WH spox pushes back against accusations of ‘ambush’ meeting with Trump and grieving parents

White House spokesperson Hogan Gidley was pushed in a Thursday morning appearance on Fox News about a meeting President Donald Trump had with the parents of Harry Dunn, a young U.K. man allegedly killed in a traffic accident by Anne Sacoolas, the wife of a U.S. diplomat.

The parents, Charlotte Charles and Tim Dunn, previously gave an interview to CNN where they painted Trump and his administration in an unflattering light after they reportedly urged Dunn’s parents to meet with Sacoolas.

(Screenshot from “America’s Newsroom”)

The parents described the meeting as an “ambush” and said Trump’s “henchmen” were “snarling” at them.

“Hogan, were you in the room when the parents of Harry Dunn, this 19-year-old British man who was killed by the wife of a U.S. diplomat overseas, she was driving on the wrong side of the road, she fled. She was at the White House along with the victim’s parents, and then the parents said that the president’s team tried to arrange a meeting with the parents and the women who killed their son. Those parents appeared this morning on another network and described that moment as an ambush. Were you there, what happened, how do you explain that?” “America’s Newsroom” co-host Sandra Smith asked.

“Well I’ve spoken with the president directly about this, and it’s just a horrific situation,” Gidley responded.

“He offered his condolences to the family, he understands the gravity of this moment and the gravity of the situation, he did this simply on the behest of Boris Johnson, in fact to meet with that family. He wasn’t trying to ambush anybody. The fact is he wanted to offer his condolences. He understood exactly what was going on and, of course, the diplomatic relationship we share with the U.K. as well, and he was simply trying to offer his condolences to a grieving family facing a horrific situation.”

“Did he apply pressure on that family to meet with that woman?” Smith asked.

“Absolutely not,” Gidley shot back. He went on to describe the president as very heartfelt in the meeting, but the Fox News hosts refused to let go. Gidley even said the president was “wonderful” in the meeting and made sure to express how “sad” he was over the situation.

“They described it as an ambush. Why would they?” Bill Hemmer said, jumping in.

Hemmer and Smith kept pushing with quotes from the parents, but Gidley said he felt the descriptions were all wrong.

“Again, that’s their description, I didn’t get any of that when I talked to the president about the situation,” he eventually said.

He added that it was “in fact [Trump] was the one calming everybody down and saying ‘Listen I’m just here to offer my condolences to you who have suffered such a horrific loss.’”

“That’s what the president does in these situations,” he added.

He went on to say that the parents are “entitled to their own opinion about the matter, but the president didn’t pressure anybody. He doesn’t do that in those situations. He’s a father. He’s a grandfather. He understands this type of sadness.”

Trump expressed sympathy for the victim and his loved ones, calling the incident a horrible accident when the story first emerged.


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