a “Kyle Rittenhouse Appreciation” event in downtown Salt Lake this weekend. The paper warned its readers to expect them to be armed.