Native American protestor Nathan Phillips has spoken out about his encounter with the 'MAGA hat boy' Nick Sandmann at the Indigenous Peoples' March.
Phillips, 64, was invited onto the Today Show for an exclusive interview by news anchor Savannah Guthrie, a day after she faced criticism for inviting Mr Sandmann onto her show to discuss the stand-off.
In the interview, Mr Phillips said that despite still being angry about the incident with the Covington Catholic high schoolers, he has forgiveness for the students and chaperones involved. However, he also insisted that he wants an apology.
Speaking to Guthrie, he said:
Even though I'm still angry, I still have forgiveness in my heart for those students.
When asked about Sandmann's statement, he said he thought it was couched and lacking in sincerity and responsibility:
I have read the statement from Nick Sandmann, the student who stared at me for a long time. He did not apologise, and I believe there are intentional falsehoods in his testimony.
But I have faith that human beings can use a moment like this to find a way to gain understanding from one another.
When asked whether he thinks that Sandmann should apologise, Philips said:
Mr Sandmann had a pre-recorded segment with Gurthie on the Today Show on Wednesday. During the interview, he said that he didn't feel that he had anything to apologise for.
When asked by Guthrie whether he thought he had anything to apologise for, he said:
As far as standing there, I had every right to do so.
My position is that I was not disrespectful to Mr. Phillips. I respect him, I would like to talk to him.
I mean, in hindsight, I wish we could’ve walked away and avoided the whole thing.
Both Mr Sandmann and Mr Phillips have expressed the wish to meet with one another, with Phillips suggesting he will visit Covington Catholic to give cultural sensitivity training.