Minnesota Democrat Ilhan Omar tweeted an apparent attack against the students from the Covington Life March, and then later deleted her tweet, the New York Post is reporting.
Last weekend, students from Kentucky’s Covington Catholic School attended a pro-life march at the Lincoln Memorial. Initial reports from the event appeared to show the students, and in particular Nick Sandmann, harassing and disrespecting an elderly Native American man, later identified as Nathan Phillips.
Several Twitter users, including some politicians, journalists, and celebrities, were quick to rush to judgment against the students, some of whom were wearing the “Make America Great Again” (MAGA) hat, the symbol of the Trump administration. One such user was Minnesota’s Omar.
In a tweet that has since been deleted, Omar levied some damning accusations against the teens.
“-The boys were protesting a woman’s right to choose & yelled ‘it’s not rape if you enjoy it’ -They were taunting 5 Black men before they surrounded Phillips and led racist chants -Sandmann’s family hired a right wing PR firm to write his non-apology.”
So inflammatory was the tweet that Las Vegas attorney Robert Barnes, who has been hired to represent the Covington students, called it illegal.
“This is libel. Retract, or get sued.”
Looked into the @2020fight account that was deleted today. Despite some chatter about it being run by a foreign actor, it looks like the account belonged to a real person, probably a California teacher, who would rather we all move on with our lives. https://t.co/niegb66Tug
— Brandy Zadrozny (@BrandyZadrozny) January 24, 2019
In fact, later video released from the event appears to show more to the story and possibly paints the Covington Catholic students as victims, not aggressors.
As for the claim that the boys were chanting about rape, the teen making that chant might not have even been from Covington. Playboy magazine writer Amee Vanderpool, who produced and posted the video, said she didn’t “know if this boy attends Covington.”
As for Omar’s claim that the teens were harassing black men before “surrounding” Phillips, in fact, the opposite is true. When the teens arrived at the Lincoln Memorial, already present were men calling themselves “black Hebrew Nationalists.” The men were caught on video harassing the boys, calling them “crackers” and suggesting that they were “born of incest.” In fact, one of the men, who identified himself as “Chief Ephraim Israel” of the House of Israel to a companion New York Post report, proudly admitted to insulting the teens.
“It was piercing. Their souls was getting ripped. They were catching darts and ninja stars all into their soul.”
Meanwhile, the incident at the core of the controversy – the boys supposedly taunting and disrespecting the elderly Native American – remains in dispute as well. Both Sandmann and Phillips continue to insist that they were merely trying to defuse the situation.
It remains unclear, as of this writing, if Omar has apologized for her tweet.