Trump says PM asked him to set up meeting with suspect and Harry Dunn’s family
Anne Sacoolas said she was “disappointed” she did not meet the family of Harry Dunn at the White House.
Donald Trump has said UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson asked him to set up a meeting between Harry Dunn’s family and the suspect in the case of his death.
Speaking at the White House on Wednesday, President Trump said he thought the teenager’s parents were “ready” to meet 42-year-old Anne Sacoolas after she was allegedly involved in the crash which killed Mr Dunn on August 27.
The 19-year-old parents, Charlotte Charles and Tim Dunn, were invited to meet Mr Trump on Tuesday and then told Mrs Sacoolas was in the next room, but declined to see her.
It is understood that Mrs Sacoolas was “disappointed” a meeting did not take place and that her legal team is trying to handle the matter privately and want to hear from the family or their representatives.
Speaking to reporters at the White House on Wednesday, Mr Trump said: “My meeting with the family yesterday was beautiful in a certain way.
“They did not want to meet the person in question but we had a very good meeting – they are very nice people.
“The meeting took place right here at around six o’clock last night and it was very sad, to be honest.
“She lost, and they lost, her son. I believe it (the car) was going down the wrong way and that happens in Europe – you go to Europe and the roads are opposite and it’s very tough if you’re from the United States.
“That decision to make a right turn when you’re supposed to make a left turn when the roads are opposite and she said that’s what happened.
“It happens to a lot of people, by the way – but she said that’s what happened.
“She was in the room right out there – we met right here and I offered to bring the person in question in and they weren’t ready for it – I did offer.
“Boris, he asked me if I’d do that and I did it. Unfortunately they wanted to meet with her and unfortunately when we had everybody together they decided not to meet – perhaps they had lawyers involved at that time – I don’t know.
“The people were lovely, they were very nice and desperately sad.”
He added: “I thought they were, based on what I saw, ready to meet – but now they say they only want to meet when they are in the UK and that’ll be up to them.
“The family and I expressed our condolences on behalf of our country.”
On Wednesday A Downing Street spokesman said: “The Prime Minister and President spoke last Wednesday. The Prime Minister asked the President to do all he could to help resolve this tragic issue. The President agreed to work on trying to find a way forward.”
Speaking after the meeting on Tuesday, the family’s spokesman Radd Seiger said: “It was the President’s intention for Harry’s family to meet Mrs Sacoolas in the Oval Office in front of several photographers in what was obviously designed to be a press call.
“Harry’s parents remain committed to pursuing a solution to the dispute and need one to happen quickly for the sake of their health.
“Harry’s parents declined any such meeting.”
Continuing his comments on the Justice4Harry GoFundMe page, Mr Seiger said: “It struck us that this meeting was hastily arranged by nincompoops on the run.
“The family remain open to the possibility of meeting Mrs Sacoolas one day in the future but in a neutral and appropriately controlled environment.”