McConnell’s campaign hires Covington grad Nicholas Sandmann

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-Ky.) reelection campaign confirmed that it has hired Nicholas Sandmann, the Kentucky teenager who garnered national attention for his viral encounter with a Native American elder in a crowd last year at the Lincoln Memorial.

The campaign confirmed to The Hill on Saturday that Sandmann will work as a grassroots director for McConnell’s reelection bid and that he started in the new role this month. His job will entail assisting in field operations and building coalitions.

“We’re excited to have Nicholas on Team Mitch. Along with our already strong team, his efforts to bring people together all across Kentucky will be critical to Senator McConnell’s victory this November,” said campaign manager Kevin Golden. 

Sandmann, who will remain a student at Transylvania University as he works for the McConnell campaign, appeared to announce the news Thursday when he tweeted, “Finally got to add more to my bio than just my schools.”

Sandmann was among the students from Covington Catholic High School who attended an anti-abortion march in Washington in early 2019.

Video quickly went viral of Sandmann standing close to Nathan Phillips, a Native American man, as Phillips played on a drum. Sandmann was seen smiling and wearing a Make America Great Again hat.

The teenager announced last month that he had reached a settlement in his $250 million defamation lawsuit with The Washington Post after coverage of the event led to an avalanche of criticism against the teen. He also reached a settlement in his $275 million lawsuit against CNN earlier in 2020.

Both Sandmann and Phillips have since said they were trying to defuse tensions as competing groups held rallies at the same site.

Sandmann found himself in the national spotlight again this week when he spoke at the Republican National Convention, where he railed against the media and “cancel culture.”

“I learned that what was happening to me had a name,” he said. “It was called being canceled. As in annulled. As in revoked. As in made void.” 

“Canceled is what’s happening to people around this country who refuse to be silenced by the far left,” he added. “Many are being fired, humiliated or even threatened. Often, the media is a willing participant.”

McConnell is running for a seventh Senate term and is facing off against Democrat Amy McGrath, a former Marine combat pilot and House candidate who has raised enormous sums of money to unseat the Senate leader. Still, McConnell is expected to win the election.

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