Kyle Rittenhouse says his fired lawyer Lin Wood ‘set him up’ to pose with Proud Boys

, Kyle Rittenhouse says his fired lawyer Lin Wood ‘set him up’ to pose with Proud Boys, Nzuchi Times National News

Kyle Rittenhouse says that he did not know he was posing with members of the far-right group Proud Boys and that he had no idea the hand gesture he was making symbolized white supremacy as he blamed former attorney Lin Wood for the mishap.

Rittenhouse insists he didn’t know the meaning of the ‘okay’ hand gesture, which he made as he was photographed standing alongside members of the Proud Boys at a bar in Wisconsin on January 5. 

‘I didn’t know that the “okay” hand sign was a symbol for white supremacy – just as I didn’t know those people in the bar were Proud Boys,’ Rittenhouse says.

The Illinois teen who was acquitted in the fatal shootings of two men and the wounding of a third during the Kenosha riots in August of last year says it was Wood who set up the picture.

The meetings ‘were set up by my former attorney who was fired because of that, for putting me in situations like that with people I don’t agree with,’ Rittenhouse told Ashleigh Banfield of NewsNation.

DailyMail.com has reached out to Wood seeking comment in response to Rittenhouse’s claims. 

Banfield’s full length interview with Rittenhouse airs on Tuesday night beginning at 10pm Eastern time, 9pm Central.  

, Kyle Rittenhouse says his fired lawyer Lin Wood ‘set him up’ to pose with Proud Boys, Nzuchi Times National News

, Kyle Rittenhouse says his fired lawyer Lin Wood ‘set him up’ to pose with Proud Boys, Nzuchi Times National News

, Kyle Rittenhouse says his fired lawyer Lin Wood ‘set him up’ to pose with Proud Boys, Nzuchi Times National News

, Kyle Rittenhouse says his fired lawyer Lin Wood ‘set him up’ to pose with Proud Boys, Nzuchi Times National News

Kyle Rittenhouse (left) says that he did not know he was posing with members of the far-right group Proud Boys and that he had no idea the hand gesture he was making symbolized white supremacy as he blamed former attorney Lin Wood (right) for the mishap

, Kyle Rittenhouse says his fired lawyer Lin Wood ‘set him up’ to pose with Proud Boys, Nzuchi Times National News

, Kyle Rittenhouse says his fired lawyer Lin Wood ‘set him up’ to pose with Proud Boys, Nzuchi Times National News

Rittenhouse insists he didn’t know the meaning of the ‘okay’ hand gesture, which he made as he was photographed standing alongside members of the Proud Boys at a bar in Wisconsin on January 5.

, Kyle Rittenhouse says his fired lawyer Lin Wood ‘set him up’ to pose with Proud Boys, Nzuchi Times National News

, Kyle Rittenhouse says his fired lawyer Lin Wood ‘set him up’ to pose with Proud Boys, Nzuchi Times National News

, Kyle Rittenhouse says his fired lawyer Lin Wood ‘set him up’ to pose with Proud Boys, Nzuchi Times National News

, Kyle Rittenhouse says his fired lawyer Lin Wood ‘set him up’ to pose with Proud Boys, Nzuchi Times National News

Rittenhouse says John Pierce (left) and Lin Wood (right), two former attorneys for Rittenhouse who formed a charity that helped raise money toward his bond and legal defense, were responsible for arranging the meeting with Proud Boys in the Wisconsin bar. The two attorneys are reportedly demanding they be repaid their portion of the cash raised toward bail

That photo was used by Kenosha prosecutors during the trial. They attempted to portray Rittenhouse as a white supremacist who was motivated to shoot supporters of Black Lives Matter.

Rittenhouse is seen in the photo making the ‘okay’ sign at Pudgy’s Pub in Mount Pleasant, Wisconsin, which is about 15 miles northwest of Kenosha.

He says that it was another former attorney, John Pierce, who ‘arranged’ the group of Proud Boys, even though Pierce himself wasn’t there.

DailyMail.com has reached out to Pierce seeking comment. 

‘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.’

Rittenhouse said that his ex-attorneys raised the possibility of having the Proud Boys provide security, but that idea was quashed because the Illinois teen didn’t ‘want anything to do with them.’

