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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 September 2018

Mother of slain protester says she won't talk to Trump

Trump said both sides were to blame in clash between white supremacists and anti-fascists

Susan Bro, mother to Heather Heyer, speaks during a memorial for her daughter, on August 16, 2017, at the Paramount Theater in Charlottesville, Va.  Heather Heyer was killed  when a car rammed into a crowd of people protesting a white nationalist rally five days earlier. Andrew Shurtleff/The Daily Progress via AP
Susan Bro, mother to Heather Heyer, speaks during a memorial for her daughter, on August 16, 2017, at the Paramount Theater in Charlottesville, Va. Heather Heyer was killed when a car rammed into a crowd of people protesting a white nationalist rally five days earlier. Andrew Shurtleff/The Daily Progress via AP

The mother of a woman who was killed while protesting against a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, said she will not talk to President Donald Trump because of comments he made after her daughter's death.

Speaking on ABC's "Good Morning America," on Friday, Susan Bro said she initially missed the first few calls to her from the White House. But she now says she will not talk to the president after a news conference in which Mr Trump equated violence by white supremacists at the rally with violence by those protesting the rally.

Ms Bro's daughter, Heather Heyer, 32, was killed and 19 others were injured when a driver rammed a car into a crowd of demonstrators last Saturday. James Alex Fields Jr., from Ohio, has been arrested and charged with murder and other offences.

In the hours afterward, Trump drew criticism when he addressed the violence in broad strokes, saying 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 by Monday, but returned to his original combative stance Tuesday — insisting during an unexpected and contentious news conference at Trump Tower that "both sides" were to blame.

"You can't wash this one away by shaking my hand and saying 'I'm sorry,'" Ms Bro said of the president. She also advised Trump to "think before you speak."

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