After Nick Sandmann Files Lawsuit Against Washington Post, Trump Says ‘Go Get Them’

February 20, 2019 Updated: February 20, 2019

President Donald Trump issued a statement on high school student Nick Sandmann’s $250 million lawsuit against the Washington Post.

Trump urged the teen to “go get them Nick,” referring to the Post. “Fake news!” he wrote.

“The Press has never been more dishonest than it is today. Stories are written that have absolutely no basis in fact. The writers don’t even call asking for verification. They are totally out of control. Sadly, I kept many of them in business. In six years, they all go BUST!” the president also wrote.

Later, he slammed the New York Times’ reporting, describing it as “false” and a true “enemy of the people.”

On Feb. 19, Sandmann’s lawyers Lin Wood and Todd McMurtry filed their first lawsuit against media outlets that they claim defamed Sandmann when the teen and others from Covington Catholic High School were confronted by a Native American activist, Nathan Phillips.

Photos of a smiling Sandmann, who was wearing a pro-Trump “Make America Great Again” cap, went viral.

“The lawsuit filed is included below. The suit seeks $250 million in both compensatory and punitive damages. Lin and Todd will continue to bring wrongdoers before the court to seek damages in compensation for the harm so many have done to the Sandmann family,” said Wood and McMurty on their website.

The exterior of Covington Catholic High School Dennis Griffin stadium is pictured in Park Hills,
The exterior of Covington Catholic High School Dennis Griffin stadium is pictured in Park Hills, Ky., on Jan.23, 2019. (Madalyn McGarvey/Reuters)

They claimed the Kentucky teen was bullied by the Post and other news outlets because he is white, Catholic, and was wearing the hat.

Wood claimed in a Twitter post the newspaper engaged in a modern form of McCarthyism that prompted large groups of social media users to threaten and attack Sandmann, making him fear for his safety.

“The Post ignored basic journalist standards because it wanted to advance its well-known and easily documented, biased agenda against President Donald J. Trump (‘the President’) by impugning individuals perceived to be supporters of the President,” the law firm wrote.

The firm also suggested this might be the first of many lawsuits filed against news outlets.

“This is only the beginning,” said the firm’s website, adding that the $250 million in damages was also the amount paid by Amazon owner Jeff Bezos when he bought the paper in 2013.

A private investigation firm retained by Covington Diocese in Park Hills, Kentucky found no evidence the teenagers provoked a confrontation in a report released last week, Reuters reported.

Flags fly over the Covington Catholic High School stadium
Flags fly over the Covington Catholic High School stadium in Park Kills, Ky., on Jan 20, 2019. (Bryan Woolston/AP Photo)

The investigation also found the students did not direct any racist or offensive comments toward Phillips, the Native American activist who waded into their group, although several performed a “tomahawk chop” to the beat of his drum.

Investigators said they found no evidence the students chanted “built that wall,” as Phillips claimed.

The teen’s lawyers previously sent “letters for potential lawsuits to over 50 entities ranging from Democratic politicians to celebrities to media figures.”

They include the New York Times, CNN, The Guardian, NPR, TMZ, the Atlantic, HBO, GQ, The Hill, Bustle.com, Kathy Griffin, Rep. Ilhan Omar, Jim Carrey, and Alyssa Milano, among others.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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