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22nd Jan 2019

Donald Trump tweets support for MAGA teenagers who confroned Native American protesters

Marc Mayo

Both parties have pleaded their innocence after the footage went viral around the world

US president Donald Trump has come out in support of the Covington Catholic High School students involved in a controversial encounter with Native American protesters last week.

The incident occurred at an Indigenous People’s March in Washington DC on Friday and appeared to show Nick Sandmann, a teenager who was wearing Trump’s signature ‘Make America Great Again’ hat, standing up to Native American Nathan Phillips, a Vietnam war veteran.

Since the clip went viral, both Sandmann and Phillips have publicly stated they were the innocent party and were intimidated by the situation, with Trump backing the high school student on social media.

“Looking like Nick Sandman [sic] & Covington Catholic students were treated unfairly with early judgements proving out to be false – smeared by media. Not good, but making big comeback!” tweeted the US president, tagging and quoting Fox News journalist Tucker Carlson when adding: “New footage shows that media was wrong about teen’s encounter with Native American.”

While Phillips was at the Lincoln Memorial for the Indigenous March, it since emerged that Sandmann was part of a group of young men heading to the anti-abortion March For Life.

“It was getting ugly, and I was thinking: ‘I’ve got to find myself an exit out of this situation and finish my song at the Lincoln Memorial’,” said Phillips to the Washington Post.

“I started going that way, and that guy in the hat stood in my way, and we were at an impasse. He just blocked my way and wouldn’t allow me to retreat.”

The footage itself shows Sandmann and Phillips both failing to move out of the way of one another as the Native American plays his drum.

“He played his drum the entire time he was in my face,” wrote Sandmann in a public statement.

“I never interacted with this protester. I did not speak to him. I did not make any hand gestures or other aggressive moves. To be honest, I was startled and confused as to why he had approached me. We had already been yelled at by another group.”