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Trump defends Kenosha shooter charged with homicide as Biden decries violence ‘on the left or the right’

By Rex Huppke, Tribune Content Agency on

After weeks of patently false claims that Joe Biden hasn’t condemned violence and looting stemming from protests across the country, President Donald Trump on Monday refused to condemn the 17-year-old Illinoisan charged with shooting and killing two protesters in Kenosha.

“We’re looking at all of it,” Trump said. “That was an interesting situation.”

That “interesting situation” involve an assault-style-rifle-toting teen named Kyle Rittenhouse, a Trump supporter, who allegedly shot three protesters, killing two. He is charged with first-degree intentional homicide, first-degree reckless homicide and several other counts.

Trump continued: “You saw the same tape as I saw. And he was trying to get away from them. I guess it looks like he fell and then they very violently attacked him.”

The president neglected to note that Rittenhouse was being chased after he had already shot someone.

We’ve come to expect this from Trump, who has an unbroken streak of not speaking ill of white people who support him (or Russian presidents who support him).

 

Earlier in the day, Biden gave a speech in Pittsburgh that posed a question many honest Americans are asking: “Does anyone believe that there’d be less violence in America if Trump was re-elected?”

That question follows a weekend in which a Trump-supporting man associated with a far-right group called Patriot Prayers was shot dead on the street in Portland. It was a ghastly crime, as inexcusable as the double homicide in Kenosha that left a third protester injured.

But look at Biden’s response and Trump’s response and ask yourself which person is more likely to calm the waters.

In the immediate wake of the murder in Portland, Biden released a statement that read in part: “The deadly violence we saw overnight in Portland is unacceptable. Shooting in the streets of a great American city is unacceptable. I condemn this violence unequivocally. I condemn violence of every kind by any one, whether on the left or the right. And I challenge Donald Trump to do the same. It does not matter if you find the political views of your opponents abhorrent, any loss of life is a tragedy.”

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