Fox News contributor and right-wing firebrand Tomi Lahren urged a bit of caution to her fellow MAGA acolytes on Tuesday, urging them to be a “little careful” about treating Kyle Rittenhouse “like he is a rock star or a celebrity.”
Lahren’s somewhat surprising warning came after the 18-year-old—recently acquitted of murder after he shot and killed two men during a Black Lives Matter protest—received a thunderous ovation during his appearance at right-wing youth group Turning Point USA’s AmericaFest convention.
Speaking live from the halls of the TPUSA event, Fox News co-host and former Trump spokesperson Kayleigh McEnany kicked off a panel discussion on the midday talk show Outnumbered by excitedly noting that Rittenhouse was “treated like a rock star” when he took the stage on Monday night.
After recalling how Rittenhouse was “met with roaring cheers and a standing ovation” while noting the teenager is contemplating defamation lawsuits against media outlets, McEnany asked Lahren if the moment resonated with conservatives.
While claiming the press “slandered” Rittenhouse and declaring that she agreed with his not-guilty verdict, the Fox Nation host then turned to worrying that the right’s embrace of Rittenhouse had become over-the-top and potentially detrimental.
“I do believe that, as conservatives, we need to be a little careful when it comes to this,” the right-wing provocateur declared. “I believe we can put up Kyle Rittenhouse as someone who was innocent and was bullied and mistreated by the media. But I think we should step back a little bit and maybe not treat him like he is a rock star or a celebrity.”
Lahren continued: “That is not necessarily a good look for the conservative movement. He did what he had to do and he was defending himself. Let’s talk about self-defense. Let’s talk about the riots. Let’s talk about how everything went horribly, horribly wrong. But we should take a step back and not make the man Bon Jovi. But that is just my take.”
Fox Business Network host Lisa “Kennedy” Montgomery endorsed Lahren’s remarks, adding that the deaths at Rittenhouse’s hands were “still a tragedy” and “not something that should be celebrated.”
Wrapping up the segment, host Harris Faulkner also agreed that Rittenhouse should not be hailed as a rock star—but largely because she does “not want to see this young man made a target.”
“I think he can stand up for the justice that was reached for him in that case just as others do in their cases on a whole host of things without being made at the lightning rod,” she continued. “We will have to see how it happens. Let’s see if the liberal media can report the facts.”
In one of his first interviews following his acquittal, Rittenhouse insisted “I don’t want to get involved in politics at all,” that he was “not a cause person,” and had “no interest in carrying the banner for anyone in this highly polarized situation.”
His defense lawyer Mark Richards, meanwhile, warned after the trial that there are “a lot of people who I don’t think have his best interests at heart” and want to make Rittenhouse “a symbol or something.”