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Contrary to a media account that portrays him as a far-right white supremacist, exonerated teenager Kyle Rittenhouse claims he was a big fan of Democrat Andrew Yang in the 2020 presidential election.

“I’m going to have a lot of hate for this, but I was a pretty big fan of Andrew Yang before all of this,” Rittenhouse told Fox News host Tucker Carlson on Wednesday. “I was part of the Yang Gang.”

Rittenhouse’s admiration for a non-white, progressive candidate with immigrant parents is ironic, given he has been portrayed by media and Democratic politicians as a far-right vigilante who visited Kenosha, Wisconsin. , in August 2020 to shoot people at a Black Lives Matter protest. Last week, the 18-year-old was acquitted of homicide and related charges in connection with the shooting, which left two dead and one injured among rioters, after jurors apparently believed Rittenhouse’s claims that he had acted in self-defense.

Considering that Rittenhouse was 17 at the time, it’s not entirely surprising that he was drawn to Yang, who resonated with many young Americans by advocating for universal basic income payments for compensate for future job losses due to automation. In fact, Yang – who has since become independent – was more dependent than any other Democratic candidate on younger voters, drawing the vast majority of his support from the under-30s.

“He’s a good guy” Rittenhouse said of Yang. He added, “I kinda liked his politics. Very clever.”

Rittenhouse said he was not in politics and knew little about Democratic candidate Joe Biden or then President Donald Trump. He said he attended a Trump rally because of the president’s support for police.

When asked if his experience as a trial had changed his policy, Rittenhouse said: “I tried to stay completely out of politics” but recognized that there would be people who do not support him “no matter what.”

I think it’s in my best interests to avoid politics because I’m not a political person. I’m just a person who was attacked and defended himself.

Nonetheless, conservative politicians are trying to score political points on Rittenhouse’s acquittal. At least two members of the United States Republican House have made internship offers to the teenager.

Trump met Rittenhouse on Tuesday at his Mar-a-Lago club in Florida and called him “A nice young man” who “Would have been dead” if he hadn’t shot down his three attackers. This assessment fell far short of the views of President Biden, who had previously condemned Rittenhouse as a white supremacist and said he was “angry and worried” by the verdict.

Rittenhouse said he found it “disgusting” that two of the rioters he shot, Anthony Huber and Gaige Grosskreutz, were described as heroes. “It was on video that they tried to assassinate me in the middle of the street.” He argued that a message was being sent that the rioters will be supported by the media and if their innocent victims defend themselves, “You are named a hero. “

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