President Donald Trump appeared to defend the suspected killer of two activists during a press conference at the White House on Monday.
Kyle Rittenhouse was arrested in connection with the murder of Anthony Huber and Josh Rosenbaum last week during protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
The protests erupted after police shot black man Jacob Blake in the back seven times.
Clashes between white armed vigilantes and demonstrators protesting police brutality and racial inequality took place last Tuesday, before Huber and Rosenbaum were shot and killed.
Speaking about the shooting, President Trump implied that the shooter was acting in self defence.
What did Donald Trump say about the Kenosha and Portland shootings?
At his Monday White House press briefing Trump was asked if he would condemn the actions of the shooter.
Mr Trump refused to do so, saying that he “probably would have been killed” if he hadn’t taken action.
He went on to say: “he was trying to get away from them I guess, it looks like, and he fell, then they very violently attacked him.”
The president was quicker to condemn the shooting of one of his supporters in Portland, Oregon.
He told a CNN reporter: “Your supporters, and they are your supporters indeed, shot a young gentleman who – and killed him, not with paint, but with a bullet. And I think it’s disgraceful.”
The president’s reaction is in stark contrast to democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden who condemned violence on both ends of the political spectrum.
In a statement on Sunday, Biden said: “The deadly violence we saw overnight in Portland is unacceptable. I condemn this violence unequivocally. I condemn violence of every kind by anyone, whether on the left or the right. And I challenge Donald Trump to do the same.”
What happened in Kenosha, Wisconsin?
On August 25 crowds in Kenosha gathered for a third night to protest the shooting of Jacob Blake, who was paralysed from the waist down following Sunday night’s shooting.
According to witnesses at the scene, clashes between demonstrators and a gang of armed white men guarding a petrol station – some of whom were wearing body armour – became increasingly heated.
Police had used tear gas and rubber bullets in an attempt to disperse the two groups.
At 11.45pm local time Kenosha police revealed “reports of shots being fired and multiple gunshot victims”.
A statement from the police department stated: “the shooting resulted in two fatalities and a third gunshot victim was transported to a hospital with serious, but non-life threatening injuries.”
Video of chaotic scenes in the Wisconsin city began surfacing on social media, appearing to show the shooting taking place.
In one clip the gunman can be seen being chased down by protestors before gunshots ring out. Other footage shows armed men standing outside businesses they claim they are trying to protect.
Following the shooting crowds dispersed in the city.
On August 26 night Kyle Rittenhouse was arrested and charged with first-degree intentional homicide.