This is a rush transcript of “Tucker Carlson Tonight” on November 22, 2021. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
TUCKER CARLSON, FOX NEWS CHANNEL HOST: Good evening and welcome to TUCKER CARLSON TONIGHT.
In retrospect, it is remarkable just how dishonest, how thoroughly and intentionally dishonest the media coverage of the Kyle Rittenhouse story turned out to be. All of it was a lie.
Rittenhouse was not a white supremacist. He was never in a militia. He never crossed state lines with a firearm.
The protest in Kenosha was not peaceful. It was a riot — chaotic and violent. Many of the rioters by the way carried guns. Rittenhouse was hardly alone.
Rittenhouse didn’t go to Kenosha looking for trouble. His father lived there. Rittenhouse himself worked as a lifeguard in Kenosha.
On august 25th of last summer, Rittenhouse went downtown to stand guard over a car lot. Here is the context. The night before, police in Kenosha had done nothing as the mob burned businesses including another car lot all the way to the ground.
So the business owner needed Kyle Rittenhouse’s help. He was looking to a 17-year-old for help, if that gives you some perspective on how bad things were — and he asked for it. As Rittenhouse stood there, rioters threatened his life. Then they attempted to kill him.
In the end, Rittenhouse shot three attackers as he tried to run to the safety of the police. A number of media outlets claimed the men Rittenhouse shot were black, in fact, all three were white and all three had serious criminal records.
We could go on.
Again, the media coverage was from beginning to end, a tapestry of lies. If you watched the trial last week, you know that.
But what about Kyle Rittenhouse himself? What is he like?
Apart from his testimony in court, few Americans have ever heard his voice. Over the next hour, we’re going to let Kyle Rittenhouse speak for himself. You can make up your own mind what you think.
But before we start, one observation, which we can’t resist making. It’s hard to ignore the yawning class divide between Kyle Rittenhouse and his many critics in the media.
Rittenhouse comes from the least privileged sector of our society. During high school, he worked as a janitor and a fry cook to help support his family. Last year, he got into college at Arizona State and he is very proud of it. In the world Kyle Rittenhouse grew up, and it is not a given that kids go to college, it is not even close.
During the course of our long conversation, Kyle Rittenhouse struck us as bright, decent, sincere, dutiful, and hardworking — exactly the kind of person you’d want many more of in your country.
He is not especially political. He never wanted to be the symbol of anything.
Kyle Rittenhouse just wanted to keep violent lunatics from setting fire to cars. In the America he grew up in, that was considered virtuous.
So, if Rittenhouse seems a little bewildered at points during our interview, thinking back over the last year of what happened to him, that’s probably why. A lot of the things he assumed were true about this country turned out not to be true at all.
So in that way, he speaks for many of us. Here is Kyle Rittenhouse.
CARLSON: So tell me, Kyle, how you wound up in Kenosha that day?
KYLE RITTENHOUSE, ACQUITTED OF CHARGES IN KENOSHA, WISCONSIN: Well, it actually started on August 24th. I was working my job as a lifeguard at the Rec Plex in Kenosha County, and then the riots were still going on, and a curfew was applied.
So, I went to Dominick Black’s house, and I stayed the night over there and saw the videos of the riots and the arson going on.
CARLSON: What did you think of it?
RITTENHOUSE: It was upsetting because Kenosha is my community, and I just was upset seeing my community up in flames.
CARLSON: Yes. I bet you were. So, you’re at your friend’s house that night. You’ve come back from working as a lifeguard?
CARLSON: And then you just had to go in — first, you’re cleaning up graffiti, correct?
RITTENHOUSE: Yes. So, we stayed the night of August — I stayed the night of August 24th. We wake up in the morning and we’re talking like, let’s go, let’s go help our community. Let’s go see what we can do. And we ended up at Reuther Central High School where we were cleaning graffiti for a couple of hours and then we met with the owners of Car Source and we offered to protect their business from fires, making sure the rest of their other two properties didn’t get burned down like they did the night prior, and they agreed.
We came back. We went back to Dominick’s house and hung out there for a little bit, and then we went to Car Source to help protect the property and make sure they didn’t set on fire again.
CARLSON: So you get there. What do you see?
RITTENHOUSE: When I get there, I see in the beginning, the morning of Reuther Central, I see the spray paint everywhere. I see smoke coming from the Car Source that was burnt down, and it was quite upsetting, as though somebody’s business that got destroyed.
CARLSON: Yes. So you said to the people who own the car lot, “I want to protect your cars.” And they said, “Yes, please.”
