Politics

Trump Cheers Covington Lawsuit Against Washington Post

REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

Saagar Enjeti White House Correspondent

President Donald Trump cheered Covington Catholic student Nicholas Sandmann’s defamation lawsuit against The Washington Post in an early Wednesday morning tweet.

Sandmann’s parents filed the lawsuit against The Washington Post for a sum of $250 million, saying that the paper intentionally ignored basic journalistic practices in its reporting on a viral confrontation between their son and Native American activist Nathan Phillips.

Sandmann’s parents chose the sum of $250 million because it is equal to what Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos paid for the paper in 2013.

“The Post wrongfully targeted and bullied Nicholas because he was the white, Catholic student wearing a red ‘Make America Great Again’ souvenir cap on a school field trip to the January 18 March for Life in Washington, D.C., when he was unexpectedly and suddenly confronted by Nathan Phillips, a known Native American activist, who beat a drum and sang loudly within inches of his face,” the lawsuit declares.

Sandmann was involved in an incident with Native American activist Nathan Phillips shortly after the March for Life in late January. (RELATED: Nathan Phillips And Other Protesters Storm DC Basilica, Demand Punishment For Covington Boys)

An initial viral video of the confrontation appeared to show Sandmann smirking in the face of Phillips while the Native American activist chanted. Sandmann was wearing a signature “Make America Great Again” hat in the video.

Sandmann and his classmates were quickly derided by many in the national media as emblematic of white male privilege and supposed racism associated with supporting Trump. Videos of the incident that surfaced later showed that the students were first harassed by a black extremist group and directly approached by Phillips and other Native American activists.

The Catholic Bishop of Covington, Roger Foys, commissioned an investigation into the students’ conduct and found no wrongdoing on their part. Foys wrote in a letter to parents, “Our students were placed in a situation that was at once bizarre and even threatening. Their reaction to the situation was, given the circumstances, expected and one might even say laudatory.”