Wisconsin Lieutenant Governor Mandela Barnes is accusing President Trump of stoking division in Kenosha, a city rattled by theof Jacob Blake and the subsequent protests. Barnes said the president “celebrated” a teenager who at the protest and seemed to be a supporter of the president.
“He’s virtually celebrated this person who has killed two people on our city streets and severely injured another,” he told “CBS This Morning” co-host Anthony Mason Friday. “I join the governor in admonishing the Trump visit.”
Barnes said the president has “yet to condemn” the 17-year-old, Kyle Rittenhouse, who traveled from Illinois to attend the protest with his firearm.
He joined otherdecrying Mr. Trump’s visit. While in Wisconsin Tuesday, the president did not mention Blake or his family but praised law enforcement while likening the protests to “domestic terror.”
The presidentKyle Rittenhouse, the teen who shot two people dead at the protest last week, the day before his visit to Kenosha. Mr. Trump said Monday that Rittenhouse “would have been killed” at the protest, and the teen was likely only “trying to get away from them.” An attorney for the teen, who faces homicide charges, maintains he acted in self-defense
“That’s not what we need at this moment. Kenosha’s a city that’s healing. Our state is a state that is grappling with some racial tension and racial injustice,” Barnes said.
He suggested Mr. Trump’s visit had to do with his election prospects.
During the trip, Barnes said the “president sought to divide the city and the state even more because he’s not performing well in the polls.”
“A state that he won four years ago — the only way that he’s able to win is when people were divided,” he said.
Democratic nominee Joe Biden’s traveled to the embattled city Thursday, visitingprivately before publicly decrying racism and calling for police reform.
Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers had previously asked both candidates to abstain from visiting Kenosha, but Barnes said Biden’s trip was “different.”
“He didn’t make incendiary remarks before he showed up to Wisconsin… he didn’t come here to spout off and say things that would tear this community further apart,” he said. “He said that, as a presidential candidate, he wanted to demonstrate the type of leadership that he would provide to this nation. And that started by listening, and that’s exactly what he did.”
Barnes, for his part, also spoke with Blake’s family. He said their message wasand “resilience.”
“They want things to get better, not just for Jacob Blake but for everybody in Kenosha, everybody across the state, everybody across this country, who is dealing with extreme injustice because they know that this is not the way,” Barnes said. “And this is not any sort of way to carry on society.”