On Tuesday, Nick Sandmann, the student from Covington Catholic High school who was at the center of the controversy with Native American Nathan Phillips last Friday near the Lincoln Memorial, confirmed to The Daily Wire that the White House has reached out to host the students. Sandmann said, “The President wants to send a plane down to get us.”
On Monday night, President Trump issued a series of tweets regarding the Covington kids. He stated, “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.”
He might have given a hint of Tuesday’s news when he also tweeted, “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!”
Framing Trump’s support for the students in emphatically racial terms, CNN reported earlier Tuesday morning, “President Donald Trump is publicly siding with the mostly white students of a Kentucky high school who were engaged in a confrontation with a Native American elder that renewed a sensitive national debate about race relations in America.”
An article in The Washington Post attempted to put the most cynical spin it could on Trump’s support for the students. Phillip Bump started by opining, “Trump hyped allegations that the initial response to news of the event, a response that generally criticized Sandmann and the other students as mocking Phillips, was unfair or inaccurate.”
Bump surmised that “Trump’s base is heavily predicated on support from Americans who identify as religious.” Thus, he figured, Trump was appealing to evangelical Christians by supporting the boys. Bump stated, “Evangelical voters are not necessarily sympathetic to the plight of American Catholics, of course. But the fact that the boys from Covington were in Washington for the March for Life is significant. Opposition to abortion is a central motivating issue for many Trump supporters, including evangelical voters.”
Then Bump played the race card: “One of the defining components of Trump’s campaign was that his base was much more likely to say they’re worried about ‘reverse racism’ — that is, racism targeting white Americans. In a 2016 HuffPost/YouGov poll, more Trump supporters said whites were discriminated against than said the same of Muslim, black or Jewish Americans.Such views mirror the evangelical community’s.” He followed, “It’s impossible to extricate race from Friday’s events.”
Bump also claimed Trump was also eager to chastise the press for its behavior, writing, “That blame of the students, many felt, was a function of media bias.”
Finally, Bump said, “Trump needs this,” as his approval rating has dropped. He continued, “By focusing on an issue that motivates his base instead of on the shutdown, for which he’s broadly taking the blame, there is little political downside for the president.”
That’s WaPo’s cynical perspective, apparently.
Conversely, Trump simply wants to support the boys whom he thinks have been wronged.