Presidents reaching out to victims of national tragedies and terrorist attacks has been the norm for a while, but it seems the phone calls expressing sympathy have become increasingly politicized.
The case of President Donald Trump and the mother of Charlottesville attack victim Heather Heyer is the latest example of that. Susan Bro said Thursday that she hadn’t had a chance to talk to Trump because she was too busy with the more practical matters of dealing with the death of her 32-year-old daughter.
Heyer was killed while protesting the white supremacist march on Aug. 12 in Charlottesville.
But she hadn’t yet seen Trump’s latest remarks on the tragedy, in which he seemed to blame the violence that led to the death of Heyer’s daughter to both the white supremacists and the protestors who opposed them.
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“You have – you had a group on one side that was bad, and you had a group on the other side that was also very violent. And nobody wants to say that, but I’ll say it right now,” Trump said at remarks in front of the press on Tuesday. “You had a group – you had a group on the other side that came charging in, without a permit, and they were very, very violent.”
Bro told “Good Morning America” on Friday that she wouldn’t be speaking to the president after seeing those remarks. “Think before you speak,” she directed him.
“I’m not talking to the president now, I’m sorry,” Bro said. “After what he said about my child... it’s not that I’ve seen someone else’s tweets about him, I saw an actual clip of him at a press conference equating the protesters ... with the KKK and the white supremacists.”
Bro said she hadn’t seen Trump’s latest comments until she watched the news Thursday night.
“You won’t wash this one away by shaking my hand and saying ‘I’m sorry,’ ” Bro said. “I don’t forgive you for that.”
That was a reversal from her prior statements, such on Thursday, when she told MSNBC she had received three calls from the White House but had simply been too busy and “drained” to call back after the wake and funeral for her daughter.
She said during that interview that she and Heather Heyer “shared a lot of the same political and activist views.”