MSNBC’s Tur Pesters Charlottesville Victim’s Mother About Trump

Heather Heyer was murdered in Charlottesville, Virginia when a white nationalist terrorist drove through a crowd of counter protesters on Saturday. Her mother Susan Bro, who has vowed to carry on her daughter’s mission, appeared on MSNBC Live on Thursday to have an interview with host Katy Tur. If you thought the interview would be about Heather or how her mother planned to continue you’d be wrong.

Out of the seven questions, Tur asked in the aired portion of their taped interview, five of them were about the President.

Tur’s first question was indeed about Heyer, but that was all. “I'd love if you could tell us a little bit more about your daughter. What moment are you going to hold on to,” she inquired. But from there, she went right into five straight questions about Trump:

He also told reporters that he would be reaching out to you. Have you had a chance to speak with the President?

Bro explained that ever since her daughter’s untimely death, her schedule had been really full. “When we got home from the funeral and reception I was completely drained, and we had family gathered around. I had my phone turned off,” she said, noting she had three phone calls from him. “And so it feels awful, but I just haven't had time to talk to the President, but yes, he has reached out.”

Oftentimes in public tragedies like this, the President will be invited to speak at a memorial service. Was President Trump invited to this one?

According to Bro, she allowed no politicians to speak at her daughter’s memorial service. “I just felt like there will be plenty of time later for political speeches, that sort of thing, but this was all about my daughter and her life and her legacy, and that was totally my focus,” she told Tur.

You said yesterday that you're speaking now because your daughter cannot speak now. When you do have a chance to speak to the President, what are you going to tell him?

“My daughter had a mission to make things fair and equitable for everyone, and I'm going to continue that mission,” Bro reiterated. “And anything he can do to further that mission; I'll be behind him.” The answer may not have been enough for Tur, because she quickly followed up with: “What would you like to see him do?” Bro didn’t know and didn’t want to “presume to know what the President does or how he does it.”

Unironically, Tur prefaced her last question about Trump by claiming “I don't want to make this about politics.” She then proceeded to call into question the President’s comment that there was violence “on all sides” that day.

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Surprisingly, Bro sounded almost like the President, saying: “I did not because I'm a person who believes: Have all your facts before you make a statement, and I did not watch the rally.” “And so whether there was violence on both sides or not is irrelevant. The guy mowed my daughter down. Sorry, that's not excusable,” she added.

The last question to be aired by Tur was her asking Bro about the other white nationalist marches that were coming up, and wondering: “What does it say to you about where we are as a country?”

Bro’s answer was stunningly beautiful and really brought a humanizing aspect to the conversation:

What that says to me is that there are people who feel marginalized, there are people who feel their voices are not being heard, and I think that everybody needs to sit down and have an honest and painful discourse. We need to listen to each other, stop the name-calling. Once you put somebody into a name, you put them in a box and then you can put them on a shelf and you don't really have to look at them. But people are much more complicated than that.

“So as much as I detest what the nationalists seem to be trying to say, they have a voice that they're trying to express and somebody needs to find out what it is that's bothering them, in the same way,” any group wants to be heard, she added.

(H/T The Washington Free Beacon)

Transcript below:

MSNBC Live
August 17, 2017
2:52:45 PM Eastern

KATY TUR: Susan, thank you very much for joining us. I'd love if you could tell us a little bit more about your daughter. What moment are you going to hold on to?

SUSAN BRO: I think I'm going to hold on to the stubborn little girl that I remember and the conversations that we had in the later days of her life. Because she and I shared a lot of the same political and activist views, and we just enjoyed sounding off of each other. Some of our dinners together are my greatest treasures. But honestly the late night messages that we would send each other too, “I love you, I love you too,” those quick little things those I’m going to miss a lot.

But those are the things that I hold on to because I don't have any regrets knowing that we had those -- she knew she was loved all the way through her life, and that means a lot to me.

TUR: Susan, the President tweeted yesterday: “Memorial service today for beautiful and incredible Heather Heyer, a truly special young woman. She will be long remembered by all.” He also told reporters that he would be reaching out to you. Have you had a chance to speak with the President?

BRO: I have not. I did -- when we got home from the funeral and reception I was completely drained, and we had family gathered around. I had my phone turned off. We had Heather's dog, who was not doing well. We took her to the vet. And so I didn't even turn my phone on until around midnight and then I saw that his office had called about three times, and I had several meetings scheduled this morning. One to set up the foundation for Heather's funds that have come in. And so it feels awful, but I just haven't had time to talk to the President, but yes, he has reached out.

TUR: Oftentimes in public tragedies like this, the President will be invited to speak at a memorial service. Was President Trump invited to this one?

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BRO: No, ma'am. No public officials were allowed to speak. I had a minister who was a community leader speak at her funeral and I actually had two of those. And that was all I would allow. I just felt like there will be plenty of time later for political speeches, that sort of thing, but this was all about my daughter and her life and her legacy, and that was totally my focus. I would not allow any politicians to speak. And certainly asked, but I just said no.

TUR: Totally understand that. Absolutely. You said yesterday that you're speaking now because your daughter cannot speak now. When you do have a chance to speak to the President, what are you going to tell him?

BRO: My daughter had a mission to make things fair and equitable for everyone, and I'm going to continue that mission. And anything he can do to further that mission, I'll be behind him.

TUR: What would you like to see him do?

BRO: I don't know. I don't know. I wouldn't presume to know what the President does or how he does it, so I really wouldn't try to speak to that at all.

TUR: I don't want to make this about politics, but politics is so consuming this tragedy and so consuming everything that happened in Charlottesville that day. The President went on to blame both sides, again, just the other day saying there was violence on the left, there was violence on the right and equating the two. Did you have a reaction to that?

BRO: I did not because I'm a person who believes have all your facts before you make a statement, and I did not watch the rally. I don't know if there were non-peaceful protestors there. I don't even know what the KKK and others were doing. I saw a few sound bites of the sample fighting but it was the same sound bite over and over.

And so whether there was violence on both sides or not is irrelevant. The guy mowed my daughter down. Sorry, that's not excusable.

TUR: Your daughter was there protesting hate. She was protesting racism. She is protesting this white nationalist protest that was trying to save a statue of the confederate president. There are other nationalist marches planned for other cities in this country. What does it say to you about where we are as a country?

BRO: What that says to me is that there are people who feel marginalized, there are people who feel their voices are not being heard, and I think that everybody needs to sit down and have an honest and painful discourse. We need to listen to each other, stop the name-calling. Once you put somebody into a name, you put them in a box and then you can put them on a shelf and you don't really have to look at them. But people are much more complicated than that.

So as much as I detest what the nationalists seem to be trying to say, they have a voice that they're trying to express and somebody needs to find out what it is that's bothering them, in the same way, any group -- I think all groups need to start talking to one another, stop the punches, stop the kicking, stop the -- once you've thrown a punch, once you've thrown a kick, once you’ve hurled a rock, you've become irrational.

And I'm looking for honest and painful discussion about what's bothering everybody, because that's the bottom line. We're all bothered, so let's figure out what the sources of that pain and hurt and anger are.


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