UPDATED 1:00 PM PT — Wednesday, February 20, 2019
A viral encounter between Covington Catholic High School student Nicholas Sandmann and a Native American protester has prompted the student to sue the Washington Post.
Lawyers for the teen filed a defamation lawsuit against the newspaper in Kentucky, and are seeking $250 million in damages. They are claiming the Washington Post falsely accused him and other students of racist acts as well as instigating a confrontation with Native American protester Nathan Phillips at a Washington, D.C. pro-life rally in January.
Sandmann said he did nothing wrong.
“As for as standing there, I had every right to do so,” he stated. “My position is that I was not disrespectful to Mr. Phillips — I respect him, I’d like to talk to him.”
— Savannah Guthrie (@SavannahGuthrie) January 22, 2019
The student was quickly criticized after a portion of the video surfaced, and multiple media outlets portrayed him as being disrespectful and antagonizing the man. He was also heavily smeared by celebrities and Democrat politicians.
When the complete video emerged, it was revealed the students were called racist and homophobic by members of the Black Hebrew Israelites. The full video also showed the Native American protester was the one who approached them.
Sandmann and several other students were wearing ‘Make America Great Again’ hats at the time. The lawsuit is claiming the Washington Post slandered Sandmann, because the paper wanted to advance its bias agenda against President Trump.
The president has said the students were treated unfairly. In a tweet Wednesday, he called the Washington Post “fake news,” while urging Sandmann to go get them.
“The Washington Post ignored basic journalistic standards because it wanted to advance its well-known and easily documented biased agenda against President Donald J. Trump.” Covington student suing WAPO. Go get them Nick. Fake News!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 20, 2019
The Washington Post said it’s reviewing the lawsuit and plans to mount a vigorous defense.