Donald Trump tried to use the grieving mother of Heather Heyer, murdered by a Nazi in Charlottesville, Virginia, to defend himself from universal criticism. She's not letting him get away with it.
Donald Trump has had little to say about the murder of Heather Heyer at the hands of a self-described Nazi enthusiast Saturday.
In his first statement to the public over the weekend, he did not acknowledge her death at all. In his second statement — the one he was forced to read from a teleprompter on Monday — he said, "Her death fills us with grief, and we send her family our thoughts, our prayers, and our love."
And on Tuesday, in his unhinged, rage-filled rant in which he defended Nazis and white supremacists as "fine people" who were the victims of violent attacks from "the left," he invoked Susan Bro, Heyer's mother, to defend himself.
"Her mother wrote me and said through, I guess, Twitter, social media, the nicest things and I very much appreciate that," he said. "Her mother on Twitter thanked me for what I said. And honestly, if the press were not fake and if it was honest, the press would have said what I said was very nice."
On Friday, two days after the beautiful and sad memorial honoring her daughter, Bro had words for Trump that he will likely not brag about.
Like the fact that Trump waited until Wednesday — during her daughter's funeral — to reach out to Bro, ostensibly to offer his condolences.
Asked on ABC's "Good Morning America" whether she had spoken with Trump yet, she said, "I have not, and now I will not."
"I'm not talking to the president now," she added, "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."
She continued. "You can't wash this one away by shaking my hand and saying, 'I'm sorry.' I'm not forgiving him for that."
Asked if she had any other messages for Trump, Bro said, "Think before you speak."
Susan Bro to Trump: "Think before you speak."
Watch this entire 8 min interview with Heather Heyer's mom. (via ABC) pic.twitter.com/wkPOMqfO14
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) August 18, 2017
The truth is that Trump made it clear just how much he doesn't care about Heather Heyer or her grieving family. He expressed far more words of sympathy and support to the Nazis and white supremacists who rioted in Charlottesville than for the victims they attacked. He also had far more words of congratulations to himself for reading a statement someone else obviously wrote for him and forced him to say than of real comfort to the grieving family.
Susan Bro has no obligation to speak to Trump or validate his hate or exploitation of her loss. As she said during her daughter's funeral on Wednesday, "They tried to kill my child to shut her up,” Susan declared. “Well, guess what? You just magnified her."
Heather Heyer was an anti-racist activist. Her mother is now vowing to carry on that mission in her daughter's name. Trump would do well to listen to them both. Sadly, that isn't likely to happen. At the very least, however, he could stop trying to use Bro's grief to excuse his own hateful words.