Attorneys for the Covington Catholic High School student who became the center of a national news story said they filed a lawsuit on his behalf against The Washington Post.
President Donald Trump greeted the news with Tweets of support for the student, Nick Sandmann.
Sandmann’s lawsuit against the newspaper seeks $250 million in 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,” attorneys Lin Wood and Todd McMurtry said in a statement posted online. “This is only the beginning.”
The suit was apparently filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Covington.
“Go get them Nick. Fake news!” Trump said Wednesday on Twitter, according to the Associated Press. He also continued his criticism of the press. The targets often include those operations that have published stories with details Trump disputes.
Sandmann, as well as his school, faced threats from those angered by a viral video showing him, his classmates and Native Americans engaged in a much-debated confrontation at the Lincoln Memorial last month. The students had attended the March for Life. The Native Americans had attended the Indigenous Peoples March.
Although Covington Catholic and the Covington Catholic Diocese were initially critical of its students, their views changed.
The new lawsuit, filed on Nick’s behalf by his parents, Ted and Julie Sandmann, accuses The Washington Post of “negligently and with actual malice” publishing “false and defamatory” articles about Nick, causing him “substantial reputational and emotional harm.”
“The Post’s campaign to target Nicholas in furtherance of its political agenda was carried out by using its vast financial resources to enter the bully pulpit by publishing a series of false and defamatory print and online articles which effectively provided a worldwide megaphone to (Native American elder Nathan) Phillips and other anti-Trump individuals and entities to smear a young boy who was in its view an acceptable casualty in their war against the President,” the suit states.
A spokeswoman for The Washington Post told The Cincinnati Enquirer that the organization is reviewing the suit and will “mount a vigorous defense.”
“The Post wrongfully targeted and bullied Nicholas because he was the white, Catholic student wearing a red “Make America Great Again” souvenir cap on a school field trip to the January 18 March for Life,” the lawsuit states.
According to Associated Press, “the president quoted a line from the lawsuit that said the paper “ignored basic journalistic standards because it wanted to advance its well-known and easily documented biased agenda against President Donald J. Trump.”