On January 5 Kyle Rittenhouse posed for photos with Proud Boys in a bar, which were circulated as proof that he was aligned with the group.
Now he says he didn’t know he was in a roomful of Proud Boys, nor that the OK hand sign was a symbol of white supremacy.
“I found out they were Proud Boys when I saw the headlines,” Rittenhouse told NewsNation. “I thought they were just a bunch of, like, construction dudes based on how they looked.”
He blames his former lawyers, Lin Wood and John Pierce, for putting him in situations like that with people he doesn’t agree with. Rittenhouse says those lawyers were fired for doing that.
Rittenhouse says that Pierce arranged the meeting in the Wisconsin bar, but wasn’t there himself, and that those same lawyers discussed having the Proud Boys provide security. Rittenhouse says he wanted nothing to do with them.
Rittenhouse also said Lin Wood was “insane,” and was also fired for believing in QAnon conspiracy theories.
“(Wood) thinks he’s God,” Rittenhouse said. “And he just says all these weird things like, ‘We’re going to keep that boy in jail, because there’s not going to be any civil or criminal cases come the election,’ which is just complete insanity.”
“That is insulting and mocking of God,” Wood said. He said he only talked to Rittenhouse twice, for fewer than five minutes each time. Wood said he didn’t know what QAnon was, and that Rittenhouse’s characterization of him was “asinine.”
Wood’s organization, the #FightBack Foundation, raised money for Rittenhouse’s $2 million bail, and now that Rittenhouse has been acquitted, who gets that money is now in dispute. Wood says his foundation’s status as a 501(c)(3) charity means he cannot give the money to Rittenhouse. Wood is open to using the money to help Rittenhouse with his legal bills, but that he could not provide any of the money to Rittenhouse that doesn’t pay for his defense.
Rittenhouse insisted several times in the interview that he does not want to be anyone’s political icon.
The complete interview will be aired tonight on NewsNation.