President Trump is expected to meet as soon as Wednesday with the Covington Catholic High School students who were involved in a viral confrontation near the Lincoln Memorial during Saturday’s March for Life, Fox News’s Laura Ingraham reported Tuesday.
EXCLUSIVE on the new #LauraIngrahamPodcast — the Covington Catholic students threatened by the leftist internet mob will be meeting with @realDonaldTrump at the White House as early as tomorrow. @iTunes @PodcastOne
— Laura Ingraham (@IngrahamAngle) January 22, 2019
The students were subjected to an outpouring of online harassment after a number of prominent media outlets, journalists, and celebrities accused them of bigotry based on an incomplete video of their confrontation with Nathan Phillips, an elderly Native American man who baselessly claimed the students had surrounded and taunted him.
After a more complete video of the incident emerged, it became clear that despite his claims to the contrary, Phillips actually approached the students, and drummed loudly just inches from one of their faces. The students, some of whom mockingly imitated a tomahawk motion with their arms as Phillips drummed, were engaged in a school chant to drown out the racist and homophobic slurs shouted at them by a group of black nationalists standing nearby.
President Trump cited the controversy in a Tuesday morning tweet to further his ongoing campaign against the mainstream media.
Nick Sandmann and the students of Covington have become symbols of Fake News and how evil it can be. 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!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 22, 2019
Phillips, who has repeatedly changed his account of the incident since more complete videos emerged, suggested the boys be expelled in a recent interview and declined an invitation to meet with them personally.
“He needs to put out a different statement,” Phillips told the Cincinatti Enquirer, referencing a statement released by the student he antagonized. “I’m disappointed with his statement. He didn’t accept any responsibility. That lack of responsibility, I don’t accept it.”
“At first I wanted the teachers and chaperones to be reprimanded, some fired, for letting this happen. For the students, I was against any expulsions, but now I have to revisit that,” he added.
Asked about a Cincinnati restaurant owner’s offer to pay for his travel to “break bread” with the students, Phillips said “it’s not the right time.”