Nick Sandmann, who has probably become the most famous MAGA hat-wearing teen after being falsely accused of confronting Nathan Phillips, a 64-year-old Native American, believes his actions were not "disrespectful".
Speaking with NBC's Savannah Guthrie, Sandmann, who was filmed smiling in the face of Phillips, while he was beating his drum, said that he "had every right" to stand before the man.
"My position is that I was not disrespectful to Mr Phillips. I respect him, I would like to talk to him. In hindsight, I wish we could have walked away and avoided the whole thing", he said.
"Do you feel from this experience that you owe anybody an apology? Do you see your own fault in any way?”— TODAY (@TODAYshow) 22 January 2019
Tune in to @NBCNightlyNews for a preview of @SavannahGuthrie's interview with Nick Sandmann. Full interview tomorrow on TODAY. pic.twitter.com/7Croh0Toyj
The boy's interview comes shortly after an earlier statement, in which he said that "by remaining motionless and calm, I was helping to [defuse] the situation. I said a silent prayer that the situation would not get out of hand".
The account is assumed to belong to a California schoolteacher, who posted the clip with the caption "this MAGA loser gleefully bothering a Native American protester at the Indigenous Peoples March" on 18 January.
While @2020fight was not the first to share it, that particular tweet and caption helped promote it and foment a nationwide controversy, reportedly racking up over 2.5 million views and 14,400 retweets.
The account was reportedly frozen after CNN Business inquired about the user's profile picture, which appeared not to be of a schoolteacher, but a Brazil-based blogger.
"Deliberate attempts to manipulate the public conversation on Twitter by using misleading account information is a violation of the Twitter Rules", a spokesperson for the social media platform said in a statement to The Hill.
The video, shared by @2020fight, showed boys in hats with Trump's signature brand surrounding a Native American man as he beat his hand drum. Initial media reports suggested that the students were chanting and harassing the elder, with the camera largely focusing on Sandmann's smiling face.
As Sandmann later explained, he didn't step aside and smiled in the man's face in order to let him know that he was not "going to become angry, intimidated or be provoked into a larger confrontation".
After facing overwhelming backlash, Sandmann issued a statement, saying that "misinformation" and "outright" lies were being spread about the encounter. He elaborated that a group of African-American protesters shouted "hateful things" at him and his schoolmates.
"The protestor everyone has seen in the video began playing his drum as he waded into the crowd, which parted for him. I did not see anyone try to block his path. He locked eyes with me and approached me, coming within inches of my face. He played his drum the entire time he was in my face", he wrote.
Addressing the widespread indignation and false accusations, US President Donald Trump described the incident as a symbol of fake news:
Looking like Nick Sandman & Covington Catholic students were treated unfairly with early judgements proving out to be false — smeared by media. Not good, but making big comeback! “New footage shows that media was wrong about teen’s encounter with Native American” @TuckerCarlson— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) 22 January 2019
Nick Sandmann and the students of Covington have become symbols of Fake News and how evil it can be. They have captivated the attention of the world, and I know they will use it for the good — maybe even to bring people together. It started off unpleasant, but can end in a dream!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) 22 January 2019