Heather Heyer‘s mother says she has no interest in speaking with President Donald Trump after his controversial responses to the violent white supremacist rally that led to her daughter’s death in Charlottesville, Virginia, last weekend.
“I understand that President Trump wants to speak with me … 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 said in an ABC News interview that aired Friday on 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 noted that Sarah Sanders, the White House press secretary, “and a few other people” have reached out to her to speak with the embattled president.
Heyer, 32, was killed on Saturday when a driver rammed his car into a group of protesters demonstrating against the white nationalist rally. Police have identified James Alex Fields Jr. as the suspected driver and the 20-year-old has been arrested in connection with Heyer’s death.
In the wake of the violence, Trump did not lay blame on the white supremacists but said instead that “bigotry and hatred” was coming from “many sides.”
After 48 hours of backlash, Trump attempted to change his tune on Monday, specifically naming the hate groups as he condemned racism. However, in a later news conference, he continued to blame “both sides” and referred to counter-protesters as the “alt-left.”
“I hadn’t really watched the news until last night and I’m not talking to the president now, after what he said,” Bro told ABC News. “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.”
A public memorial service was held for Heyer earlier this week and her family asked that attendants wear something purple. A GoFundMe page set up to help her family raised nearly $225,000, exceeding their goal of $50,000.
“I’m honestly a little embarrassed to say that part of the reason Heather got so much attention is because she’s white and she stood up for black people,” Bro said. “Isn’t that a shame? That a white person standing up for a black person caused all this excitement? That should be an everyday thing, that should be a norm.”
Now, Bro said she is dedicating herself to “Heather’s mission.” And she strongly condemned Trump’s declaration that counter-protesters were also to blame for the violence.
“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.