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Trump to meet Covington students at White House: report

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UPDATE: January 22, 2019, 3:00 P.M.: This report has been updated to reflect additional information about the meeting's scheduling.

January 22, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – In his latest expression of support, President Donald Trump has allegedly invited the Catholic school boys at the heart of a media firestorm to the White House, conservative commentator Laura Ingraham revealed Tuesday.

Details are scarce at the moment, but Ingraham announced the news Tuesday afternoon on Twitter, adding that the meeting could occur as soon as Wednesday, before issuing a follow-up that a date was more uncertain, and the meeting might not happen until the current government shutdown dispute is resolved. ​

This weekend, the press and social media erupted with claims that a group of students from Covington Catholic High School in Kentucky harassed an elderly Native American veteran while waiting for their bus to take them home from the just-concluded March for Life.

While the original video showed the man, “indigenous peoples” activist Nathan Phillips, beating a drum and singing while students in Trump’s iconic red “Make America Great Again” hats laughed and hollered around him, with one student, in particular, grinning inches from the man’s face, additional video and firsthand accounts soon revealed Phillips was the one who waded into the group waiting for its bus and decided to beat a drum inches from Nick Sandmann’s face, and other adults who accompanied Phillips shouted taunts like “white people, go back to Europe” at the kids.

Nevertheless, dozens of major media outlets ran with Phillips’ initial claims about the event, with Covington Catholic, the Diocese of Covington, and even March for Life President Jeanne Mancini and an editor of the conservative National Review joining them.

Many of the students’ defenders called on the president to use his platform to speak out on the story, which Trump did Monday evening by tweeting that the students “were treated unfairly with early judgments proving out to be false.” He added Tuesday morning that “Nick Sandmann and the students of Covington have become symbols of Fake News and how evil it can be,” while predicting the kids “will use it for the good - maybe even to bring people together.”

Most conservatives and pro-lifers have embraced the president’s intervention in the case, while several on social media have also suggested that he follow up by inviting Sandmann and the other Covington marchers to the White House or the State of the Union address – a suggestion Trump appears to have accepted.

Trump's invitation is the second the teens have received from a public officeholder; on Sunday Dominik Tarczyński, Conservative member of the Polish Parliament and Vice President of the European Conservatives in Council of Europe, invited the students to speak to his country's Parliament on "what you believe in."

As the truth behind the story came out, many who initially attacked the students – contributing to a liberal fervor that has included death threats and attempts to publicize their identities – have since deleted their initial reactions. The Diocese of Covington and the high school have not yet apologized, with principal Robert Rowe confirming Monday evening that an investigation of the matter is still planned.

Trump’s invitation to the Covington students stands in stark contrast to the initial reaction of Nathan Phillips, who said Tuesday it was “not the right time” to meet with the students, but later in the day reversed himself and said he would be willing to discuss race relations at the high school.

“Racial hostility occurred on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial,” Phillips continued to claim, accusing Sandmann of including “intentional falsehoods in his testimony” in his account of the incident. Phillips’ own accounts of the incident have been inconsistent across multiple interviews, and some have raised questions about his status as a Vietnam-era Marine veteran.

Click here to read all LifeSiteNews coverage of the Covington Catholic case.

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