, Kyle Rittenhouse says his fired lawyer Lin Wood ‘set him up’ to pose with Proud Boys, Nzuchi Times National News

, Kyle Rittenhouse says his fired lawyer Lin Wood ‘set him up’ to pose with Proud Boys, Nzuchi Times National News

Rittenhouse, 18, collapsed in tears as the jury in his double murder trial acquitted him of all charges after four torturous days of deliberation and weeks of testimony

He said Wood, a prominent defamation lawyer from Atlanta who is known as a fierce supporter of Donald Trump, was ‘insane.’

Rittenhouse said he fired Wood partly due to the lawyer’s belief 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.’

Rittenhouse told Banfield that he was ‘considering changing my name.’

He also joked that he might grow a beard and lose weight in order so that people won’t recognize him.

‘I gained [the weight] back during this stressful time,’ he said. 

When asked if he had any regret about what happened, Rittenhouse said that he does regret being in that situation, though he does not regret exercising self-defense.

‘I regret going there, I don’t regret defending myself,’ Rittenhouse told NewsNation.

‘I regret making the decision to go there but…what I’m trying to say is, if I could go back I would not have gone there.’ 

Rittenhouse was 17 last year when he traveled 20 miles from his home in Antioch, Illinois, to Kenosha, Wisconsin, which had been racked with protests in the wake of the August 23 shooting of Jacob Blake.

, Kyle Rittenhouse says his fired lawyer Lin Wood ‘set him up’ to pose with Proud Boys, Nzuchi Times National News

, Kyle Rittenhouse says his fired lawyer Lin Wood ‘set him up’ to pose with Proud Boys, Nzuchi Times National News

Clearly disappointed, prosecutor Thomas Binger, who has been heavily criticized for his actions during the case, sat back in his chair, looked at the ceiling, and issued a sigh as the verdict came in 

, Kyle Rittenhouse says his fired lawyer Lin Wood ‘set him up’ to pose with Proud Boys, Nzuchi Times National News

, Kyle Rittenhouse says his fired lawyer Lin Wood ‘set him up’ to pose with Proud Boys, Nzuchi Times National News

, Kyle Rittenhouse says his fired lawyer Lin Wood ‘set him up’ to pose with Proud Boys, Nzuchi Times National News

, Kyle Rittenhouse says his fired lawyer Lin Wood ‘set him up’ to pose with Proud Boys, Nzuchi Times National News

Rittenhouse fatally shot Joseph Rosenbaum (left), 36, with an AR-15-style semiautomatic rifle after Rosenbaum chased Rittenhouse across a parking lot and threw a plastic bag at him shortly before midnight on August 25, 2020. Moments later, as Rittenhouse was running down a street, he shot and killed Anthony Huber (right), 26, a protester from Silver Lake, Wisconsin

, Kyle Rittenhouse says his fired lawyer Lin Wood ‘set him up’ to pose with Proud Boys, Nzuchi Times National News

, Kyle Rittenhouse says his fired lawyer Lin Wood ‘set him up’ to pose with Proud Boys, Nzuchi Times National News

Rittenhouse is seen on the night of August 25, 2020 in Kenosha. He said that he regrets being there that night, though he does not regret defending himself

That shooting and the response in Kenosha – protests that turned destructive – became part of the national reckoning over police use of force against Black people following George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis the previous May at the hands of police.

Rittenhouse, armed with an AR-style semiautomatic rifle, joined others who said they were intent on protecting private property from potential damage on August 25.

During his trial, prosecutors argued that the teenager was a ‘wannabe soldier’ who went looking for trouble that night.

Rittenhouse countered that he fired in self-defense after he was attacked and in fear for his life.

A jury last Friday found Rittenhouse not guilty on charges of homicide, attempted homicide and reckless endangering in the deaths of Joseph Rosenbaum, 36, and Anthony Huber, 26, and the wounding of Gaige Grosskreutz, now 28. 

This is the second media interview that Rittenhouse has done in which he has harshly criticized his former attorneys – Wood and Pierce.

During a Fox News interview on Monday, Rittenhouse hit out at his former attorneys for raising money for themselves while letting him rot in jail for 87 days. 

Rittenhouse’s lawyers are also locked in a legal dispute with Wood and Pierce as they seek to have his $2 million bail returned to their acquitted client. 

Rittenhouse told Fox News host Tucker Carlson that Wood and Pierce raised money on his behalf after he was jailed for the shootings.

