The mother of Heather Heyer, the woman who was killed while protesting a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, VA, said Friday that she won't talk to President Donald Trump because of comments he made after her daughter's death.
Speaking on ABC's Good Morning America, Susan Bro said she initially missed the first few calls to her from the White House, including one where Trump tried to reach out during her daughter's funeral. But she said "now I will not" talk to the president after a news conference in which Trump said white nationalists and neo-Nazi groups at the rally were equally to blame as counter-protesters for the violence in Charlottesville.
"I'm not talking to the president now, I'm sorry. After what he said about my child," she said. "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. Heyers' with the KKK and the white supremacists."
In the hours afterward, Trump drew criticism when he addressed the violence in broad strokes and didn't disavow white nationalists, saying instead that he condemned "in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry, and violence on many sides, on many sides."
Pressured by advisers, the president had softened his words on the dispute Monday, but returned to his combative stance Tuesday — insisting during an unexpected and contentious news conference at Trump Tower that "both sides" were to blame. His comments on the press conference gained him the praise of people like former KKK leader David Duke.
"You can't wash this one away by shaking my hand and saying 'I'm sorry,'" Bro said of the president's press conference. She also advised Trump to "think before you speak."
In a separate interview Thursday, she told NBC News that she had received death threats for speaking up against the violence that claimed the life of her daughter last weekend.
"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."
However, Bro said she won't live in fear and will continue Heyer's legacy by creating a foundation in her name.
"I want people to start talking to one another," she said. "Equality is ... when you see a person not a label."