North America

Trump sides with teens accused of mocking Native American protesters


The president has defended the teenagers in the middle of the racially charged Washington DC protest.

US President Donald Trump has hit out at "fake news' and sided with the students of a Kentucky high school who were accused of mocking a Native American protester last week.

The videos caused uproar in the US on the weekend after it appeared teenagers wearing pro-Donald Trump hats were mocking a Native American at a rally in Washington DC.

Nick Sandmann - one of the students in the video - claimed he did nothing to provoke the Native American and was only trying to calm the situation down.

The Native American, Nathan Phillips, has also come out and said he was trying to defuse tensions that were rising among three protest groups.

But on Wednesday, Mr Trump tweeted his support of the teenagers and attempted to discredit "fake news".

The video of Mr Sandmann standing very close to Mr Phillips, staring and at times smiling at him as Phillips sang and played a drum, gave many the impression that Sandmann was being provocative.

Other students appeared to be laughing at the drummer; and at least one could be seen on video doing a tomahawk chop.

Phillips had approached Sandmann, but well before that, both his group and Sandmann's, which had taken part in the anti-abortion rally, were confronted by a third group that appeared to be affiliated with the Black Hebrew Israelite movement.

Videos show members of the religious group yelling disparaging and profane insults at the students, who taunt them in return.

Video also shows the Native Americans being insulted by the small religious group.

Sandmann wrote that the students were called "racists," "bigots," "white crackers" and "incest kids" by the third group.

He said a teacher chaperone gave the students permission to begin their school chants "to counter the hateful things that were being shouted at our group."

Phillips said he was trying to keep peace between the high school students and the religious group.

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