But he said that while the lawyers had raised enough bail money by mid-September, they chose not to post his bail because they wanted to use him for their own cause.

‘I was in jail for 87 days,’ Rittenhouse told Carlson on Monday in his first interview since being acquitted. 

‘Lin Wood was raising money on my behalf, and he held me in jail for 87 days, disrespecting my wishes, put me on media interviews which I should never have done, which he said, “Oh, you’re going to go talk to The Washington Post,” which was not a good idea, along with John Pierce.’ 

, Kyle Rittenhouse says his fired lawyer Lin Wood ‘set him up’ to pose with Proud Boys, Nzuchi Times National News

, Kyle Rittenhouse says his fired lawyer Lin Wood ‘set him up’ to pose with Proud Boys, Nzuchi Times National News

Rittenhouse, who sat down with Tucker Carlson (left) for first interview since acquittal on Monday, ripped his former lawyers for trying to profit off his name as legal fight brews over his $2 million bail

‘They said I was safer in jail instead of at home with my family.’

Carlson responded: ‘Eight-seven days is a long time to be in jail.’  

‘It was very long,’ said Rittenhouse. 

‘I lost a lot of weight in there. But 87 days of not being with my family for defending myself and being taken advantage of, being used for a cause by these–by John Pierce and Lin Wood… trying to raise money so they can take it for their own benefit, not trying to set me free.’ 

Wood and Pierce, who helped raise the bond money to get Rittenhouse released from jail via their #FightBack foundation after his arrest, want their foundation’s cash back, but the 18-year-old Antioch, Illinois, resident’s family is refusing.    

Mark Richards, the criminal defense lawyer who won Rittenhouse’s freedom,  immediately filed to have the $2 million returned to his client a lawsuit after Friday’s not guilty verdict.

‘I suspect there will be a fight over that,’ Richards told Kenosha News.

‘John Pierce is the person who posted the bond. All that money was raised on behalf of Kyle.

‘Lin Wood and FightBack say they are entitled to it.’

Richards added: ‘There was half a million dollars I think that came directly from [Kyle’s mother] Wendy Rittenhouse from money she raised.

, Kyle Rittenhouse says his fired lawyer Lin Wood ‘set him up’ to pose with Proud Boys, Nzuchi Times National News
, Kyle Rittenhouse says his fired lawyer Lin Wood ‘set him up’ to pose with Proud Boys, Nzuchi Times National News

, Kyle Rittenhouse says his fired lawyer Lin Wood ‘set him up’ to pose with Proud Boys, Nzuchi Times National News

Rittenhouse’s lead attorney Mark Richards has also been critical of Wood, calling him an ‘idiot’

‘So there’s going to be a fight over that, and I’m just thankful there will be a fight over it.’ 

Rittenhouse was asked if Wood and Pierce simply chose to not raise his bail money faster for their own benefit. 

‘I believe – sometime in September, September 5, I want to say – they had over a million dollars, and bail was set and able to be posted in September. So they could’ve had me sign the waiver for extradition and had me back in Wisconsin, and I could have been bailed out by mid-September. But they wanted to keep me in jail until November 20.’ 

Rittenhouse’s new team has previously been critical of the two. Richards even called Wood an ‘idiot.’

Wood has since threatened to sue Richards.  

Pierce, of the Los Angeles-based law firm Pierce Bainbridge, represented Rittenhouse at the time that his firm wrote a $2 million check springing him from jail in late November 2020.

Pierce was brought on to the Rittenhouse legal team by Wood. Together, they formed a nonprofit called the #FightBack Foundation. 

Using the social media hashtag #FightBack, they managed to raise around $2million, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Wood then left the Rittenhouse legal team in order to help then-President Donald Trump contest the election results in court.

