Nicole Lafond

Nicole Lafond is a news writer for TPM based in New York City. She is also currently earning a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University and previously worked as an education reporter at The News-Gazette in Champaign, Ill. Follow her on Twitter @Nicole_Lafond.

Articles by Nichole

The parents of a Covington Catholic high school student who became the face of an encounter between a group of teen Trump supporters and a Native American activist have sued the Washington Post for $250 million alleging defamation.

And President Trump is cheering the Kentucky teenager on.

“Go get them Nick,” Trump tweeted on Wednesday morning. “Fake News!”

The lawsuit alleges that Covington high schooler Nick Sandmann was “targeted and bullied” by the Post because of his support for Trump. In footage of the encounter, Sandmann is the student who was seen smirking and staring inches away from Native American Nathan Phillips’s face while he performed a song during a protest at the National Mall. Sandmann and the other students were criticized for their behavior, which appeared to be mocking Phillips and other activists.

“In a span of three days in January of this year commencing on January 19, the Post engaged in a modern-day form of McCarthyism by competing with CNN and NBC, among others, to claim leadership of a mainstream and social media mob of bullies which attacked, vilified, and threatened Nicholas Sandmann, an innocent secondary school child,” the complaint says, according to the Post. 

A Washington Post spokeswoman told the newspaper it intended to “mount a vigorous defense” against the defamation allegations.

Sandmann’s legal team did not immediately return TPM’s request for comment.

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White House deputy press secretary Lindsay Walters, who has served since the beginning of the Trump administration, will depart the White House in mid-April, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders confirmed to reporters on Tuesday.

Walters has taken a position as vice president of U.S. public affairs at Edelman Public Relations.

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While making the rounds on Tuesday to discuss his new book, former acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe was confronted by Meghan McCain, co-host of “The View” and daughter of the late Sen. John McCain (R-AZ).

McCain told McCabe she doesn’t see him as a “reliable narrator” and suggested his book tour may be just a publicity stunt to avoid legal troubles.

“I don’t believe you’re a reliable narrator and I’m not convinced this isn’t just some kind of PR campaign to stop yourself from getting indicted,” she said.

“You were fired at the recommendation of the FBI — which, in your book, you cite four times how great of an organization it is, for your lack of candor,” she continued. “I would like you to say right here on national TV that you were not a source for The New York Times. You were never a source for The New York Times or any other publication — considering that is what you were accused of lying about. … Basically were you ever a leaker to the New York Times?”

“Absolutely not, not in any time ever,” he responded.

McCabe has made headlines in recent days over revelations in media appearances and his new book, “The Threat,” that the Justice Department was considering invoking the 25th Amendment to oust Trump.

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Former Deputy Director of the FBI Andrew McCabe told the “Today” show on Tuesday morning that he plans to bring a civil lawsuit against the Department of Justice over his firing, which was directed by former Attorney General Jeff Sessions just hours before he was set to retire from a 20-plus year career in the agency.

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