(NewsNation Now) — Kyle Rittenhouse voiced some regrets in his hourlong interview with NewsNation’s Ashleigh Banfield on Tuesday. But the 18-year-old man from Antioch, Illinois, who was last week acquitted on all charges stemming from the shooting deaths of two men and the grievous injury to a third during last year’s riots in Kenosha, Wisconsin, stressed that acting in self-defense was not one of them.
During Tuesday’s hourlong interview, Rittenhouse also voiced serious second thoughts about his initial legal representation by Lin Wood and John Pierce, and what he viewed as political posturing on their part.
“I believe (attorneys) Lin Wood and John Pierce used me for their own pawn. That’s part of the reason why I fired them.”
Rittenhouse further voiced strong misgivings about being photographed with members of the white supremacist group the Proud Boys. Pierce, he said, had sought them out for security work.
“They 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, by having them set up for security without telling us their background,” Rittenhouse said. “And if I would have known they were Proud Boys, I would have said, ‘Absolutely not.'”
He further voiced displeasure with being positioned as a political figure by people on both sides of the political spectrum.
“I don’t have any interest in (carrying anyone’s political banner),” he told Banfield. “Because, to me, this case is about the right to self-defense. Not where you fall, left or right.”
Pressed by Banfield, Rittenhouse was much more nuanced regarding his trip to Kenosha on the night of Aug. 25, 2020. Were he to do it over again, he allowed, he would not have made the trip.
“After what I have gone through, I don’t think it’s worth having to fight for your life if you are ever attacked,”
he told Banfield.
Rittenhouse was unwavering, however, in stressing that he has no regrets about protecting himself.
“I don’t regret defending myself,” he said. “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. I would have stayed home, but we can’t change that. I went there to protect property, but I was attacked by violent people, which forced me to defend myself.”