Savannah Guthrie Faces Backlash for Interview With Nick Sandmann

Playing 16-Year-Old Student in MAGA Hat Wishes He ‘Walked Away’ From Native American

Savannah Guthrie is under fire for her Wednesday interview with the Kentucky high school student at the center of the viral video that has divided the nation

In a social media tweetstorm, the “Today” show host's questions are being called "appalling,” a "sham” and "not journalism."

Outrage is being directed at Guthrie from all sides, as Fox News’ Laura Ingraham said Guthrie “has that very concerned look on her face.” She added, “Oh, come on Savannah, you’re better than that!”

Angie Thomas, author of "The Hate U Give," tweeted, "This is appalling. @TODAYshow, @SavannahGuthrie, and all involved need to be ashamed. I'm still waiting for the day kids of color are given this much sympathy. DO BETTER."

And Bernice King, daughter of the late Martin Luther King Jr., wondered on Twitter, "Imagine #TrayvonMartin having a chance to tell his side of the story. Imagine media searching for a better view on #MikeBrown’s behalf."

Fox News media critic Howard Kurtz spoke to Inside Edition about the interview and supported Guthrie.

"I think the criticism of Savannah Guthrie is completely unfair. She did what any journalist would have done. The fact that some people didn’t like it says more about their own partisan, political, ideological views," he said. 

Nick Sandmann, 16, spoke on-camera for the first time about that confrontation with a Native American activist on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. 

“I can't say I’m sorry for listening to him and standing there,” he told Guthrie. 

When asked why he didn’t just walk away, he replied, “Well, now I wish I would have walked away.”

Sandmann bought his "Make America Great Again" hat that same day from a Washington street vendor.  

As for the look on his face that has enraged many people, he said he wasn’t smirking. 

“People have judged me based on one expression, which I wasn't smirking, but people have assumed that and they've gone from there to titling me and labeling me as a racist person,” he said. 

Inside Edition spoke to Nathan Phillips, the Native American who locked eyes with Sandmann, and got his reaction to Sandmann's interview.

"No sense of responsibility and from what I have been told, he does have a P.R. firm, so those aren’t his words," he said. 

Covington Catholic High School in Kentucky is facing threats of violence because its students were involved in the Lincoln Memorial confrontation. 

The school reopened Wednesday with a police guard, and two students appeared on "Fox & Friends" to say everyone is coming back together “as a community.” 

Philips is facing criticism too. He's been described as a Vietnam veteran in many media reports. While he was a U.S. Marine from 1972 to 1976, he says he never served in Vietnam. He denied trying to mislead anyone. 

"They would say, ‘Were you in Vietnam?’ and I would say, ‘I never stepped foot in South Vietnam,'" Phillips said of his media interviews. 

Sandmann has said he would like to meet with Phillips but the elder says he is not sure he'd agree to that because he doesn't believe the teenager is being sincere.

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