RITTENHOUSE: I said, hey, if you — I asked if they needed any help, and they said yes, if you can.
CARLSON: Where were the police?
RITTENHOUSE: I don’t — I don’t — I am not sure really because they have a hard job.
CARLSON: For sure.
RITTENHOUSE: But I didn’t really think they got the support they needed. The National Guard should have been called August 23rd, but the City of Kenosha failed the community.
The Governor, Tony Evers failed the community and there should have been a lot more resources to help with that.
CARLSON: That’s for sure. So, you’ve been criticized for carrying a firearm into the scene. But it’s obvious from the tape that a lot of people — you were not the only one with a firearm. There were rioters with firearms. Was that obvious to you?
CARLSON: So, you saw other people with guns?
RITTENHOUSE: I did. There were a lot of people like there were rioters with firearms. I remember one very distinctly, Joshua Ziminski was walking around with a pistol in his hand all that night with Joseph Rosenbaum.
CARLSON: Where did you first see Rosenbaum?
RITTENHOUSE: The first time I saw Rosenbaum was the first time he threatened to kill me. It was at the corner of the Car Source lot that I was at primarily that night, and I was asking people if they needed medical and he came up to me and Ryan Balch and he said, “If I catch any of you em- effers alone, I’m going to effing kill you.”
CARLSON: Had you ever seen him before?
RITTENHOUSE: I have not.
CARLSON: So you’d never seen this guy. He walks up and threatens to kill you out of nowhere.
RITTENHOUSE: Yes, it was — it was quite shocking. I was like, why would somebody threaten to kill me? I’m just asking if people need help on both sides. I was — I was there just to help anybody that needed — and shockingly, the only people I helped that night were rioters.
CARLSON: What did of sense did you get from Rosenbaum? I mean, that sounds deranged.
RITTENHOUSE: When he threatened to kill me, I was like, “What the heck just happened?” I’ve never — nobody’s ever threatened to kill me.
RITTENHOUSE: Up until that point. And I was like, that’s not something you say to somebody.
CARLSON: How long after that was it that he tried to grab your rifle?
RITTENHOUSE: It was about an hour and a half later, and then there’s actually a second time he said to the group. He said — this is the second time he threatened to kill everybody. He said, “I’m going to — I’m going to effing kill you. I’m going to cut your hearts out you effing N-words.”
CARLSON: Cut your hearts out?
CARLSON: Did any of the rioters try and calm him down or stop him?
RITTENHOUSE: What I noticed is the rioters were trying to like — they were like disassociating with him because he was like spewing the N-word around and they just didn’t seem to want to have anything to deal with him, the rioters.
CARLSON: Yes. So he comes, he tries to grab your rifle. He gets shot. You decided at that point — unless, I am misremembering, you want to go turn yourself into the police.
RITTENHOUSE: Yes. After I shoot Mr. Rosenbaum, he tried to grab my gun. I was running away. There’s a gun shop behind me. After I shoot him, I run around the car because I was going to go render First Aid to him. I wasn’t able to because then, there was a mob forming and calling for my execution to “Get him and kill him.”
And that’s when I tried to run to the police line and get to the police. And then I am attacked again.
CARLSON: By the guy who kicked you —
RITTENHOUSE: By jump kick man. Yes.
CARLSON: Whose identity we didn’t know, it turns out the prosecution knew it and hid it.
RITTENHOUSE: Yes. So we found out November 7th, the prosecution — we went into the Judge’s chambers and the prosecution said, we identified jump kick man, and the prosecution threw a fit a little bit.
They didn’t want us to interview him. They were like, well, he’s a victim, and didn’t want my investigators or my attorneys to interview him or ask him questions. They just wanted to do it private, non-recorded, and the Judge said, no, no, no, it’s going to be recorded.
And then a couple of hours later, they say, oh, he asked for immunity and we’re not going to give it to him. So we’re not going to be calling him as a witness.
CARLSON: Yes. Well, probably didn’t want to talk about his criminal record.
CARLSON: So did you — so you’re running trying to get to the police lines. You see the mob coming after you. Let’s execute him, they are saying. And then out of nowhere, you get dropped to the ground by the guy who kicks you in the head. Did you see him coming?
RITTENHOUSE: I did. To backtrack a little bit, actually, as I’m running, Gaige Grosskreutz came up to me with his phone and put it in my face. And he said, “What are you doing? Did you just shoot that man?” And I told him, I’m going to the police. And he said, “Oh okay,” and ran off. And I kept running to get to the police.
