Fact Check: Is Kyle Rittenhouse CPAC 2021’s Keynote Speaker?

The Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) has pulled one of its scheduled panelists after he was found to have posted a number of anti-Semitic tweets and conspiracy theories.

CPAC tweeted on Monday: “We have just learned that someone we invited to CPAC has expressed reprehensible views that have no home with our conference or our organization. The individual will not be participating at our conference.”

It later emerged that the speaker was Young Pharaoh, a hip-hop artist and online commentator, who originally was scheduled to appear at a session titled “Please Check the Number and Dial Again: Doubt, Dysfunction, and the Price of Missed Opportunities.”

His appearance was canceled after Media Matters reported how Young Pharaoh previously has called the existence of Judaism a “complete lie” and “made up for political gain.”

He also posted a number of QAnon-linked conspiracy theories, and repeatedly tweeted the hashtag “WWG1WGA”—an abbreviation of the QAnon slogan “where we go one we go all.”

Ironically, the theme for this year’s conference is “American Uncanceled.”

The claim

Many social media users joked that the CPAC statement saying it has pulled someone from speaking because of “reprehensible views” is too vague and could be referring to a number of guests at this year’s event, including former President Donald Trump.

One of those who responded to CPAC’s tweet was comedian Kathy Griffin, who replied: “Do you mean keynote speaker Kyle Rittenhouse?” in reference to the Illinois suspect accused of murdering two people during Black Lives Matter protests in Wisconsin in August 2020.

Other social media users also pushed the claim that Rittenhouse is appearing at this year’s conference, or suggested he might be Young Pharaoh’s replacement.

The Facts

CPAC said that someone would not be appearing at the conference in the light of new information, without naming Young Pharaoh.

Young Pharaoh later confirmed that he no longer is speaking at CPAC this year.

“This is censorship at its best. All because I said: ‘I do not believe in the validity of Judaism and am willing to place $50,000 on myself to debate the top Jewish Rabbi.’ Now I’m no longer invited to CPAC, racist, dictatorship,” he tweeted.

While Rittenhouse is out of custody bond ahead of his murder trial, he is not nor never has been listed as a speaker at CPAC 2021.

The Ruling

False.

The suggestion that Rittenhouse is scheduled to speak at CPAC this year is nothing more than a joke from Griffin, a comedian who is an outspoken Trump and GOP critic.

Kyle Riitenhouse
Kyle Riitenhouse cleans graffiti from a high school near the Kenosha County Courthouse following another night of unrest on August 25, 2020, in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
Scott Olson/Getty