President Trump on Monday accused the media of smearing the high school students involved in a widely publicized encounter over the weekend with a Native American man.
“Looking like Nick Sandman & Covington Catholic students were treated unfairly with early judgements proving out to be false – smeared by media. Not good, but making big comeback!” Trump tweeted, before referring to a topic of discussion on Fox News host Tucker Carlson’s show.
Looking like Nick Sandman & Covington Catholic students were treated unfairly with early judgements proving out to be false – smeared by media. Not good, but making big comeback! “New footage shows that media was wrong about teen’s encounter with Native American” @TuckerCarlson
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 22, 2019
“New footage shows that media was wrong about teen’s encounter with Native American,” the quote tied to Carlson read.
Trump’s comment that the students were treated “unfairly” comes amid the fallout from an incident involving students from a Kentucky high school and a Native American elder at the Indigenous Indigenous People’s March in Washington, D.C.
Video clips passed around social media over the weekend appeared to show the students harassing and taunting the man, Nathan Phillips. The most widely-shared video featured a student, Nick Sandmann, with an expression many described as smirking as Phillips played his drum directly in front of him.
Sandmann and several other students were wearing “Make America Great Again” apparel during the encounter.
Additional footage and reports emerging later appeared to show that Phillips approached Sandman after other protesters started hassling the students. It remains unclear whether Phillips was intervening on behalf of either group. A third group of Black Hebrew Israelites was also reportedly involved and were taunting both the students and the Native Americans.
Sandmann said in a statement Sunday that initial reports about the confrontation were based on “misinformation” and “outright lies.”