On CNN Thursday, grieving British parents Tim Dunn and Charlotte Charles were shown footage of how President Donald Trump reacted to the motor vehicle death of their teenage son Harry at the hands of American diplomatic wife Anne Sacoolas.
Trump has refused to waive diplomatic immunity for Sacoolas to face punishment for her actions — and tried to defuse the situation by arranging a surprise meeting between Sacoolas and the parents which fortunately never took place.
“Radd, as you watched all of that play out, describe the mood in the room and what you left feeling after that — after that surprise,” said anchor Alisyn Camerota.
“Just incredible because, again, we didn’t ask for this meeting,” said family spokesman Radd Sieger. “We would have happily engaged in a discussion to go to the White House eventually. But with a plan who we were meeting. Literally, out of the blue, my phone rang and I was asked to — whether we would be prepared to come down to the White House. So that context is important because we were busy doing our thing. We weren’t prepared for it. Four hours later, to be sat in the Oval Office, imagine how — it’s intimidating for me, let alone my good friends here. And then very quickly, the atmosphere changed. He’s a very forceful character. I’ve got her here. She’s in the next room. You’re going to meet her. And there was no sort of thought about what these people were going through. I presume if there was a psychiatrist there, he would have said, no way. I’m not a psychiatrist, but I’m protecting these people from harm. You do that in a controlled environment. Not in the Oval Office with the cameras and henchmen snarling at us and big Secret Service people. I mean it was terrifying.”
“I’d suggest that’s not a good way to help people recover from the loss of their son,” said Sieger. “And I would have thought that would have been the priority when President Trump met these good people yesterday. Not to have a photo op which, having now having 48 hours to process it, it’s clear to me what he was trying to do.”
“And he also, I think, tried to explain the accident in which your son was killed,” added Camerota. “Let us play this moment.”
“She lost and they lost their son,” said Trump in the clip. “I believe it was going down the wrong way, because that happens in Europe. You go to Europe and the roads are opposite. And it’s very tough, if you are from the United States, you do make that decision to make a right turn where you’re supposed to make a left turn. The roads are opposite. And she said that’s what happened. That happens to a lot of people, by the way.”
“What did that statement mean to you?” asked Camerota.
“Just stating the obvious,” said Charlotte, as Tim was overcome with emotion. “You know, that he just still doesn’t really understand, although it is an accident, how much it’s broken us as a family. And she still needs to face the justice system and come back to the UK and see us on our soil.”
Rick Santorum smacked down for claiming Sondland testimony helped Trump
On Wednesday's edition of CNN's "Cuomo Prime Time," former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) tried to argue that the testimony of E.U. Ambassador Gordon Sondland actually helped President Donald Trump — and was promptly challenged.
"I think the Democrats had a good morning. I don't think they had a good afternoon," said Santorum. "I think what when the Republicans actually started questioning Sondland about the details, I think it fell apart a little bit."
"How so?" asked Chris Cuomo.
"He said the president never said any of these things to him," said Santorum. "In fact, what the president said, he quoted what the president said is, no, there's no quid pro quo. What he says is, well, I'm surmising, this is what I'm just sort of gathering. Did anything come from the president? No, it came from Rudy Giuliani."
Dem lawmaker demolishes GOP defense that Trump still did more for Ukraine than Obama
During the impeachment testimony of State Department officials Laura Cooper and David Hale, Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) used his time to dismantle a growing defense of President Donald Trump's apparent use of Ukrainian foreign aid for an extortion scheme: that Obama didn't give Ukraine aid either, so Trump didn't even have to.
"Now as to the justification," said Swalwell. "The justification is that the Obama administration only provided blankets, so the Ukrainians should be grateful, even after being shaken down, that the Trump administration provided more, but the truth, Ms. Cooper, is that under the Obama administration and the European Reassurance Initiative, $175 million were provided from U.S. taxpayer dollars to the Ukrainians, is that right?"
Trumper Scott Jennings slams Devin Nunes for ‘being caught totally flat-footed’
It's clear the morning testimony didn't go as well as Republicans had wanted. The concern was evident on the face of House Minority Leader Devin Nunes (R-CA), who exchanged glances with the GOP counsel.
Republican Scott Jennings is quick to defend the White House and the GOP, but Wednesday even he was forced to concede his party wasn't prepared for what EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland testified.
CNN host John King noted that the Republican counsel brought up Rudy Giuliani and his business relationships in Ukraine, outside of his work for President Donald Trump.