Charlottesville violence: Heather Heyer's mother refuses to talk to Donald Trump for 'blaming both sides'

Susan Bro, whose daughter Heather Heyer was killed when a suspected white supremacist drove his car into a group of protesters in Charlottesville, said she will not speak to US president Donald Trump.

AFP August 18, 2017 21:21:44 IST
Charlottesville violence: Heather Heyer's mother refuses to talk to Donald Trump for 'blaming both sides'

Washington: Susan Bro, whose daughter Heather Heyer was killed when a suspected white supremacist drove his car into a group of protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia, said Friday she will not speak to US president Donald Trump "after what he said about my child."

Bro, in an interview with ABC's Good Morning America, said the White House had reached out to her several times this week.

"At first, I just missed his calls," said Bro, whose 32-year-old daughter, Heather Heyer, was among the anti-racism protestors who turned out to oppose white nationalists in Charlottesville on Saturday.

Charlottesville violence Heather Heyers mother refuses to talk to Donald Trump for blaming both sides

Car attack victim Heather Heyer's mother Susan Bro speaks at her memorial service. Reuters

"The first call it looked like it actually came during the funeral," Bro said. "I was home recovering from the exhaustion of the funeral, and I thought 'Well I'd get to him later.'"

But Bro said she changed her mind after watching Trump's controversial remarks on Tuesday.

"I'm not talking to the president now," she said. "I'm sorry. After what he said about my child," she said.

"I saw an actual clip of him at a press conference equating the protestors like Ms. Heyer with the KKK (Ku Klux Klan) and the white supremacists," she said.

"You can't wash this one away by shaking my hand and saying 'I'm sorry,'" she said.

Trump on Tuesday said that he'd heard that Heyer was a "fantastic young woman" and her mother had said "the nicest things" about him.

He said the driver of the car that killed Heyer had done a "horrible, inexcusable thing" and condemned the white supremacists and neo-Nazis who organized the rally in Charlottesville.

But Trump has come under fire from Republicans and Democrats alike for insisting the anti-racism protesters were equally to blame for the violence.

Former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney urged the president on Friday to apologize "for the good of the country."

"Whether he intended to or not, what he communicated caused racists to rejoice, minorities to weep, and the vast heart of America to mourn," Romney said in a Facebook post.

"His apologists strain to explain that he didn't mean what we heard," he said. "But what we heard is now the reality, and unless it is addressed by the president as such, with unprecedented candor and strength, there may commence an unraveling of our national fabric.

"Our allies around the world are stunned and our enemies celebrate," Romney said. "The potential consequences are severe in the extreme.

"Accordingly, the president must take remedial action in the extreme," Romney said. "He should address the American people, acknowledge that he was wrong, apologize.

"State forcefully and unequivocally that racists are 100 percent to blame for the murder and violence in Charlottesville," Romney said.

"This is a defining moment for President Trump," he added, before finishing with a personal appeal.

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