Ahead of his visit to Wisconsin on Tuesday, President Donald Trump refused to denounce the 17-year-old gunman who murdered two protesters in Kenosha last week, during a news conference on Monday night.

Police arrested Kyle Rittenhouse, 17, last week and charged him as an adult with two counts of first-degree murder for a shooting during an anti-racism protest on Aug. 25. 

The news comes after the police shooting of Jacob Blake on Aug. 23. 

Protesters demanded justice after a local officer shot Blake seven times while his children watched. As the 29-year-old man fought for his life, demonstrators filled the streets, asking why for days following the attack.

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On Aug. 25, Rittenhouse headed to the protests, positioning himself near a car dealership. 

He opened fire, allegedly killing two people and wounding another. The attack carried out by Rittenhouse was captured on a mobile phone video.

During a news conference Monday night, Trump was asked about the Rittenhouse’s attack.

The president refused to condemn Rittenhouse and claimed that protesters had “violently attacked him.”

He added that it appeared that Rittenhouse had been “trying to get away from them, I guess, it looks like.”

The president repeatedly noted that the shooting was under investigation and referred to Rittenhouse’s attorney’s claim that it was carried out in self-defense.

“He would have been, he probably would have been killed. But it’s under – it’s under investigation,” Trump said. “I guess he was in very big trouble.”

The president arrived in the Midwestern city of Kenosha on Tuesday. While there, he is expected to meet with local law enforcement and some business owners to assess citywide damage from the demonstrations and riots.

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