President Trump spent most of his first post-RNC press conference on Monday tearing into Democrats — accusing them of inciting “left-wing political violence” amid unrest that has broken out in Portland, Oregon and Kenosha, Wisconsin — without condemning his own supporters who appeared to contribute to recent violent clashes.
During the presser, the President defended his supporters who shot paint at Black Lives Matter protesters in Portland over the weekend, which resulted in the fatal shooting of one person. Trump seemed to double down on his retweet of a video showing his supporters driving into Portland with the comment “GREAT PATRIOTS.”
“Paint is a defensive mechanism,” Trump said. “Paint is not bullets.”
Trump’s presser ultimately culminated in his refusal to condemn Kyle Rittenhouse, the 17-year-old Trump supporter who has been criminally charged with homicide in the shooting deaths of two protesters in Kenosha, Wisconsin, amid unrest following the shooting of Jacob Blake by police that left him paralyzed.
When asked whether he condemns Rittenhouse’s actions, Trump replied “that was an interesting situation” before going on to suggest that the 17-year-old Trump supporter who allegedly killed two people during a protest in Kenosha acted in self-defense.
“You saw the same tape as I saw and he was trying to get away from them I guess, it looks like,” Trump said. “And he fell and then they very violently attacked him and it was something that we are looking at right now and it’s under investigation.”
The President added that he guesses that Rittenhouse was “in very big trouble” and that “he probably would’ve been killed.”
Follow along with the TPM staff below: