"He called. He wanted to know if he could come over, say hello, because he was a fan," Trump said during an interview with Fox News' Sean Hannity that aired Tuesday night.
Trump said Rittenhouse, 18, had left Mar-a-Lago "a little while ago," and Hannity had earlier said that his interview with Trump took place on Monday. During the interview, Fox showed a picture of Rittenhouse posing with Trump, CNN reported.
"He came over with his mother. Really a nice young man. ... That was prosecutorial misconduct. He should have not have had to suffer through a trial for that. He was going to be dead," the former president said.
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The comments were in line with ones Trump had made while in office.
A 12-juror panel deliberated more than 25 hours in the closely watched case, ultimately acquitting Rittenhouse on Friday of first-degree intentional homicide and four other felony charges in a verdict that cannot be appealed.
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The two-week trial -- which captured America's attention and was in many ways emblematic of the divided nation -- featured testimony from more than 30 witnesses, including Rittenhouse himself, and video clips from the night of the shootings during unrest sparked by the police shooting of Jacob Blake, a Black man. The verdict opened a fresh debate over state laws on self-defense and the concept of vigilantism.
The politicization of the case comes amid an already tense political environment ahead of the 2022 elections and even the 2024 presidential race.
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Trump, who appears to be preparing another run for the White House, has been praising Rittenhouse as the "poster boy" for the right to self-defense.
President Joe Biden, meanwhile, told reporters on Friday that he stood by the not-guilty verdict, saying the jury system of trial in the United States works and must be respected.
"Look, I stand by what the jury has concluded," he said. "The jury system works, and we have to abide by it." In a statement later that day Biden acknowledged that the verdict "will leave many Americans feeling angry and concerned, myself included," but reiterated that "the jury has spoken."
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