“He was trying to get away from them ... And then he fell and then they very violently attacked him. I guess he was in very big trouble ... He probably would have been killed,” Trump said.
Kyle Rittenhouse, a Trump supporter, shot three protesters, two fatally, with an assault rifle in Kenosha on the third night of protests against police violence. The 17-year-old vigilante has been charged with two counts of first degree murder and attempted murder.
Two Democratic congressmen rapped Trump for his remarks. Joe Kennedy III of Massachusetts tweeted: "This is the United States President justifying a double murder by a white man illegally carrying an assault rifle across state lines."
Eric Swalwell of California tweeted that the president had just made Republicans "the Mass Shooter Party".
Kenosha has been the scene of fresh wave of protests against police brutality and racism since shooting by a white police officer of Jacob Blake, a 29-year-old black man, in front of his children during an arrest this month. Blake has been left paralyzed.
Democrats and police reform advocates see Kenosha as a symbol of institutional racism leading to deadly encounters between officers and black suspects, AFP said.
They see Rittenhouse, as emblematic of right-wing militias that are increasingly brazen about brandishing weaponry in political settings and attempting to act as amateur law enforcers.
Trump on Tuesday will visit Kenosha, Wisconsin, which is in one of the most significant swing states of the electoral map. The US president said he would not meet the Blake family.
Trump declined to condemn violent acts by his supporters who fired paint pellets and pepper spray during a confrontation with counter-protesters at the weekend in Portland, Oregon.
More than 200 people have been arrested in various cities over protests against police brutality and racism.
Trump claimed that his Democratic challenger, Joe Biden, has not disavowed far-left activists accused of civil disorder. The US president has referred to those taking to the streets in across America in recent peaceful anti-racism protesters as rioters, anarchists and thugs.
The protests over police brutality and racial inequality that have gripped American cities for months ignited after the killing of a black man, George Floyd, by a Minneapolis police officer in May.
'Toxic' Trump fanning US unrest
Democratic presidential nominee, Joe Biden, on Monday accused Trump of fomenting violence after a week of deadly unrest.
"Fires are burning and we have a president who fans the flames rather than fighting the flames," Biden was speaking in Pittsburgh in the swing state of Pennsylvania.
"The incumbent president is incapable of telling us the truth, incapable of facing the facts and incapable of healing."
Trump "can't stop the violence, because for years he has fomented it," Biden charged.