The Latest: McConnell blames ‘far-left activists’ and media

PARK HILLS, Ky. (AP) — The Latest on reaction from a recent encounter between white teenagers, Native American marchers and a black religious sect outside the Lincoln Memorial. (all times local):

1 p.m.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says “far-left activists” and the media are to blame for threats against students at Kentucky’s Covington High School who confronted Native American marchers and a black religious sect in Washington.

The Kentucky Republican said on Wednesday that the students from his home state had received death threats. He said, “Far-left activists and members of the national and state media isolated a very few seconds of video footage from any shred of context and many decided it was time to attack and denigrate these young people.”

Criticism has been widespread since videos showed the students, some wearing “Make America Great Again” hats, facing off against Omaha Nation elder Nathan Phillips last week. But the various sides say they’ve been misunderstood and that partial images were taken out of context.

This item has been corrected to show McConnell spoke Wednesday, not Tuesday.

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10 a.m.

A Catholic high school student whose close encounter with a Native American activist and a black religious sect was captured on video in Washington, D.C. says he has nothing to apologize for.

Nick Sandmann told NBC’s “Today” show on Wednesday that he had every right to be there, as did the others who gathered in front of the Lincoln Memorial. He said he wasn’t disrespectful and was trying to stay calm under the circumstances.

Videos posted of Sandmann and his classmates wearing “Make America Great Again” hats as they faced off against Omaha Nation elder Nathan Phillips have sparked widespread criticism. But the various sides say they’ve been misunderstood and that snippets of video were taken out of context.

Both Sandmann and Phillips have since said they were trying to keep the peace in a volatile situation. Phillips has offered to visit the school and lead a dialogue about cultural understanding. Sandmann said he’d like to speak with him as well.

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8 a.m.

A Catholic boys’ school widely criticized after a confrontation at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington is reopening under the watchful eye of law enforcement in Kentucky.

News outlets reported that a letter sent to parents details extra safety measures being taken as classes resume at Covington Catholic High School on Wednesday.

The letter also says that if parents don’t feel comfortable sending their sons back to class, school officials will “understand this viewpoint during this difficult time period.”

A group of boys from the school went to Washington for an anti-abortion rally. Their encounters with a Native American activist and a black religious sect were captured on video and spread on social media, drawing widespread criticism. The various sides say they were misunderstood.

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