And that’s when Anthony Huber strikes me with the skateboard as I’m running before I’m on the ground for the first time. And then I’m hit with a rock by somebody in a white tank top. And that’s how I end up on the ground.
And I have four people around me from what I remember, and I move my firearm in the direction, and they back off with their hands up, so I don’t shoot them. And then jump kick man keeps coming, and that’s when I fire two shots at jump kick man.
CARLSON: Wow. And he — you miss him and he kicks you.
CARLSON: Then what happens?
RITTENHOUSE: After jump kick man is running off, Anthony Huber comes up and he grabs the barrel of my gun, and then he hits me with his skateboard pulling his trucks and that’s when I shoot him one time.
CARLSON: Where did he hit you with a skateboard?
RITTENHOUSE: He hit me in the back of the head, in the neck — the back of the head towards the neckline.
CARLSON: Did you think you were going to be killed at that point?
RITTENHOUSE: I did.
CARLSON: Then what happens?
RITTENHOUSE: And then after Mr. Huber attacks me, Mr. Grosskreutz puts his hands up, and then I have my rifle pointed in his direction for about a second. And then once I lower my rifle, I noticed that my ejection port has opened about an inch. And Mr. Grosskreutz said I pulled the charging handle, which never happened. I hit the floor just to close the ejection port. And that’s — he sees me doing that or something. And this time, he runs at me and he has his gun pointed directly at my head.
CARLSON: Did you see the gun?
RITTENHOUSE: I did.
CARLSON: Did you think he was going to shoot you?
RITTENHOUSE: I did. He had it pointed directly at my head, and that’s when I shoot him one time and he is no longer a threat to me at that point, because he ran off after I fired that shot.
CARLSON: Did you realize you hit him?
RITTENHOUSE: I didn’t know until later.
CARLSON: So then what happens?
RITTENHOUSE: There is a person directly in front of me and I point my rifle in their direction and he puts his hands up and he’s not — he’s backing up. And I then turn around, start going to the police, and then I hear shots behind me, and I turn around and briefly raise my rifle to see if I’m being shot at and then I realize I can’t see who’s shooting at me.
So then I turn around and go back to the police car toward — towards the police line.
CARLSON: It’s just — hearing this, it is just hard to believe this is happening in an American city.
CARLSON: So then you finally get up. You hear shots, you turn to see who is shooting at you, and then you finally make it to the police line.
RITTENHOUSE: Yes. Once I make it to the police cruiser, the police officer says, “Get back, get back, get back.” One of them has a gun out, and another has pepper spray pointed at me. And I say, “Hey, I just had to shoot somebody. I just had to shoot somebody.” And then they say, “Go home.” And I didn’t know this until —
CARLSON: Go home?
RITTENHOUSE: Yes. The officer said to go home. I don’t think he knew what happened or heard me. There’s a lot of chaos going on.
RITTENHOUSE: But apparently, he pepper sprayed me. You can see it in the video, but I don’t remember being pepper sprayed by him.
CARLSON: So then what happened?
RITTENHOUSE: I say, okay, I go back to the Car Source lot number two. We’ve been referring to them Car Source 1 as the one that got burned down. Car Source 2 is the one that I was at primarily the entire night and Car Source 3 is the one where I was attacked by Mr. Rosenbaum.
I go back to Car Source lot number 2 and I tell everybody there what happened. I said I had to do it. I just — I was just attacked.
I was dizzy. I was vomiting. I couldn’t breathe. And I was like, we couldn’t — I wanted to turn myself in Kenosha — I wanted to turn myself into the police in Kenosha, but I wasn’t able to because they weren’t accepting visitors apparently with the barricades and the fence up, so we ended up turning myself into the Antioch Police Department.
CARLSON: So, you drove back across state lines as we’re now calling it.
CARLSON: You couldn’t even turn yourself in.
RITTENHOUSE: No. It was like, I had to go to Antioch Police Department, which to my understanding is the closest police department to Kenosha.
CARLSON: Why do you think people were burning Car Source? What does that have to do with Civil Rights?
RITTENHOUSE: I don’t know. I think it was opportunists taking advantage of the BLM Movement.
I agree with the BLM Movement. I agree everybody has the right to protest and assemble. But I do not agree that people have the right to burn down. I don’t — I don’t appreciate that people are burning down American cities to try to spread their message.
I think there’s other ways to go around and do that.
CARLSON: Well, I agree with that completely.
So you turn yourself into Antioch Police. What do you think’s going to happen at that point to you?
RITTENHOUSE: I didn’t know. I was quite — I was in shock. My head was spinning from being hit in the head multiple times. I had some minor injuries.
