In a report for “Face the Nation,” reporter Mark Strassman falsely claimed that Kyle Rittenhouse crossed state lines “armed for battle.”
On Sunday, the CBS program featured a news package on the recent jury ruling over 18-year-old Rittenhouse. In August 2020, the then-17-year-old Rittenhouse shot three men attempting to attack him during the Kenosha riots in Wisconsin. The shots later killed two of his attackers, Joseph Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber, while wounding a third, Gaige Grosskreutz.
Rittenhouse then faced several charges, including first-degree intentional homicide. His attorneys claimed he had fired the weapon in self-defense.
Strassman reported on the events leading up to the riots, including the police shooting of Jacob Blake. Regarding Rittenhouse, Strassman described him as having been “drove in from Illinois armed for battle.”
“Lots to unpack here, this country’s ongoing moment of racial reckoning, vigilantism, and self-defense claims from armed people who deputize themselves,” Strassman commented.
Strassman’s description was despite court testimony and police interviews saying the Smith & Wesson M&P 15 rifle he used was already in Wisconsin prior to his trip across state lines.
The trial revealed that the rifle was purchased by 19-year-old Dominick David Black who had kept the weapon in Wisconsin for Rittenhouse. Police have charged Black with two felony counts of intentionally giving firearms to a minor, but Rittenhouse faced no charges for possessing a weapon at the time.
CBS responded to Fox News’ request for comment, flagging an editor’s note they’ve included in Sunday’s “Face the Nation” transcript:
“EDITORS NOTE: Coverage during “Face the Nation” today of the protests following the verdict in the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse stated Rittenhouse “drove in from Illinois armed for battle.” Kyle Rittenhouse testified that he did not drive to Kenosha with a weapon. It was not illegal for Rittenhouse to posses that particular weapon. We apologize for this oversight in language.”
Media outlets have often misconstrued the events in Kenosha, frequently referencing his crossing state lines from his residence in Illinois to Wisconsin. In addition, several media pundits and Democrat politicians have labelled Rittenhouse a “White supremacist,” including then-presidential candidate Joe Biden in 2020.
Defense lawyer Mark Richards has critiqued the false reporting against his client, including the claim that he traveled across state lines with a weapon.
“That’s wrong,” he said. “When I hear some guest host on Joy Reid say my client drove four hours to go to a riot with his AR, that’s wrong. It’s false.”