WASHINGTON (CN) – Susan Bro, the mother of the woman killed during a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, last week, said Friday that she would not speak to President Donald Trump after hearing him blame “both sides” for the bloodshed.
“You can’t wash this one away by shaking my hand and saying ‘I’m sorry,’” Bro told ABC’s Good Morning America on Friday.
Heather Heyer, Bro’s 32-year-old daughter, was killed Saturday when James Alex Fields Jr. drove at full speed into a crowd of counterprotesters gathered at the rally.
Fields, a 20-year-old Ohio resident, has been charged with second-degree murder.
“I’m not talking to the President now,” Bro said. “I’m sorry. After what he said about my child, and 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 like Ms. Heyer with the KKK and the white supremacists.”
Heyer’s mother also reported that the White House tried to call her at least three times as she attended her daughter’s funeral.
She missed the calls.
“There were three more frantic messages from press secretaries throughout the day and I didn’t know why that would have been on Wednesday, and I was home recovering from the exhaustion of the funeral and, so I thought well, I’ll get to him later and then I had more meetings to establish her foundation, so I hadn’t really watched the news until last night,” she said.
Grief-stricken and exhausted, Bro said Trump’s defense of white nationalists at the rally in Virginia was unforgivable.
A day earlier, Bro spoke to MSNBC, telling anchor Katy Tur that she now struggles with trying to preserve her daughter’s social justice legacy. She told Tur that infighting between racists and counterprotesters is of little concern to her since her own child was peacefully protesting when struck by Fields.
“Whether there was violence on ‘both sides’ or not is irrelevant,” Bro said on Thursday. “The guy mowed my daughter down and, sorry, that’s not excusable.”
President Trump has come under intense scrutiny for his slow-going rebuke of white nationalists who initiated violence in Charlottesville last weekend, saying there were “very fine people” on “both sides” at the rally.
Bro, who has received death threats since the murder of her daughter, told Good Morning America that she believes Trump is catering to voters who feel left out.
“I think the president has found a niche in voters of the people who feel marginalized and I think he has continued to nurture those marginalized voters,” she said. “I’ve had death threats already… because of what I’m doing right this second.”
If Heyer were alive, Bro said racists and other individuals who feel buoyed by Trump’s statements would hear one thing: laughter.
“She would have laughed them to scorn,” Bro said.