, Kyle Rittenhouse says his fired lawyer Lin Wood ‘set him up’ to pose with Proud Boys, Nzuchi Times National News

, Kyle Rittenhouse says his fired lawyer Lin Wood ‘set him up’ to pose with Proud Boys, Nzuchi Times National News

, Kyle Rittenhouse says his fired lawyer Lin Wood ‘set him up’ to pose with Proud Boys, Nzuchi Times National News

, Kyle Rittenhouse says his fired lawyer Lin Wood ‘set him up’ to pose with Proud Boys, Nzuchi Times National News

My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell (left) and former child actor Ricky Schroder (right) have also made donations toward Rittenhouse’s legal fund

, Kyle Rittenhouse says his fired lawyer Lin Wood ‘set him up’ to pose with Proud Boys, Nzuchi Times National News

, Kyle Rittenhouse says his fired lawyer Lin Wood ‘set him up’ to pose with Proud Boys, Nzuchi Times National News

Schroder is seen far left alongside Rittenhouse and his mother, Wendy Rittenhouse

The Rittenhouse family then fired Pierce in February. The family has accused both Lin and Pierce of diverting money meant to help Rittenhouse.

By law, bond should be returned to whoever posted it after the trial is over. In this case, it appears to be Pierce’s law firm.

But Wood claims that his #FightBack Foundation is the one that raised the money and thus should get the cash.

Former child actor Ricky Schroder and My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell have also been credited with making donations toward Rittenhouse’s legal fund.

Rittenhouse also criticized the two for saying he was in an ‘unorganized militia’ upon the teen’s release from jail. 

‘John Pierce said that and it’s blatantly false,’ he replied. ‘I didn’t know militia was until after the fact, until November 25, when I was watching some of the interviews he did. I’m like, I’m not in a militia. I don’t know what that is.’        

Psaki justifies Biden calling Rittenhouse a ‘white supremacist’ because ‘he posed with Proud Boys’ – then blames TRUMP for ‘encouraging militia groups and people taking law into their own hands’ 

Asked if President Biden would apologize to Kyle Rittenhouse for suggesting he was a white supremacist, press secretary Jen Psaki deflected to President Trump‘s refusal to condemn white supremacy. 

‘Would the president ever apologize to the acquitted Kenosha shooter Kyle Rittenhouse for suggesting online and on TV that he is a white supremacist?’ Fox News‘ Peter Doocy asked Psaki in a daily briefing. 

‘President Trump … didn’t just refuse to condemn militia groups on the debate stage he actively encouraged them throughout his presidency,’ Psaki replied. 

‘So what we’ve seen are the tragic consequences of that – when people think it’s okay to take the law into their own hands instead of allowing law enforcement to do its job.’ 

Psaki continued: ‘The president spoke to the verdict last week. He has obviously condemned the hatred and division and violence from groups like the Proud Boys, and obviously that individual has posed in photos with, but beyond that I’ll leave it to his comments around the verdict.’ 

During the trial, prosecutors presented a photo of Rittenhouse as evidence of him consorting with white supremacists, citing the use of the ‘OK’ sign, which has been co-opted as a sign of ‘white power.’ 

The photo at a bar in Wisconsin was from Jan. 5, 2021, the day he was arraigned on charges related to the killing of two people at an August protest in Kenosha. 

Rittenhouse, who was widely branded as a white supremacist after he fatally shot two white people at a Black Lives Matter protest, told Fox News’ Tucker Carlson after his acquittal that he laid some of the blame for the vitriol against him on President Biden, who he accused of of ‘defamation’ and ‘malice.’ 

He said he is considering legal action against the president.  

, Kyle Rittenhouse says his fired lawyer Lin Wood ‘set him up’ to pose with Proud Boys, Nzuchi Times National News

, Kyle Rittenhouse says his fired lawyer Lin Wood ‘set him up’ to pose with Proud Boys, Nzuchi Times National News

, Kyle Rittenhouse says his fired lawyer Lin Wood ‘set him up’ to pose with Proud Boys, Nzuchi Times National News

, Kyle Rittenhouse says his fired lawyer Lin Wood ‘set him up’ to pose with Proud Boys, Nzuchi Times National News

‘President Trump … didn’t just refuse to condemn militia groups on the debate stage he actively encouraged them throughout his presidency,’ Psaki said

, Kyle Rittenhouse says his fired lawyer Lin Wood ‘set him up’ to pose with Proud Boys, Nzuchi Times National News

, Kyle Rittenhouse says his fired lawyer Lin Wood ‘set him up’ to pose with Proud Boys, Nzuchi Times National News

Rittenhouse is comforted by his lawyer as he was acquitted of all charges at the Kenosha County Courthouse in Kenosha, Wis., on Friday

, Kyle Rittenhouse says his fired lawyer Lin Wood ‘set him up’ to pose with Proud Boys, Nzuchi Times National News

