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Student in Trump hat denies mocking Native American activist in videotaped encounter

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A white high school student seen with classmates appearing to confront a Native American Vietnam veteran near the Lincoln Memorial issued a statement on Sunday that video of the incident that went viral gives the false impression that the teens were instigators.

Nick Sandmann, a student from the private, all-male Covington Catholic High School in northern Kentucky, is seen in the video standing face to face with the Indian activist, Nathan Phillips, staring at him with a smile, while Phillips sings and plays a drum.

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The footage, shared online by organizers of an indigenous people’s march that took place in Washington on Friday before the incident, shows a group of fellow Covington students surrounding Phillips apparently mocking him.

Phillips recounted in a separate video that he heard the students chanting “build that wall,” during the encounter.

The students, many wearing baseball caps emblazoned with President Donald Trump’s “Make America Great Again” slogan, were in the nation’s capital the same day for an anti-abortion rally.

The footage sparked outrage on social media and led the high school to issue a statement condemning the students’ actions and promising an investigation.

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But Sandmann, whose statement was tweeted by CNN anchor Jake Tapper late on Sunday, insisted the video was misinterpreted, leading to “outright lies being spread about my family and me.”

The students, many wearing baseball caps emblazoned with President Donald Trump’s “Make America Great Again” slogan, were in the nation’s capital the same day for an anti-abortion rally.

The footage sparked outrage on social media and led the high school to issue a statement condemning the students’ actions and promising an investigation.

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But Sandmann, whose statement was tweeted by CNN anchor Jake Tapper late on Sunday, insisted the video was misinterpreted, leading to “outright lies being spread about my family and me.”

In the midst of this interaction, Sandmann said, he noticed that a Native American protester – since identified as Phillips – “began playing his drum as he waded into the crowd, which parted for him.”

“He locked eyes with me and approached me, coming within inches of my face. He played his drum the entire time he was in my face,” Sandmann recalled.

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“I never interacted with this protester. I did not speak to him. I did not make any hand gestures or other aggressive moves,” Sandmann wrote, adding that he was “startled and confused” as to why Phillips approached him.

Sandmann said he reasoned that by remaining “motionless and calm” he hoped to defuse the situation.

His account was reinforced, at least in part, by a New York Times report on Sunday quoting Phillips, 64, as acknowledging he had approached the crowd of students in a bid to ease racial tensions that had flared between the mostly white teens and the African American protesters.

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“I stepped in between to pray,” said Phillips, an elder of Nebraska’s Omaha tribe and a well-known activist who was among those leading the Standing Rock protests in 2016-2017 against construction of an oil pipeline in North Dakota.

Phillips could not be reached by Reuters for comment over the weekend.

(Reporting by Steve Gorman; editing by Darren Schuettler)

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… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

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2020 Election

Trump campaign mocked after unveiling new red hats: ‘Do you have arm bands as well?’

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President Donald Trump's 2016 "Make America Great Again" hats have been replaced with new "Keep America Great" hats.

Trump re-election campaign manager Brad Parscale modeled one of the hats on Twitter.

Here is some of what people were saying:

https://twitter.com/LazarusLeBaron/status/1165430924093165568

Here I made an arm band design for you pic.twitter.com/inTyqVi2wo

— Christopher Goodwin (@LazarusLeBaron) August 25, 2019

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‘This will not end well’: Far-right extremism expert warns of Trump’s intensifying authoritarianism

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An expert on the far-right in America warned of President Donald Trump's "genuinely dangerous levels" of authoritarianism on Saturday.

Author David Neiwert posted a long Twitter thread on the commander-in-chief's "Social Dominance Orientation" -- and warned it will not end well.

Neiwert is the author of the 2017 book Alt-America: The Rise of the Radical Right in the Age of Trump.

Here is the thread he posted:

https://twitter.com/DavidNeiwert/status/1165428067138846720

https://twitter.com/DavidNeiwert/status/1165428524808724480

https://twitter.com/DavidNeiwert/status/1165429018486702081

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2020 Election

‘The Mooch’ attended Biden fundraiser in the Hamptons — because Trump ‘has lost his mind’

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Former White House press secretary Anthony Scaramucci attended a fundraiser for former Vice President Joe Biden on Saturday.

CBS News reporter Ben Mitchell posted a photo of Scaramucci at the event, and subsequently interviewed "The Mooch."

Scaramucci said he was still a registered Republican, but added that Trump "has lost his mind."

Spotted at a Biden event in the Hamptons: Fmr. Trump WH Comms Director Anthony @Scaramucci pic.twitter.com/PWVTZ8Qm15

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