Donald Trump can’t bring himself to find common ground to open up the government, but he did find time to praise the students of Covington Catholic school who went viral over the weekend for taunting a Native American elder.
The president threw his support behind them much like he did for the white supremacists in Charlottesville.
Trump took to Twitter to publicly defend Nick Sandmann, the smirking MAGA-hat wearing Catholic schoolboy at the center of Saturday’s controversy.
Sandmann, who was reportedly in DC with classmates for the March for Life rally, was caught on video staring down 64-year-old Nathan Phillips, an Native American activist who fought in the Vietnam War.
But Sandmann and his parents have claimed the schoolboys were not the instigators and were actually on the receiving end of hateful remarks from Black Hebrew Israelite protesters.
Trump tweeted in the students defense on Monday:
“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!”
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
In a 3-page statement, Sandmann defended his actions and tried to cast himself as the victim.
“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.”
More racist videos
An old racist video is making the rounds on social media from 2012 showing Covington Catholic students wearing blackface during a basketball game.
VIDEO: https://t.co/pFgrJA1N0Q From :06 to 1:06 you can see a teacher or coach of #CovingtonCatholic leading the teens in a chant– several of the Covington students are in blackface. At this game, black players on the opposing team were verbally abused. pic.twitter.com/gqyNRUjYXD
— Marcus Henry Weber (@MarcusHWeber) January 21, 2019
The video was on Covington’s YouTube page under the title “Colonel Crazies Compilation Video,” it has since been deleted.
But many are saying this clip clearly demonstrates there’s been a history of racist behavior at the private school.
Since the backlash, Covington Catholic has condemned the student’s actions in DC and deleted their social media accounts.
“We condemn the actions of the Covington Catholic High School students towards Nathan Phillips specifically, and Native Americans in general, Jan. 18, after the March for Life, in Washington, D.C. We extend our deepest apologies to Mr. Phillips. This behavior is opposed to the Church’s teachings on the dignity and respect of the human person. The matter is being investigated and we will take appropriate action, up to and including expulsion. We know this incident also has tainted the entire witness of the March for Life and express our most sincere apologies to all those who attended the March and all those who support the pro-life movement.”
Covington school officials have reportedly canceled classes on Tuesday due to safety concerns.
“After meeting with local authorities, we have made the decision to cancel school and be closed on Tuesday, January 22, in order to ensure the safety of our students, faculty and staff,” reads a letter obtained by WXIX from the school’s principal.
“All activities on campus will be cancelled for the entire day and evening. Students, parents, faculty and staff are not to be on campus for any reason. Please continue to keep the Covington Catholic Community in your prayers.”