, Kyle Rittenhouse says his fired lawyer Lin Wood ‘set him up’ to pose with Proud Boys, Nzuchi Times National News

Rittenhouse is shown during a Jan. 5 visit to Pudgy’s bar in Mount Pleasant. Kenosha County prosecutors have requested to modify Kyle Rittenhouse’s bond after he was spotted at a Racine County bar last week drinking beer and flashing white power signs

The 18-year-old, who spent almost three months in jail for the shooting, was cleared on Friday of homicide, attempted homicide and reckless endangerment in the shooting deaths of Joseph Rosenbaum, 36, and Anthony Huber, 26, and the wounding of Gaige Grosskreutz, 27. 

Jurors decided the rifle-wielding teen opened fire in self-defense as the trio chased and attacked him during the August 2020 riots in Kenosha, Wisconsin sparked by the police shooting of Jacob Blake, a black male.

On September 30, 2020, Biden, then the Democratic candidate, tweeted a video montage of far-right groups who Donald Trump the day before, during a presidential debate, refused to condemn.

Biden tweeted an attack on Trump, stating: ‘There’s no other way to put it: the President of the United States refused to disavow white supremacists on the debate stage last night.’

The tweet showed Rittenhouse, featured alongside the neo-Nazis marching through Charlotte and Proud Boys.

And in a 2020 interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper, Biden said: ‘I don’t know enough to know whether that 17-year-old kid, exactly what he did, but allegedly he’s part of a militia coming out of the state of Illinois. Have you ever heard this president say one negative thing about white supremacists? Have you ever heard it? That’s the reason I got back in this race because what happened in Charlottesville.’

, Kyle Rittenhouse says his fired lawyer Lin Wood ‘set him up’ to pose with Proud Boys, Nzuchi Times National News

, Kyle Rittenhouse says his fired lawyer Lin Wood ‘set him up’ to pose with Proud Boys, Nzuchi Times National News

Biden shared a video clip on Twitter denouncing white supremacists that including a photo of Rittenhouse wielding a gun 

During the trial – which ran from November 2-19 – Jen Psaki, the White House press secretary, was asked if Biden regretted his tweet.

‘What I’m not going to speak to right now is anything about an ongoing trial nor the president’s past comments,’ Psaki said, even though the president commented on the situation before it was litigated.

‘What I can reiterate for you is the president’s view that we shouldn’t have, broadly speaking, vigilantes patrolling our communities with assault weapons.

‘We shouldn’t have opportunists corrupting peaceful protests by rioting and burning down the communities they claim to represent – anywhere in the country.’

After Friday’s verdict, Biden said he was ‘angry and concerned’, but insisted that the verdict should be respected.

‘While the verdict in Kenosha will leave many Americans feeling angry and concerned, myself included, we must acknowledge that the jury has spoken,’ he said.

‘I ran on a promise to bring Americans together, because I believe that what unites us is far greater than what divides us. I know that we’re not going to heal our country’s wounds overnight, but I remain steadfast in my commitment to do everything in my power to ensure that every American is treated equally, with fairness and dignity, under the law.

‘I urge everyone to express their views peacefully, consistent with the rule of law. Violence and destruction of property have no place in our democracy.’

Rittenhouse on Monday night said that he wanted Biden to take another look at the case.

‘Mr President, if I would say one thing to you, I would urge you to go back and watch the trial, and understand the facts before you make a statement,’ he said.

‘It’s actual malice, defaming my character for him to say something like that.

‘It’s quite hysterical how nobody can go back and look at the facts of the case.

‘He crossed state lines, false. He’s a white supremacist, false. None of that is true.

‘The lies that they can get away with spreading just sickening and it’s a disgrace to this country.’

Rittenhouse said he had ‘really good lawyers’ who were looking into defamation charges.   

The teen said the incident ‘never had anything to do with race’ and was instead about ‘the right to self-defense.’

‘I’m not a racist person. I support the BLM movement,’ Rittenhouse said. ‘I support peacefully demonstrating … I believe there needs to be change. I believe there’s a lot of prosecutorial misconduct, not just in my case but in other cases. It’s just amazing to see how much a prosecutor can take advantage of someone.’

‘Like, if they did this to me, imagine what they could have done to a person of color who doesn’t maybe have the resources I do or it’s not widely publicized like my case,’ he said.