'No interest' in speaking with Trump, Charlottesville victim's mother says

By Allen Cone  |  Aug. 18, 2017 at 10:39 AM
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Aug. 18 (UPI) -- The mother of the 32-year-old woman killed in Charlottesville last weekend said she has "no interest" in speaking with President Donald Trump, after several attempts to contact her this week by the White House.

"I understand that President Trump wants to speak with me. I've heard from his press secretary and a few other people, and it's not that I'm trying to be calloused. It's that I have no interest in speaking to politicians just to hear them say, 'I'm sorry,'" Susan Bro, mother of victim Heather Heyer, said in an interview that aired Friday on ABC's Good Morning America. "If I felt like that's all they wanted to say, that would be different, but I feel like I'm wanted to be used for political agendas and I'm resistant to that."

Bro did not allow elected officials to speak at the memorial service for Heyer on Wednesday.

In an interview with NBC News, Bro said that the White House had attempted to call her several times since her daughter's death, but that she hasn't had a chance to speak to Trump.

"I saw that his office had called about three times," she said. "It feels awful, but I just haven't had time to talk to the president."

On Wednesday, Trump posted on Twitter: "Memorial service today for beautiful and incredible Heather Heyer, a truly special young woman. She will be long remembered by all!

Bro had had thanked Trump in a statement on Monday for "those words of comfort and for denouncing those who promote violence and hatred." Friday she said she changed after opinion after watching news coverage of the protests in Charlottesville and the president's response.

"I hadn't really watched the news until last night and I'm not talking to the president now, after what he said," Bro explained. "It's not that I saw somebody 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."

She added: "You can't wash this one away by shaking my hand and saying, 'I'm sorry.' I'm not forgiving for that."

Trump had said more than one side had take blame for the violence. Monday, he was specific, saying in a statement "racism is evil, and those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs -- including the KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists and other hate groups that are repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans."

"I wasn't there that day, but I will tell you that I'm pretty sure that's the only person that ran people down with a car, so that level of violence didn't take place on both sides, that did not happen," she said. "I've heard it said that the murder of my daughter was part of making America great. The blood on the streets, is that what made America great? Attacking innocent people with a vehicle, is that what made America great?"

Asked if there was anything she would want to say to Trump, Bro said, "Think before you speak."

Bro, speaking at her daughter's funeral Wednesday, said, "They tried to kill my child to shut her up. Well guess what? You just magnified her."

Bro is now dedicating herself to "forward Heather's mission."

"A lot of people are already aware of injustice, it's not that they're not aware, it's that they won't do anything about it," Bro said Thursday. "'I'm afraid, I'm afraid,' that's what I keep hearing, and that's what the murder of my daughter and the injury of several others was intended to do, was to make people afraid."

Bro urged people to "get involved" when they witness injustices.

"Heather was not a politician, but she was interested in changing people," Bro said of her daughter, who was a paralegal. "My focus is not on politics, my focus is on human beings and on how we as human beings can fix problems."

Bro said reading the "messages of love and support" are conforming but her daughter's death leaves behind "a hole that's not going to be filled by anybody else."

Topics: Donald Trump
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