Vietnam Vet Says He Doesn't Believe Teen Was Saying Prayer During Standoff

Playing Vet Says He Doesn't Believe Kentucky Student Was in Prayer

A Vietnam veteran is standing his ground after a recorded interaction with a Kentucky teen wearing a Make America Great Again hat in Washington D.C. 

The viral video has sparked outrage aimed at the teenager seen smiling at Nathan Phillips, 64, who was singing and beating a drum in front of the Lincoln Memorial. The teen, Nick Sandmann, was in D.C. Friday for the March for Life and Phillips was participating in the Indigenous People's March.

"I was not intentionally making faces at the protestor,” Nick Sandmann said in a statement released Sunday. I did smile at one point because I wanted him to know that I was not going to become angry, intimidated or be provoked into a larger confrontation."  

Inside Edition spoke to 64-year-old Nathan Phillips, a Marine Corps vet, about how the high school junior defended himself.

"He put out a statement which flips the narrative, it says he was the one who was there to try and be peaceful. It says he was the one who was there in prayer," Phillips said. 

Sandmann also said in his statement that he remained "motionless and calm" to help defuse the situation, saying a " silent prayer that the situation would not get out of hand.”

Phillips told Inside Edition that he doesn’t believe Sandmann was the in prayer. He added that Sandmann had been the one to block his path, forcing the standoff.

However, Sandmann said in his statement that it was Phillips who "singled me out for a confrontation, although I am not sure why."

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