I just didn’t know. I didn’t know I was going to be arrested for defending myself because everything was on video. But part of the reason I think I was arrested is because of the mob mentality. And they were like, oh, yes, we’re just going to arrest him, even though there were videos already out showing me being attacked and having to defend myself.
CARLSON: So when was it that you were arrested?
RITTENHOUSE: I was arrested on August 25th at around 6:00 a.m. I was formally arrested without a criminal complaint being drafted. They didn’t know what they would charge me with yet. They just arrested me.
CARLSON: At home?
RITTENHOUSE: At Antioch Police Department.
CARLSON: What did your parents say when you called them and told them what had happened?
RITTENHOUSE: I didn’t call my mom after I saw her and she was in shock. She was like, she wanted to go into hiding. And I said no, the right thing to do would be to turn myself in. I didn’t do anything wrong.
CARLSON: So you knew that from the very beginning.
RITTENHOUSE: I knew that. A lot of people were like, oh, Kyle had time to meet with his attorneys to come up with this amazing defense of self- defense. No, that’s not the case. That has been 100 percent self-defense from the beginning, and I didn’t know there was a hundred cameras. I knew – – but I didn’t know I was attacked and I defended myself.
CARLSON: What do you think would have happened to you if there hadn’t been the amount of video that there is?
RITTENHOUSE: I can’t even imagine. I don’t think we’d be sitting here right now having this talk, Tucker.
CARLSON: That’s for sure. You’d never get out.
CARLSON: Rittenhouse knows perfectly well the only reason he’s free is because he can prove what actually happened, thanks to those videos, but it didn’t prevent him from going to jail anyway. He did for a longer period than most people understand.
During that time, he picked up a couple of attorneys who said they would help him. In his view, they badly abused him and his family and their trust. We will tell you a lot about that in just a minute and about the prosecutors.
Also a programming note, we had cameras behind the scenes throughout much of this case. Our “Tucker Carlson Originals” documentary called “The Trial of Kyle” premieres in December.
CARLSON: Rittenhouse doesn’t seem eager to talk about it, but he spent months in jail after turning himself into police, much of it in an adult lock-up despite the fact he was a minor. It was during that time that his family desperately — his mother mostly — desperately looked for legal counsel, for representation. Someone who can help get out of jail.
In the end, the family was represented by a pair of lawyers called Lin Wood and John Pierce. This came up out of nowhere. We were not expecting to have this conversation at all. We were taken by surprise a little bit, but it’s really interesting.
Here is Kyle Rittenhouse’s description of what his lawyers did to him.
CARLSON: So you get arrested. What happens then?
RITTENHOUSE: Once I’m arrested, I go to Depke Juvenile Facility and I’ve got to say thank you to them for their professionalism, and —
CARLSON: The jailers?
RITTENHOUSE: The guards.
RITTENHOUSE: At Depke. They had — they were the utmost professional people I’ve ever met.
RITTENHOUSE: Exactly. They were some of the most professional people I’ve ever met.
CARLSON: I’m amazed.
RITTENHOUSE: It was amazing. Like, they treated me with respect and they didn’t like talk down to you, like you’ve seen like, in some videos, they just treated me like I was a human.
CARLSON: How long were you there?
RITTENHOUSE: I was in jail for 87 days. And this goes — this follows in with Lin Wood who — 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.
They said I was safer in jail instead of at home with my family. And then after I’m bailed out —
CARLSON: Your lawyers said that?
RITTENHOUSE: My lawyers said that, John Pierce and Lin Wood.
CARLSON: Eighty seven days is a long time to be in jail.
RITTENHOUSE: It was — it was very long. I lost a lot of weight in there. I since then gained it back.
CARLSON: I know the feeling.
RITTENHOUSE: Yes. But 87 days of not being with my family for defending myself and being taken advantaged to being used for a cause by these — by John Pierce and Lin Wood trying to solicit — not solicit — trying to raise money so they can take it for their own benefit, not trying to set me free.
CARLSON: So you think they could have raised the money for bail faster, but they didn’t?
RITTENHOUSE: I believe it — I believe sometime in September — September 5th, I want to say they had over a million dollars and bail was set and able to be posted in September. So they could have 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 20th.
CARLSON: What was that like?
RITTENHOUSE: It was — it was scary in jail, like you had to watch over yourself and not a lot of people liked me in jail until like — the funny thing is, a lot of people didn’t like me in jail, but they got to hear like my story and they got to understand me like, he’s actually a really decent person, not this person that the media painted him out to be.
