CNN Early Start co-host Dave Briggs said Monday that Covington Catholic High School student Nick Sandmann does not appear “appreciative” or “considerate” of Native American culture after viral video shows a Friday confrontation between the teenager and a Native American activist at the March for Life in Washington, D.C.
The footage shows a group of students gathered near the Lincoln Memorial as a Native American activist Nathan Phillips is seen beating a drum as he walks towards them. Sandmann is seen smiling young man in a red Make America Great Again baseball cap while standing in front of Phillips, an elder with the Omaha tribe. Fellow students could be seen laughing and making hand gestures believed to be mocking the man.
“One thing is clear,” Briggs began. “The MAGA hats clearly caused an overreaction by everyone on both sides.”
“Again, I would like to hear from all of you. There was clearly some misunderstanding on both sides. That young man there does not look like someone who he is appreciative and considerate of this culture and of this chant going on,” the CNN anchor continued. “[There’s] clearly two sides of the story. The problem is we all overreact so instantly with these stories, and now the MAGA hats stand for a certain thing to a lot of people. Hopefully, some understanding and some positive learning comes out of this.”
A hoard of media pundits pounced on the students, accusing them of racism, with some even blaming their behavior on President Donald Trump. “If some kid wearing a McCain 2008 cap had been filmed behaving this way, John McCain would have already called Mr. Phillips to express regret. And he would have used the occasion to remind his supporters they should treat others with respect. Will Trump do anything like this?” wrote Trump critic Bill Kristol, who now blogs for leftist billionaire Pierre Omidyar, in a since-deleted tweet.
However, additional footage paints a more complex picture of the incident. One video shows the students were jeered with racist slurs as the situation unfolded, while other footage proves the Philips approached the teenagers first.
— Carpe Donktum🔹 (@CarpeDonktum) January 20, 2019
This unedited video (with the original sound) is indisputable proof that the Native American man approached the Catholic school kids pic.twitter.com/cFi0qRYDg2
— PolishPatriot™️ (@PolishPatriotTM) January 20, 2019
As The Gateway Pundit’s Jim Hoft noted, Phillips was previously involved in a similar incident with Eastern Michigan University students in 2015.
On Sunday evening, Sandmann released a statement regarding the confrontation, in which he denied any wrongdoing.
Just in: Statement of Nick Sandmann, Covington Catholic High School junior, about the event at the Lincoln Memorial: pic.twitter.com/PkuMh2cVZM
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) January 20, 2019