Kyle Rittenhouse, the teenager acquitted for two fatal 2020 shootings in Wisconsin, is warning media outlets that he might be filing lawsuits.
At a gathering of conservatives Monday hosted by Turning Point USA, Rittenhouse, 18, said "accountability is coming, I'd be on the lookout" — prompting cheers from the audience, the Arizona Republic reported.
In a separate interview with Fox News at the conference site, Rittenhouse was asked if he thought a trend was developing in which the media was starting to face consequences for its coverage of people like him and Nick Sandmann — who recently settled with a major network over its coverage of his viral confrontation with protester Nathan Phillips at the Lincoln Memorial in 2019.
"Good for him," Rittenhouse told Fox News.
Rittenhouse hasn't announced any lawsuits against heavyweights such as CNN, which also reached a settlement with Sandmann.
Rittenhouse told the packed conference — which reportedly drew more than 10,000 people — that he was a scapegoat for a government effort to disarm the public, asserting he took the stand at his trial "to tell the world what happened in Kenosha, the truth, unlike with the prosecution tried to do. That's why I took the stand," the Republic reported.
"I think my trial was an example of them trying to come after our Second Amendment rights, our right to defend ourselves and trying to take our weapons," Rittenhouse said, the Republic reported.
Rittenhouse was found not guilty of all counts against him in November following a widely watched trial.
The conference in Phoenix was sponsored by Turning Point USA, a student-focused movement that supports a free market and limited government.
According to the Republic, the convention mood was celebratory at Rittenhouse's appearance. Inside the hall, the audience chanted "Kyle, Kyle, Kyle" waiting for the teenager to come on stage — and then gave him a standing ovation.
"You're a hero to millions, it's an honor to be able to have you," Turning Point USA head Charlie Kirk told Rittenhouse.
His appearance was not paid for, Turning Point USA spokesman Andrew Kolvet told the Republic.
The Republic reported that Rittenhouse smiled and joked on stage with Kirk and other panelists during a 45-minute discussion.
Though the controversy of Rittenhouse’s brief enrollment at Arizona State University was not brought up by the conference panel, in his interview with Fox News, Rittenhouse defended himself amid backlash by students who demanded the administration "withdraw" him from the school.
"I deserve an education like anybody else, and I look forward to attending in the spring," Rittenhouse told Fox News.
He also told the news outlet he’d do things differently than he did in the summer of 2020.
"[With] what I was dragged through and what I had to go through — to facing life in prison — I wouldn't say it was worth it," he said, adding, "hindsight being 20/20."
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