And it was scary, but I was able to make friends, I’d say, acquaintance in jail and like play spades, card games with them.
CARLSON: Amazing. So you’re in jail for 87 days. Do you have a sense of how your case is being talked about in the outside world?
RITTENHOUSE: Not really when I’m in jail. But once I am bailed out, John Pierce said I was in an unorganized militia, which is just blatantly false. I didn’t know what a militia was.
CARLSON: Wait, your lawyer said you were in a militia?
RITTENHOUSE: John Pierce said that, and it’s blatantly false. I don’t — I didn’t know what a militia was until after the fact until November like 25th after I was watching some of the interviews he did. I was like, “I am not in a militia. I don’t know what that is.”
CARLSON: Sorry to laugh.
RITTENHOUSE: And I was like, “What the heck?” And I’m like, no wonder people are saying I’m in a militia. It’s because he painted that narrative, which he should never have gone there.
CARLSON: Well, yes, it’s untrue.
CARLSON: Were you surprised to — so I haven’t heard you mention race at all in this conversation? You said, you saw your community on fire, you wanted to help. You asked a business owner, if you could help?
Were you surprised to see this framed as a racial story?
RITTENHOUSE: To be honest, Tucker, this case has nothing to do with race. It never had anything to do with race. It had to do with the right to self- defense.
CARLSON: What a sweet kid. I think that comes through loud and clear. Playing hearts in jail, but he seems confused by the descriptions of this case as pertaining somehow to race.
What he didn’t know when he was locked away for 87 days is that the media spurred on by Democratic politicians like Joe Biden immediately branded him a white supremacist. Again, the President of the United States did that as well as several Members of Congress.
Now during the trial, one of the prosecutors, Thomas Binger, a particularly loathsome character, the government lawyer, mocked Kyle Rittenhouse for putting out fires in Kenosha. It’s dishonorable to put out fires apparently when BLM sets them.
So we asked Kyle Rittenhouse about that. Here’s what he said.
RITTENHOUSE: I’m not a racist person. I support the BLM Movement. 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. And it’s just amazing to see how much a prosecutor can take advantage of somebody —
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.
CARLSON: What did you make of the President of the United States calling you a white supremacist?
RITTENHOUSE: Mr. President, if I could 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.
CARLSON: That’s not a small thing to be called that.
RITTENHOUSE: No, it is actual malice, defaming my character for him to say something like that.
CARLSON: What — I mean, why do you think — and it is not simply Biden who said that. It is a lot of people on television have said that a lot. Dozens of people have said that. I’m sorry to tell you, in case you haven’t seen it.
RITTENHOUSE: Yes. It’s actually 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. And the lies that they can just get away with spreading, it’s just sickening. And it’s a disgrace to this country.
CARLSON: I couldn’t agree more. So, you before this, I mean, you’re 17 years old. So you’re probably not, you know, watching cable news all day or, you know, deeply into politics. Maybe you were, but did you know how dishonest media coverage of events could be?
RITTENHOUSE: I didn’t. I’ve never seen something so polarizing in my life. When it’s just — it’s obvious self-defense. If you look at the case, you look at the facts, no matter what your opinion is, or where you stand it.
This isn’t a — this wasn’t a political case. It shouldn’t have been a political case. It was made a political case. This had nothing to do with race. And the ways people are twisting this, it is just sickening.
CARLSON: I think a lot of people watching have reached the same conclusion, and they would like to see you, you know, help make this better by holding some of these liars to account, do you plan to do that?
RITTENHOUSE: I have really good lawyers who are taking care of that right now. So, I’m hoping one day, there will be some — there will be accountability for their actions that they did.
CARLSON: Okay, so you’re intent on not — you’re not going to let that go.
RITTENHOUSE: Like I said, I have really good lawyers who are handling that.
CARLSON: Yes. So during the trial, was there ever a point where you thought, despite the fact you had all this video evidence on your side bolstering your story, did you ever think you know, I might go to jail for the rest of my life?
RITTENHOUSE: That was a thought I had every single day until I got the not guilty verdict.
RITTENHOUSE: It was — because I didn’t — we had — are you aware who Jo- Ellan Dimitrius is?
CARLSON: Yes, yes.
RITTENHOUSE: So Jo-Ellan selected my jury, which she did an amazing job, but you still have that gut — that feeling in your stomach and not — to have like, what if somebody snuck their way onto my jury to convict me? So that was something that always went through my head, but I know where I stand, and I know, I defended myself.
CARLSON: Were you surprised by the verdict?
