Donald Trump’s complete and utter lack of empathy never sees to astonish. Yesterday, the parents of Harry Dunn—the British teen who was killed when the wife of an American diplomat drove on the wrong side of the road in the United Kingdom—visited the White House and were met with what they described to NBC News as an unwelcome “bombshell.”
Dunn’s mother Charlotte Charles and father Tim Dunn went to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue expecting to meet with a senior official but were instead greeted by Trump who informed them that Anne Sacoolas, who police say was responsible for their son’s death, was in the building and that they could meet with her. Sacoolas previously fled the UK under the aegis of diplomatic immunity.
“The bombshell was dropped not soon after we walked in the room: Anne Sacoolas was in the building and was willing to meet with us,” Charles told reporters.
Understandably, the parents declined to meet Sacoolas under such circumstances. While Dunn said he believes Trump “genuinely will look to try and resolve” the legal-diplomatic knot, Charles voiced some frustrations, saying that the meeting with the administration went “round in circles” as the president and his aides tried to convince them to meet Sacoolas then and there.
Radd Seiger, the spokesman for the grieving family, told The Daily Beast that they felt “ambushed” by the surprise.
According to The Washington Post, some White House officials argued against the ill-conceived ambush. Ultimately, Trump overruled them because he was hoping for some kind of “hug and make up moment,” a source aware of the proceedings told the Post.
Clearly, the president has still not managed to shed his reality television roots and conducted himself as if he was on an episode of Dr. Phil or Maury rather than at the center of a tragic situation in need of an extremely light touch. It should have been obvious to him that Dunn’s parents wouldn’t want to meet Sacoolas under such staged, uncomfortable conditions.
While Trump stated that the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson pushed for him to hold the meeting, the Post reports that the British government was not aware of Trump’s scheme.
Trump described the meeting as "beautiful but sad".
— Sky News (@SkyNews) October 16, 2019
Charles shared her feelings about the incident on CBS This Morning earlier today.
“We’ve said all along that you know we are willing to meet her, we are still willing to meet her but it needs to be on U.K. soil. You know and with therapist and mediators and that’s not just for us that’s for her as well. You know she’s traumatized, her children are traumatized,” Charles said. “You know, to be thrown into a room together with no prior warning, that’s not good for her mental health, and it’s certainly not good for ours,” she added.
Watch the clip below.
"We've said all along that we are willing to meet her, we are still willing to meet her, but it needs to be on U.K. soil… to be thrown into a room together with no prior warning, that's not good for her mental health, it's certainly not good for ours." — Charlotte Charles pic.twitter.com/4Nh6giKTLW
— CBS This Morning (@CBSThisMorning) October 16, 2019