President Donald Trump shot off an early morning tweet on Wednesday in support of Covington Catholic High School student Nick Sandmann’s lawsuit against the Washington Post, the Hill reported.
As previously noted by the Inquisitr, Sandmann’s attorneys filed a lawsuit against the news outlet on Tuesday, February 19, seeking $250 million dollars in “both compensatory and punitive damages” following their coverage of a viral video depicting an incident between 16-year-old Nicholas and Native American elder Nathan Phillips earlier this year in January.
President Trump’s social media post on Wednesday, February 20 quoted part of the lengthy lawsuit, which was published yesterday on the website of Kentucky-based law firm Hemmer DeFrank Wessels — stating that the Washington Post had “ignored basic journalistic standards” in its coverage of the interaction in order to advance its “well-known and easily documented biased agenda against President Donald J. Trump.”
“Go get them Nick,” the president wrote in his tweet. “Fake News!”
Trump has been notoriously critical of the news media both before and during his time in office, so his support of the lawsuit should come as no surprise. Shortly before his supportive tweet, the president also sent out another post claiming that the press has “never been more dishonest than it has today.”
— The Hill (@thehill) February 20, 2019
In the defamation lawsuit, Sandmann’s attorneys Lin Wood and Todd McMurty claimed that the Washington Post “wrongfully targeted” the teen because he was a white male sporting a red “Make America Great Again” hat when he encountered Phillips in Washington, D.C.
The viral clip of the incident showed a smiling Sandmann and Phillips in an intense staredown as the 64-year-old chanted and played a drum. The high schooler was subject to a considerable amount of backlash after the clip went viral, but other lengthier videos surfaced just days later providing more context to their engagement, with some revealing that both the Covington Catholic students and participants in the Indigenous Peoples March that Phillips was attending were originally being targeted by another group of men.
The lawsuit claims that the Washington Post engaged in “a modern-day form of McCarthyism” by competing with other news sources such as CNN and NBC to “claim leadership of a mainstream and social media mob of bullies” that attacked Nicholas. The statement on the law firm’s website also noted that the lawsuit is “only the beginning” of their plans to file cases against more media outlets involved in the incident.
A spokeswoman for the Washington Post has said that the paper is “reviewing” the lawsuit and plans “to mount a vigorous defense,” CNN Business reported.
Trump previously took to social media in the heat of the January 18 incident to show his support of Nicholas and his Covington Catholic High School classmates, who he said had become “symbols of Fake News and how evil it can be.”
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