Wendy Rittenhouse, the mother of accused Kenosha, Wisconsin, shooter Kyle Rittenhouse, reportedly received a standing ovation at a GOP event in Waukesha County, Wisconsin, on Thursday.
Rittenhouse was invited by conservative commentator Michelle Malkin, who was speaking at the event about “safety and self-defense” organized by the Republican Women of Waukesha County.
Police say Kyle Rittenhouse traveled to Kenosha, Wisconsin, from his home in Illinois where he shot three people, killing two of them, at demonstrations following the caught-on-camera police shooting of Jacob Blake.
Wendy Rittenhouse, the mother of Kyle Rittenhouse, the 17-year-old who police say killed two people in an August protest in Kenosha, Wisconsin, reportedly received a “standing ovation” at a local GOP event in Wisconsin on Thursday.”
“Standing ovation from Waukesha County GOP women for my special guests, @CaliKidJMP & Wendy Rittenhouse, Kyle’s mom,” conservative social-media figure and commentator Michelle Malkin said in a tweet, adding she “was able to talk to Kyle by phone & THANK HIM for his courage!”
Related: Fox anchor slams colleague for justifying Kenosha shooter
In August, Kyle Rittenhouse was charged with multiple felonies, including first-degree intentional homicide, after he traveled from his hometown of Antioch, Illinois, to Kenosha, where protests had erupted in Kenosha following the police shooting of 29-year-old Jacob Blake. If convicted, Rittenhouse, who previously expressed support for both President Donald Trump and the pro-police “Blue Lives Matter” movement, could face a mandatory life sentence.
The Thursday evening event, which was listed on the Waukesha County Republican Party’s official calendar of events, was held the day before Rittenhouse’s first court appearance on Friday.
A spokesperson for the Republican Party of Waukesha County on Saturday told Insider that the event was not hosted by the local Republican party, but was instead hosted by the Republican Women of Waukesha County, which the spokesperson said were “two totally distinct organizations.”
The Republican Women of Waukesha County did not immediately return Insider’s request for comment on Saturday. Nancy Kormanik, the president of the organization, previously told Patch that Rittenhouse had not been invited by the organization. Instead, she said, Malkin, had interviewed Rittenhouse prior to the event and had invited her to accompany her.
According to Patch, the applause for Wendy Rittenhouse occurred after Malkin introduced her at the event, which discussed “safety and self-defense.”
Figures on the right have rallied behind Rittenhouse — some even raising money for his legal defense. Trump has notably refused to disavow Rittenhouse, and in August at a press conference defended the teen.
“That was an interesting situation,” Trump said. “He was trying to get away from them, I guess, it looks like, and he fell, and then they very violently attacked him.”
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