Nicholas Sandmann, the Covington Catholic high school student who successfully sued CNN and the Washington Post for defamation, railed against liberal media in a speech at the 2020 Republican National Convention on Tuesday evening.
“I’m the teenager who was defamed by the media,” Sandmann, now 18, said with the Lincoln Memorial as a backdrop.
The Kentucky teen and his classmates were vilified online after they starred in a viral video in January 2019 for wearing “Make America Great Again” hats following an anti-abortion rally in Washington, DC. A Native American elder confronted the students in an incident that multiple news outlets incorrectly and quickly claimed featured Sandmann as the aggressor.
“Looking back now, how could I possibly imagine that the simple act of putting on that red hat would unleash hate from the left, and make myself the target of network in cable news networks nationwide?” Sandmann said.
“I found myself face to face with Nathan Phillips, and other professional protesters looking to turn me into the latest poster child showing why Trump is bad. While the media portrayed me as an aggressor with a relentless smirk on my face, in reality the video confirms I was standing with my hands behind my back with an awkward smile on my face.”
Earlier this year, he settled a $250 million lawsuit with the Washington Post and a separate $275 million claim with CNN.
During his RNC speech, Sandmann called on voters to reelect Trump, hailing him as a president who would keep media coverage honest.
“My life changed forever in that one moment. The full war machine of the mainstream media revved up into attack mode,” he said of the infamous video.
“They did so without ever researching the full video of the incident; without ever investigating Mr. Philips’ motives; or without ever asking me for my side of the story. And do you know why? Because the truth wasn’t important.”
Sandmann has launched a whopping $800 million defamation battle against a number of news outlets including the Washington Post, CNN, ABC, CBS, The Guardian, The Hill and NBC.
Since the attack, he has become an outspoken conservative on Twitter where he has a large following and on Tuesday, gave a full-throated endorsement of the president.
“In November, I believe this country must unite around a president who calls the media out and refuses to allow them to create a narrative instead of reporting the facts,” he said. “No one in this country has been a victim of unfair media coverage more than President Donald Trump.”
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