Right-wing pundit Ann Coulter caused outrage and was reprimanded by Twitter after claiming she wished the Kenosha shooter was her president.
Twitter quickly removed the tweet after social media users jumped to criticize Coulter for praising the teenager accused of the murder of two Black Lives Matter protesters on Tuesday night.
Coulter, 58, was tweeting early Thursday morning in response to a follower who said ‘I want Kyle Rittenhouse to be my bodyguard’.
‘I want him as my president,’ the controversial pundit wrote.
Right-wing pundit Ann Coulter, 58, claimed she wants Kyle Rittenhouse to be president. The teenager is accused of the murder of two protesters in Wisconsin on Tuesday night
‘I want him as my President,’ she wrote Thursday morning. Twitter quickly removed it
Twitter deemed that the tweet violated the platforms’ rules about violence after other users complained.
‘The tweet glorified violence, specifically condoning an act of violence that may be replicable by a civilian,’ a spokesperson told Salon.
Yet even after the tweet was deleted, Coulter’s comments were widely condemned as protests and unrest following the shooting of Jacob Blake in Wisconsin on Sunday continued throughout the country.
‘In case @AnnCoulterdeletes it, here’s the tweet. Please report this vile woman & her vile tweet,’ said actress Yvette Nicole Brown.
@jack& @twitter please help. If these hateful people with large followings are allowed to continue to declare #OpenSeason on Black lives, on YOUR platform, more people will die.
‘This goes beyond being provocateurs. Ann Coulter, Tucker Carlson and Fox News are encouraging Americans to murder one another,’ said gun reform activist Shannon Watts.
‘America is sick,’ claimed actress Alice Evans.
Kyle Rittenhouse, 17, is accused of the murder of two protesters Tuesday night
‘Why is it ok for Ann Coulter and Tucker Carlson to celebrate cold-blooded murder JUST because of the weapon used to commit it? There is no other reason. If Kyle Rittenhouse had knifed or poisoned two innocent men there would be no celebration.’
One Twitter user named @theidlevice asked Coulter why she is ‘supporting domestic terrorism’.
‘They’re not even saying the quiet part loud anymore, they’re shouting it,’ another user wrote.
Author John Pavlovitz hit out at Coulter wanting a ‘murderous, gun-loving, bigoted adolescent to be her President’.
‘Wish granted, Ann,’ he added, comparing Rittenhouse to Trump.
Coulter has not commented on the removal of her previous Rittenhouse tweet but has continued to be vocal in her support of the teenage shooter, sharing pictures of him cleaning graffiti and bashing Jacob Blake.
‘Please submit photo of Jacob Blake cleaning graffiti,’ she tweeted.
Coulter is among several conservative voices who have been slammed for their praised of Rittenhouse. Fox Host Tucker Carlson and former San Francisco Giants player Aubrey Huff were also criticized for lauding him.
Coulter faced backlash on social media for the comment
Coulter continued her praise of Rittenhouse after the first tweet was removed
Rittenhouse, 17, was arrested Wednesday accused of killing two people with an assault rifle in Wisconsin the previous night as violence broke out at protests in Kenosha.
His actions have since become the focal point of a debate over anti-racism demonstrations which have gripped many American cities and the vigilantism that sometimes meets them.
On Tuesday, Kyle Rittenhouse grabbed an AR-15 style rifle and joined several other armed people in the streets of Kenosha, where businesses had been vandalized and buildings burned following a police shooting that left the 29-year-old black man Blake paralyzed.
By the end of the night, prosecutors say, Rittenhouse had killed two people and severely wounded a third.
At a hearing on Friday, a judge postponed a decision on whether Rittenhouse, who is in custody in Illinois, should be returned to Wisconsin to face charges including first-degree intentional homicide that could land him in prison for the rest of his life.
To some, Rittenhouse is a domestic terrorist whose very presence with a rifle incited the protesters.
Rittenhouse, once part of a youth cadet program for aspiring police officers, can be seen on his Facebook page posing in a blue police uniform with a silver badge and broad-brimmed hat
Much of Rittenhouse’s Facebook is devoted to praising law enforcement, with references to Blue Lives Matter – the movement that supports police. He also previously participated in a youth public safety cadet program (pictured), according to social media
Images of Rittenhouse cleaning graffiti in Kenosha have been widely shared by his supporters
But to others – who have become frustrated with demonstrations and unrest across the country – he is seen as a hero who took up arms to help people who were left unprotected.
The protests in Kenosha are the latest to erupt during a reckoning over policing and racial injustice following the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police earlier this year.
As they have in other cities, rallies devolved into violence and vandalism at some points, and the National Guard was called in.
The commander of the force said on Friday that more than 1,000 guard members have been deployed, and more are on the way.
Rittenhouse, once part of a youth cadet program for aspiring police officers, can be seen on his Facebook page posing in a blue police uniform with a silver badge and broad-brimmed hat.
In other online photos and videos, he takes target practice and brandishes a rifle above the caption: ‘Blue Lives Matter.’
On Tuesday night, as Rittenhouse stood in front of a boarded-up building, he spoke to a reporter from the Daily Caller news site.
‘People are getting injured and our job is to protect this business,’ Rittenhouse said.
‘And part of my job is to also help people. If there is somebody hurt, I’m running into harm’s way. That’s why I have my rifle.’
The two men who were killed were Rosenbaum, 36, of Kenosha, (left) and Anthony Huber, 26, of Silver Lake, (right) about 15 miles west of the city. Rittenhouse is accused of their murder
Kyle Rittenhouse (pictured Tuesday night) armed themselves on Tuesday and made their way to a garage whose owner had put out a call for protection, according to a statement from John Pierce, a lawyer representing the teenager. He handed himself in to police on Wednesday
Rittenhouse and a friend armed themselves on Tuesday and made their way to a garage whose owner had put out a call for protection, according to a statement from John Pierce, a lawyer representing the teenager.
In the attorney’s description of events, Rittenhouse tried to offer medical help to injured people before he was ‘accosted by multiple rioters’, leading him to open fire.
The hashtag #FreeKyleRittenhouse has trended on Twitter, while a self-described Christian fundraising site says it has raised more than 100,000 US dollars for Rittenhouse’s defence, and a post including photos of the teenager cleaning up graffiti in Kenosha before the shooting was shared and liked thousands of times.
The night of the shootings, Rittenhouse is seen on video as a green-shirted figure running across a car park with a rifle followed by a man later identified as Joseph Rosenbaum, 36, according to a criminal complaint.
It adds that Mr Rosenbaum throws a plastic bag at Rittenhouse and misses, before five shots ring out and Mr Rosenbaum falls to the ground. He was later declared dead.
‘I just killed somebody,’ Rittenhouse says into his mobile phone, according to the complaint, before he starts running with several people giving chase.
‘Beat him up,’ one person in the crowd says, according to the complaint. Another yells: ‘Get him! Get that dude!’
Rittenhouse then trips and falls. One man holding a skateboard appears to try to grab the gun from Rittenhouse. A shot rings out, and the man, Anthony Huber, 26, staggers away. He also died.
In the scuffle, lasting just seconds, Rittenhouse shoots a third person armed with a handgun, according to the complaint. That man, Gaige Grosskreutz, 26, survived with a deep wound to his arm.
After the shootings, Rittenhouse can be seen walking toward police with his gun slung over his shoulder and his hands in the air.
Police officers in tactical vehicles then roll right past him.
The teenager later turned himself in in his hometown of Antioch, Illinois, according to Kenosha police chief Daniel Miskinis.
The police have faced questions about their response.