The press secretary of Gov. Ron DeSantis welcomed Kyle Rittenhouse to Florida on Sunday and wished the Illinois native an enjoyable stay.
A jury found Rittenhouse not guilty Friday in the fatal shooting of two men during a racial justice riot in Kenosha, Wis., last year.
In a picture tweeted by DeSantis spokesperson Christina Pushaw, Rittenhouse is seated in a tiki-themed restaurant alongside others. Pushaw later said the 18-year-old is in Florida to film an interview with Fox News pundit Tucker Carlson.
“Kyle and his family are visiting the great State of Florida,” wrote Pushaw in a tweet. “Welcome to our free state and enjoy your time here!”
Pushaw isn’t the first political figure in Florida to rally around Rittenhouse. Republican Congressman Matt Gaetz last Wednesday floated a possible job offer to Rittenhouse while speaking on NewsMax, a right-leaning news network.
“He deserves a ‘not guilty’ verdict, and I sure hope he gets it, because you know what, Kyle Rittenhouse would probably make a pretty good congressional intern,” said the Panhandle Congressman. “We may reach out to him and see if he’d be interested in helping the country in additional ways.”
Pushaw’s tweet garnered mixed reactions. Some lamented the post while others expressed support for Rittenhouse.
Some users also voiced concerns over Rittenhouse’s safety. Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers placed National Guard troops on standby amid fears of protests and riots after the verdict.
“FYI, for those worried about his safety – I completely understand your concern,” Pushaw added in a separate tweet. “I did not take this photo and was not the first person to share it. It was published earlier today. He is in Florida for Tucker’s show & has security with him; I’m sure he will be safe here!”
DeSantis is urging Rittenhouse to pursue legal action against news media “who smeared him into oblivion.”