RITTENHOUSE: I was and I thought they came to the correct verdict because it wasn’t Kyle Rittenhouse on trial in Wisconsin, it was the right to self- defense on trial.
RITTENHOUSE: And if I was convicted, no one would be able — no one would ever be privileged to defend their life against attackers, and they got — they came to the correct verdict, I am not guilty.
CARLSON: So the media lies about the police shooting of Jacob Blake. A riot ensues. Young people from throughout the area rushed to the riot to set things on fire. Kyle Rittenhouse shows up to prevent things from being burned to the ground, to stop arson. Guess whose side our leaders take?
They call him a white supremacist. They slander him.
Watching him speak, you realize just how disgusting what they did to him.
Just ahead, he describes the months that he spent in jail and the conditions there which will shock you and how it affected his health. That’s next.
CARLSON: So people supposedly working on his behalf raised millions of dollars supposedly for Kyle Rittenhouse and yet, Kyle Rittenhouse, a child, spent months in jail, and it was awful. He was not much of a complainer, you’ll notice but here is what he told us about that experience.
CARLSON: So you’re in the juvenile facility. You’re 17, but then you turn 18, you go to Kenosha County Jail.
RITTENHOUSE: Actually, I go to Kenosha County jail as I’m 17. I’m in adult jail. October 31st, I’m extradited, which I agree with. I wanted to go to Kenosha County Jail from the beginning. I was extradited to Kenosha County Jail.
My attorney, John Pierce said, oh, we’re going to keep you in a juvenile facility. I always wanted to be extradited, and I had no problem with that. But he forgot to file the stay and he didn’t even know I was going.
So my attorney didn’t know I was going to jail, which is quite sickening because he should have known.
CARLSON: Well, yes. That’s the whole point of an attorney.
RITTENHOUSE: Yes, right. Thank God I have competent counsel now.
RITTENHOUSE: But the jail was interesting. I was in my own room. It was kind of like a like a one — I’m going to describe it as a one-star hotel. We’ll go with a Super Eight.
CARLSON: Super Eight.
RITTENHOUSE: I had a desk. I had a shower. I had a toilet. I had a TV. I had a tablet. But I didn’t have running water.
RITTENHOUSE: I had a phone also, but I did not have running water. So I didn’t shower until November 20th.
CARLSON: How long is that?
RITTENHOUSE: From October 31st to November 20th, I did not take a shower.
CARLSON: That’s disgusting.
RITTENHOUSE: Very. I smelled terrible. I felt sick. I lost weight. My health was degrading.
If I was in there for a month longer, I would probably have been in a hospital.
CARLSON: Wait, you had no running water.
RITTENHOUSE: No running water in my jail cell.
CARLSON: Did you — did they let you out?
RITTENHOUSE: To talk with my attorneys. I didn’t really say anything about my running water because I’m not — I don’t like to bring attention myself. I don’t want to draw any problems with any of the guards.
So I was like, I’m just going to — I’m just going to shut up and not mention that I don’t have running water. But I didn’t shower for until November 20th. And when I showered, I showered for like — I took like a three-hour shower. I had like blood. My skin was bleeding because my skin was coming off of my body, it was just the nastiest thing ever.
And I feel bad for Dave who has been with me through the beginning, who’s helped start freekyleusa.org. I feel bad for him because he had to deal with my smell for that three-hour car ride. So, I give him all the credit in the world.
CARLSON: Imagine putting that kid in jail, one of the very few people in downtown Kenosha that night who was there for the right reasons, who was trying to help, who was trying to bring order out of disorder, who was trying to protect rather than destroy and they put him in jail.
And the most infuriating part is the facts haven’t changed. Videotape of that night was available almost immediately to anyone who wanted to see it. It was very clear this man had acted — this boy had acted in self-defense — and they locked him up anyway, because of political pressure.
So what are Kyle Rittenhouse’s plans for the future? How do you live in America if you’re Kyle Rittenhouse? We asked him that. That’s straight ahead.
CARLSON: Sort of about 45 minutes into our interview with Kyle Rittenhouse and the picture that emerges is of a working class kid who sincerely believes in America. His community falls apart and he tries his best to do the right thing at a time when almost nobody else in the community is trying to do the right thing, but he does.
And in return for that, the state under political pressure throws him in prison. Then the people who swear they will help him take advantage of him. It’s a lot so.
What does he plan to do now, now that he’s been acquitted? Well, here’s that part of the interview.
CARLSON: What do you think your life’s going to be like after this?
