Trump Backs Covington MAGA Kids, Says Students 'Smeared by Media'
President defends wrongly accused Covington Catholic students
President Donald Trump has spoken out in public support for the Covington Catholic School students falsely accused of instigating a racially charged encounter with a Native American activist.
The teenage "MAGA kids" became the center of a global hate campaign following their now-viral confrontation with drum-banging protester Nathan Philips in Washington.
When short videos originally emerged, the incident was framed as a racially motivated attack led by Covington Catholic student Nick Sandmann and his classmates.
The group was wrongly accused of surrounding Philips and his fellow Native American protesters and mocking the participants in the Indigenous Peoples March while using racial slurs toward them.
A full-length video later emerged showing that the teens were actually being subjected to racial abuse themselves and that it was Philips who instigated the encounter.
It now appears that Philips gave false statements to a number of mainstream news outlets about the events that transpired, with many publishing his statements unchecked.
President Trump accused the outlets of biased reporting, saying the students were "smeared by media."
“Looking like Nick Sandman [sic] & Covington Catholic students were treated unfairly with early judgements proving out to be false,” Trump tweeted.
“Not good, but making big comeback!”
According to Fox News, the president went on to quote their host Tucker Carlson, saying:
“New footage shows that media was wrong about teen’s encounter with Native American.”
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
Trump’s comments come just one day after an additional video emerged showing the Covington Catholic students being accosted and yelled at before their widely reported showdown with the Native American activists.
Another group of demonstrators — who called themselves members of the Black Hebrew Israelites group — can be heard taunting and shouting hateful things at the teens for no apparent reason other than the fact that they’re wearing “Make America Great Again” hats.
When video first emerged of the incident though, the Black Israelites could not be seen or heard.
“Smeared by media,” Trump tweeted, referencing the widespread reports that made the rounds Friday and Saturday, accusing Sandmann and his classmates of taunting and disrespecting the activists.
The teen later claimed in a statement that he was simply trying to defuse the situation, nothing more.
“I did smile at one point because I wanted him to know that I was not going to become angry, intimidated or be provoked into a larger confrontation,” he said.
“I am a faithful Christian and practicing Catholic, and I always try to live up to the ideals my faith teaches me — to remain respectful of others, and to take no action that would lead to conflict or violence.”