Joe Biden: ‘It was unfortunate’ remarks on White Supremacist Center were ‘wrong’

Former vice-president Joe Biden made remarks this week that could be seen as insensitive to Kyle Rittenhouse, a former adviser to Clinton who was found to have shared neo-Nazi and white supremacist views, prompting the Associated Press to question Biden about whether he stood by his condemnation of Rittenhouse’s views.

Biden was speaking in Vermont earlier this week when he said: “There’s no need for anybody to be a white supremacist, racist, anti-Semite. We’re all Americans.”

On Friday, when Biden was asked in an interview on ABC’s Good Morning America about the remarks, he responded that he stood by his words, but that he could have chosen his words better.

“It was unfortunate,” he said. “I do wish that I could have chosen my words better. But what I was trying to say is basically that’s not what this country is. We’re a nation of diversity of opinion.”

Biden made his remarks in response to a question about whether he still stands by denouncing Rittenhouse, a political operative who served as a volunteer in Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and later became her communications director in the White House. In December 2016, Rittenhouse was fired by the Clinton campaign after it became known that he shared articles, videos and links on his personal account that seemed to advocate the oppression of people of color, women and Jews. His Facebook and Instagram accounts were suspended.

In a separate incident in September, Rittenhouse was arrested on a criminal charge after police responded to an apparent domestic disturbance between him and his wife. He allegedly showed them a gun and had previously barricaded himself in his house.

His wife told officers he was a white supremacist who spread white supremacist messages on his social media accounts.

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This week, Rittenhouse sued the Trump campaign over allegations that it had interfered with the investigation into his political activities by using an intimidation tactic.

Asked to comment about Rittenhouse’s lawsuit, Biden said: “I think the lawsuit is totally ludicrous. I have a great deal of confidence in the FBI and the Justice Department. And this is an idiot.”

On Friday, shortly after ABC ran the interview, Biden tweeted a video in which he said he stood by his comments, calling Rittenhouse “an idiot”.

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