Nick Sandmann: Kentucky student filmed in confrontation with Native American protester to speak at Republican convention

Covington Catholic student will reportedly speak at RNC along with other viral sensations like Mark and Patricia McCloskey, a St Louis couple who received felony charges after pointing guns at protesters

A Kentucky teenager seen in a viral video last year wearing a red “Make America Great Again” hat during a reported incident with a Native American elder will speak at the upcoming Republican National Convention.

Nicholas Sandmann confirmed he would speak at the four-day event next week in a tweet, writing: “I can’t tell you all enough about how excited I am to be apart [sic] of this years RNC!”

He became part of a national news cycle after a viral video showed him standing close to Nathan Phillips, a 66-year-old Native American activist, as he sang a chant near the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington.

The teenager was with his classmates from Covington Catholic High School for a trip to the nation’s capitol, where they attended the annual March for Life rally, when the encounter occurred.

A shortened video clip of his encounter with the activist drew controversy, as some viewers said the teen and his classmates were allegedly attempting to intimidate Mr Phillips. A second video that subsequently went viral days later appeared to provide more context, while the teen said in a statement released following the incident that he had been trying to remain calm and diffuse the situation.

“I never felt like I was blocking the Native American protestor. He did not make any attempt to go around me. It was clear to me that he had singled me out for a confrontation, although I am not sure why,” Mr Sandmann said at the time.

The teen sued the Washington Post for $250 million — a case that eventually settled out of court — and threatened legal action against several other media outlets for what he and his parents alleged was modern-day “McCarthyism” and “targeting and bullying” over their coverage of the viral video.

The teen also reportedly received offers of assistance from the White House, which said it “reached out” and “voiced our support” to the students from Covington Catholic High School who were involved in the trip.

“Thanks to my family & millions of you who have stood your ground by supporting me,” he tweeted at the time. “I still have more to do.”

News of the teenager speaking at the Republican National Convention, where Donald Trump was expected to accept the party’s nomination for the White House, was tweeted on Monday by the Trump campaign and others.

Officials reportedly first confirmed the news to the right-wing website Breitbart.

Mark and Patricia McCloskey, a St Louis couple who received felony charges after pointing guns at protestors in a confrontation that was recorded and subsequently went viral this summer, were also scheduled to speak at the convention.

Other speakers scheduled to speak at the event included Abby Johnson, a former Planned Parenthood director who is now an anti-choice advocate, Andrew Pollack, father of a victim in the Parkland shooting massacre, and Sean Parnell, a combat veteran and candidate for Congress in Pennsylvania.

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