RITTENHOUSE: I’m hoping I can live a quiet stress free life and not — and be free of any intimidation or harassment and just go on with my life as a normal 18-year-old kid attending college.
CARLSON: So, you’re going to go to college.
RITTENHOUSE: I am in college. I’m a student at Arizona State University.
CARLSON: What? I mean, are you going to go to campus and —
RITTENHOUSE: I think I am. I want to. There is a lot of things we have to look into, so I don’t know for sure yet. But I do intend on going in campus and pursuing a career in nursing. I may change it. I’ve been looking into law. I may want to become a lawyer. I haven’t completely decided yet.
But I’ve been looking — I want to be a nurse, so I’ve been doing the prerequisites for that.
CARLSON: Interesting. Do you think you can have that? That you can live peacefully in this country unmolested?
RITTENHOUSE: I hope so, but I can’t read the future. I’m hoping that people would go back and understand the facts and be like, watch the trial, watch the prosecutorial misconduct that I believe happened and realize that I was an innocent 17-year-old who was violently attacked and defended myself.
CARLSON: Because you wanted to clean graffiti and protect a car lot.
RITTENHOUSE: And apparently, a lot of people on the left, it is criminal to want to protect your community.
CARLSON: Do you feel like your life has been destroyed by this?
RITTENHOUSE: I feel my life has been extremely defamed by it. I don’t think I would be able to go out and get a job and not have to deal with harassment. But I’m at a place now to where I have to have people with me because people want to kill me just because I defended myself and they’re too ignorant to look at the facts of what happened.
CARLSON: Do you feel the threats?
RITTENHOUSE: I do. I see some of the threats. Some of the things people say, it’s absolutely sickening.
CARLSON: Are you confident that the government will protect you from these threats? Because that’s, of course the government’s job.
RITTENHOUSE: I hope so. But we all know how the F.B.I. works.
CARLSON: Yes. I mean, looking back, it’s been, you know, year and a half, less than even. This is not the life that you planned, obviously.
RITTENHOUSE: No. It is far from the life I planned. This is — this is something that I wish never would have happened, but it did and we can’t change that. But how it’s been so — how it polarized — how polarized it became is absolutely sickening, like, right or left people using me for a cause that should never have been used as a cause.
CARLSON: I read that you’re not going to stay in the Midwest.
RITTENHOUSE: I’m not. I’m going to find somewhere to live. Before this, I actually wanted to move to Naples, Florida.
RITTENHOUSE: And then this happened, but I don’t know where I’m going to go. I’m going to go lay low and live — live my life and enjoy it.
CARLSON: Why are you so calm?
RITTENHOUSE: I’m a naturally calm person. I don’t find — I find it to be a problem when people are overreacting because things are out of our control. So, I try not to deal with that.
CARLSON: Hmm, I mean, just for the —
RITTENHOUSE: Believe me, on the inside, I’m freaking out.
CARLSON: Well, you must be. I mean, for the record. We’re — know, you’ve just got acquitted.
CARLSON: I mean, like two days ago.
CARLSON: That was the first thing I noticed that you seem very calm. You don’t seem like someone who’s just been through, you know, had his mind blown.
RITTENHOUSE: Yes, in the inside are freaking out, but the best thing you do, you freak out, everybody else freaks out. It’s like a chain reaction.
RITTENHOUSE: So the best thing I can do is stay calm.
CARLSON: Do you feel like you’ve been watched over?
RITTENHOUSE: I believe God’s been on my side from the beginning.
CARLSON: Hard to imagine you could have watched the whole trial and then watch those 48 minutes and come away thinking Kyle Rittenhouse is a monster, just the opposite, actually.
As we said, this is a boy, who sincerely believed in the promises of America. Do the right thing, be honest, worked hard to turn himself in to the police. Their response, they pepper sprayed him.
He had to drive across state lines — speaking of — to turn himself in to the police it’s an amazing story and it’s a deeply sad story for what it says, not about him, but about the rest of us.
We’ve got reactions tonight to the interview we just did from Judge Jeanine Pirro. We’ve also got behind the scenes footage that we shot — our producer shot for our documentary series behind the scenes at the Rittenhouse trial. That’s all next.
CARLSON: We’re going to talk to Judge Jeanine Pirro in just a moment, but first, we want to show you a sample of what we’ve been gathering behind the scenes for our long form documentary series, “Tucker Carlson Originals.”
We got this content from the Kyle Rittenhouse trial, inside of it. Well, it will appear later this December in a new documentary we are making for FOX Nation, “The Trial of Kyle.” Here is a bit of it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RITTENHOUSE: It’s just stuff that keeps you up at night, like, once you finally do get to sleep, your dreams are about what happened and you’re waking up in a in a dark cold sweat.
