Kyle Rittenhouse rebuked numerous conspiracy claims about himself, including one that he was a crisis actor, during a recent interview with QAnon influencer John Sabal.
“I want you to be totally straight with me, I know I just met you, are you a crisis actor?” John Sabal, also known as QAnon John, jokingly asked Rittenhouse during an interview with the teenager on Saturday, June 4.
“No,” Rittenhouse replied. The question drew laughter from the 19-year-old who was found not guilty of fatally shooting two men and wounding a third man in Kenosha, Wisconsin, in August 2020.
“I’m not a crisis actor,” Rittenhouse added. ” And for people to say that I’m a crisis actor and trying to take away my voice, to be quite frank, is disturbing.”
The interview between Sabal, Rittenhouse and his spokesperson David Hancock, highlighted the sizeable rift within the QAnon movement over comments the teenager had previously made about the conspiracy theory.
QAnon followers turned on Rittenhouse, a champion among gun rights activists after he previously described his former attorney Lin Wood as “insane.”
In a November 24, 2021 Telegram post, Sabal himself criticized Rittenhouse which included a segment from the teenager’s interview with NewsNation’s Ashleigh Banfield where he claimed Wood “was going on about all this QAnon and election fraud stuff.”
Sabal said in the post: “Not too smart to s*** where you sleep, Kyle.”
Newsweek also found following Rittenhouse’s interview that QAnon adherents on Telegram said they believed the teenager was a “crisis actor” or a deep state puppet.
Wood previously waded into the crisis actor discussion and in a December 15, 2021, post, said “I do not know” in response to questions about Rittenhouse.
But Sabal has since turned on Wood following the cancellation of his April QAnon event in South Carolina.
The event would have featured Wood as a speaker, who later lashed out at Sabal’s handling of refunding tickets for the convention.
In the interview with Rittenhouse, Sabal attempted to pull his followers and others in the QAnon movement away from conspiratorial allegations about the teenager.
Rittenhouse addressed conspiracies, including those made by QAnon followers, that he was being coached through interviews by people with nefarious intentions.
“Another thing that really p***ess me off is that people say, is that I am being handled,” Rittenhouse said. “I am a grown man, I do what I want.”
Rittenhouse then denied that Hancock had told him exactly what to say, or who specifically to speak to or not.
Sabal responded to Rittenhouse’s comments about being handled and said that he had “heard that.”
In a November 23, 2021 Telegram post, Sabal said following the teenager’s interview with Fox News host Tucker Carlson: “I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say I think it’s very possible Kyle Rittenhouse now has handlers now coaching him on what to say. I could be wrong, but this would not surprise me. Very unfortunate.”
During the recent interview, both Rittenhouse and Sabal criticized Wood and spoke unfavorably about their interactions with him. Hancock also claimed many of those who attacked Rittenhouse were Wood’s followers.
Hancock’s comments led Rittenhouse to add: “That reminds me of another thing. People saying my trial was green-screened. Trying to take that away from me. The nightmares that I have to live with on a daily basis.
“I don’t know how somebody can just say that what I experienced was green-screened. What I had to deal with. Apparently, I am some CIA agent.”
“I was on trial. I wasn’t focused on QAnon or election fraud,” Rittenhouse said. “[I] focused on not spending my life in prison.”
The interview was the latest example of Sabal’s success at reaching mainstream conservative figures as well as sitting Republican lawmakers.
Sabal previously hosted a QAnon convention in Las Vegas where numerous Republican lawmakers were listed as “special guests.”
Among them were Arizona State Senator Wendy Rogers, Trump-endorsed Michigan Secretary of State nominee Kristina Karamo and Arizona state Representative Mark Finchem.
The event also featured Ron Watkins, who has been accused of at one time being behind the Q account that spread the dangerous conspiracy theory online. Watkins is running for the U.S. House Of Representatives as a Republican in Arizona’s 2nd Congressional district.
Newsweek has reached out to representatives for Rittenhouse, Sabal and Wood for comment.
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