"The View" co-host Joy Behar on Thursday viciously mocked Kyle Rittenhouse's courtroom testimony, deriding his emotional breakdown on the stand as an "acting job."
The 18-year-old Rittenhouse is facing multiple felony murder charges for fatally shooting two men and wounding a third during a riot in Kenosha, Wisconsin, last summer. The violence erupted after the police shooting of Jacob Blake, a 29-year-old black man who had an outstanding warrant for his arrest based on charges of third-degree sexual assault, trespassing, and disorderly conduct in connection with domestic abuse.
Rittenhouse testified on Wednesday that he shot the three men in self-defense and is innocent of any wrongdoing. As he recounted the events leading up to the fatal shooting of Joseph Rosenbaum on Aug. 25, 2020, he began to hyperventilate and sob on the witness stand, which led the presiding judge to call for a brief recess.
"Oh, baloney," Behar said as co-host Whoopi Goldberg recapped his testimony.
"The guy goes across state lines with an AR-15, with his mother and some other idiot in the car, to defend himself against what? They're having a protest in another state and he takes it upon himself to go there. And then he says it's self-defense. No," she said, later correcting herself to note Rittenhouse's mother was not with him in the car.
"That acting job of the crying? I can't even look at it," she continued. "That's one of the worst acting jobs I've ever seen."
"This is the problem with self-deputizing regular citizens," said Sara Haines.
"It is not up to the average citizen to take it upon themselves to arm themselves with an AR-15, of all weapons, and go somewhere where you know there is a lot of people and there's stuff going on — that's not going to end well," she said.
Ana Navarro added that Rittenhouse has become "a hero to the right" and that a lot of people had a "visceral reaction" to his emotional testimony.
"Obviously they put him on the stand to emote and to do this," Navarro said.
Sunny Hostin, a lawyer, said the outcome of the case will be a "bellwether" for where the country is.
"Kyle Rittenhouse shot three people. Two were murdered, one was injured. $2 million cash bail was raised online for him. He has become sort of this right-wing star," she said.
"He was too young to buy that AR-style rifle. And so he actually had a friend purchase it. He lied to the crowd. Told the crowd he was an EMT when in fact he wasn't, he's a part-time lifeguard," she continued. "He actually testified that he is studying nursing at Arizona State University. He is not. He enrolled October 13th for an online program and that allows you to take classes before applying to the college. He also actually was too young to open-carry in the state that he was open-carrying and that's why he's charged with illegally open-carrying."
"But all of that notwithstanding, he has become this right-wing cause celeb. And so I wonder if he is convicted of this, he now becomes a right-wing martyr," Hostin said. "If he is freed, it's a message to others like him that prison won't be in their future, so I do wonder —"
"If he's free, he'll end up in Congress probably," Navarro inserted.
"And he could end up in Congress," Hostin said.