The co-hosts of “The View” savaged Kyle Rittenhouse Thursday after his emotional testimony claiming self-defense when he shot and killed two people in Kenosha, Wis., saying he had “murdered” two people and fake-cried on the stand.
Sunny Hostin, a former prosecutor and ABC News’ senior legal correspondent, said the outcome of the trial would be a “bellwether” for the country.
“I wonder where the country is, because Kyle Rittenhouse shot three people. Two were murdered, one was injured,” she said.
She later used the same language, referring to the “first person that he shot and murdered.”
“I don’t understand how you are defending yourself after murdering someone,” she said.
Rittenhouse is on trial for intentional homicide, among other charges, after he shot and killed two people during protests in Kenosha following the police shooting of Jacob Blake, but Hostin – ABC News’ senior legal correspondent – bestowed a legal judgment on his case before a jury did. He’s said he acted in self-defense in a case that’s drawn extensive attention, with many media members labeling him a vigilante and even a White supremacist.
“CBS Mornings” drew criticism earlier on Thursday after it tweeted that Rittenhouse had testified he “murdered two people.” It deleted the tweet and changed the wording to “killed two men.”
Unsurprisingly, the uniformly liberal “View” panel reacted negatively to Rittenhouse’s emotional testimony, with co-host Joy Behar calling his remarks on the stand “baloney” and accusing him, as others such as NBA star LeBron James have, of his sobbing on the stand being an act.
“That acting job of the crying, I can’t even look at it,” she said. “That is one of the worst acting jobs I’ve ever seen.”
Fellow left-wing host Ana Navarro agreed, saying Rittenhouse was put on the stand “to emote and to do this.”
Navarro, who often appears to employ pre-written jabs and jokes on “The View,” also guessed he would end up in Congress if he was acquitted.
Rittenhouse, 18, has argued the men had attacked him. To win an acquittal on self-defense, he must show he reasonably feared for his life and used an appropriate amount of force. His testimony was the best way to give jurors insight into what he was thinking, legal observers say, but it exposed him to prosecutors’ cross-examination.
Rittenhouse testified that Joseph Rosenbaum twice threatened to kill him, chased him and grabbed for his gun. He also testified Anthony Huber hit him with a skateboard twice and tried to take his gun and Gaige Grosskreutz pointed a pistol at him. Rittenhouse cried as he described how Rosenbaum chased him. But he mostly kept his composure as he spent hours fielding questions from his attorneys and prosecutors.
The unrest in Kenosha was in response to the shooting of Blake, who was widely labeled as “unarmed” when a policeman shot him while responding to a 911 call over a domestic dispute. However, he said he had a knife and multiple outlets had to correct the record.
Fox News’ Danielle Wallace contributed to this report.