QUESTION: You had dreams about what happened?
RITTENHOUSE: Every single night. It’s quite scary actually because the dreams feel so real and they’re not the same at all they’re all different. They’re the different scenarios that run through your head during the day like what could have happened, like I’m alive, but what could have happened.
Like what if I wasn’t alive or what if I did let Mr. Rosenbaum steal my gun? It’s those type of dreams. That kind of — it’s bad but almost every outcome is either me getting seriously injured or hurt or dead. Those are just the dreams I have on a daily basis.
JUDGE BRUCE SCHROEDER, KENOSHA COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT: The defendant will rise to face the jury and hearken to its verdicts.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The State of Wisconsin versus Kyle Rittenhouse, as to the first count of the information, Joseph Rosenbaum, we the jury find the defendant, Kyle H. Rittenhouse not guilty.
As to the second count of the information, Richard McGinnis, we, the jury, find the defendant, Kyle H. Rittenhouse not guilty.
QUESTION: How do you feel, man?
RITTENHOUSE: The jury reached the correct verdict. Self-defense is not illegal and I believe they came to the correct verdict and I’m glad that everything went well. And it’s been a rough journey, but we made it through. We made it through the hard part.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: That documentary “The Trial of Kyle” comes out in a few weeks. You can sign up for free access to watch it on FOX Nation, just go to tuckercarlson.com.
So we had a lot of footage at that trial, as we said, it’ll be out in December.
So for now to kind of put a bow on all of this, what we just saw, we want to talk to our friend, Judge, Jeanine Pirro, the host of “Justice with Judge Jeanine.” Hey, Judge.
What did you think of that?
JEANINE PIRRO, FOX NEWS CHANNEL HOST, JUSTICE WITH JUDGE JEANINE: Well, first of all, it’s amazing. It’s amazing that you’ve got this interview, Tucker. But I must tell you, I was blown away by the interview.
This young man is far more intelligent than people wanted to give him credit for. There are many more dimensions to him than people realize. They saw him as a 17-year-old from a small town with kind of a boyish face, a boyish demeanor, and what they’ll hear tonight in this interview or what we all heard was a young man who understood the enormity of the ramifications of his trial.
It’s almost as though he recognized it wasn’t even about Kyle Rittenhouse, it was about the right of self-defense. He was smart enough to articulate this. He was smart enough to be able to recognize that what he was going through was really about American law and the Constitution and his right to defend himself.
What will shock people is that he was very articulate in his description of supporting the Black Lives Matter Movement, and then went to the next step and said, you know, if someone were of color and in the same situation, I would be worried for them. I’m hoping they would have the same resources that I had.
This is a young man who was a very empathic young man, all of the things he did in his life were to help people and the fact that when you said to him, you know why are you so calm? And he said, I’ve learned not to — that I can’t get upset about things that I can’t control. I mean, you have to be like 50 before you figure that out.
This kid has a tremendous future in front of him. He is not angry. When you asked him about the President what he would say, he — you know, he just came back, not like a normal 18-year-old punk. He came back and he said, I would say, Mr. President, if you could go back and look at the facts, you would realize that what you said wasn’t accurate.
Everything he said, everything he talked about, the fact that he was able to go through all of this never, never get angry, never lose his cool. The fact that when you said to him you said, don’t you want to hold people accountable? He said, well, you know my lawyers, I’m going to leave that up to them.
And then you came back at him, Tucker, and you said but really, don’t you want to hold them accountable? And he said, like I said, you know I’m relying on my lawyers.
You know, it was like the withering cross-examination that he would stood in front of a nation aware of the impact and consequences of that cross- examination. Nothing moved him off the truth. This young man is a truth- teller. This young man is far more mature than his years.
And even a mother and you know, I can’t imagine as a mother, but his mom wanted him to hide. He said, no, I have to confront it. I have to face it, just like he did that night when he put his hands up and he tried to turn himself into the police and the police told them to get out of the way.
CARLSON: I know. Well, they pepper sprayed him.
PIRRO: They pepper sprayed him.
CARLSON: That tells you just about everything. They were protecting the car lot, by the way.
PIRRO: Yes, and yes — well, and he didn’t have anything negative to say about the police. He is going through hell. He is literally going through hell. The police are not there. His community is being burnt down and yet, he is willing to help and not say anything about anyone else. God bless this boy.
CARLSON: We’re out of time, Judge Jeanine. Thank you.
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