President Donald Trump defended a group of Kentucky students Tuesday after the mainstream media wrongfully accused them of harassment and racism after the March for Life.
The smears against the Covington Catholic High School students began after a heavily edited video surfaced of them face to face with a Native American man. Longer footage of the incident later disproved many of the claims against student Nick Sandmann and his peers.
“Nick Sandmann and the students of Covington have become symbols of Fake News and how evil it can be,” Trump wrote Tuesday morning on Twitter. “They have captivated the attention of the world, and I know they will use it for the good – maybe even to bring people together. It started off unpleasant, but can end in a dream!”
Even though many of the claims have been debunked, the students and their families continue to receive death threats, and their school announced that it would close for the second day in a row Tuesday due to security concerns, Fox News 19 reports.
Trump said the students have been treated unfairly by the mainstream media.
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
On Saturday, a heavily edited video of the students went viral, appearing to show them taunt a Native American man after the March for Life on Friday in Washington, D.C. One of the students, Sandmann, who was wearing a Make America Great Again hat, was accused of racism for standing face to face with the Native American man and smiling at him.
However, a new, longer video shows that there was much more to the story. It prompted many to backtrack their initial condemnation of the students. The video indicates that both the students and Native Americans were harassed by a radical religious group called the Black Hebrew Israelites. The longer footage also shows that it was the Native American man who approached the students, not vice versa, as was initially claimed.
Despite the new evidence, left-wing activist Kathy Griffin and others have been adamant in their criticism of the teens and the teens only. There has been little condemnation of the Black Hebrew Israelite adults who shouted profanities or racial slurs at the teens and Native Americas, or of the Native American man who claimed the students got in his face when video evidence indicates that he approached them, according to Reason.
As The Daily Wire’s Matt Walsh pointed out, “The high school kids have been doxxed and their faces and names have been plastered all over the place, meanwhile the Black Israelites who provoked the whole situation by shouting racist, bigoted, and anti-gay slurs at the kids and Native Americans remain anonymous.”
In a statement earlier this week, Sandmann said he was confused by the whole incident and he smiled only to let the other protesters know that he would not be intimidated.
“I was not intentionally making faces at the protestor,” he said. “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.
“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,” the student said.