Donald Trump was today branded ‘oafish and insulting’ by the bereft family of a British teenager killed by the wife of a US diplomat after he made an ‘inflammatory’ remarks defending her for driving on the wrong side of the road.
Charlotte Graham, whose son Harry Dunn was hit and killed by Anne Sacoolas outside a US spy base in Britain, is ‘disgusted’ by the US President who said British roads are confusing for Americans and said: ‘It happens’.
And in an astonishing moment last night Mr Trump was also photographed holding a briefing note marked ‘secret’, and written by the US National Security Council, that said: ‘The spouse of the US government employee will not return to the United Kingdom’.
Reacting to the slip-up, Harry’s mother said: ‘I’ve seen it [the note] – we’re just disgusted’ and in a message for Mr Trump she added: ‘He must know exactly where she is. I would urge him to put her on a plane back to the UK to face our justice system here, face us, and talk to us.
Radd Seiger, the spokesman for the Dunn family also told MailOnline today: ‘Trump’s comments are an attempted justification for what Anne Sacoolas did. They are insensitive, clumsy, oafish and insulting. We are horrified by his words and this has just brought more pain to the Dunn family.
‘Trump has just inflamed the situation. He’s caused more hurt and made the matter worse. His choice of words is appalling’.
Harry’s mother revealed the family are receiving thousands of messages from supporters around the world, many from America, reacting with ‘disbelief’ to the US’ decision to protect Sacoolas and hide her.
Charlotte Graham, whose son Harry Dunn died six weeks ago, says she is ‘disgusted’ that Trump will not hand over alleged killer Anne Sacoolas, who hit him with her car while on the wrong side of the road
Donald Trump appeared to defend the woman for
Mr Trump’s bombshell briefing reveals the US has already told Britain she will not be returned to the UK to face justice
Harry, 19, was killed n a car crash in Northamptonshire allegedly caused by the diplomat’s wife
Last night in Washington Mr Trump acknowledged that ‘a tragedy occurred’ and described suspect Anne Sacoolas – who he did not name – as ‘driving on the wrong side of the road’.
He then suggested he had done the same too in the UK, where he has two golf courses.
‘Those are the opposite roads. That can happen,’ Trump said. ‘I won’t say it ever happened to me, but it did. When you get used to driving on our system and you’re all of a sudden on the other system, where you’re driving, it happens. You have to be careful.’
But Mr Trump last night also said he will arrange a meeting between the family of a teenage car crash victim and the US diplomat’s wife who was the driver.
The US President admitted there is ‘tremendous anger’ over Harry Dunn’s death and urged the families to meet ‘so there can be some healing’.
Mr Trump described the death of the 19-year-old as a ‘terrible accident’ and said that Anne Sacoolas, 42, was driving on the wrong side of the road when she hit him. But he made no commitment to waive her diplomatic immunity, or return her to the UK to face further police questioning. Speaking at the White House, the President said: ‘We’re going to speak to the wife of the diplomat…and see what we can come up with so that there can be some healing.’
He stressed that he ‘hates this case’ and admitted it was ‘a very, very complex issue because we are talking about diplomatic immunity’.
The family of Harry Dunn (left with blonde hair, his mother Charlotte Charles, and right his father Mr Dunn) have said a meeting with Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab over the death of their son felt like a ‘publicity stunt’ – as they confirmed they were launching civil action against the suspect in the case
Donald Trump was asked publicly about Harry Dunn’s death and the suspicion that he was killed by an American spy’s wife and addressed it for the first time, calling it ‘a very complex issue.’ He said he wanted the woman and the bereaved family to meet for ‘some healing’
His intervention caused even more anger.
A Downing Street spokesman has revealed conversations between the Prime Minister (pictured earlier this week) and Mr Trump have taken place about the case of Harry Dunn
The President’s intervention comes after Harry’s family spoke of their ‘disappointment and anger’ following a meeting with the Foreign Secretary. Harry’s parents were left in tears after spending 45 minutes speaking to Dominic Raab about pushing for the return of Mrs Sacoolas.
Charlotte Charles, Harry’s mother, was visibly distressed as she told how she felt they had been let down by the Government, branding the meeting little more than ‘a publicity stunt’.
She and Harry’s father, Tim Dunn, said they had their hopes raised by the prospect of an audience with the Foreign Secretary.
But they said Mr Raab told them that Mrs Sacoolas has diplomatic immunity and that it is highly unlikely the US will ever grant a waiver so she can return to the UK to face questioning.
Speaking at a press conference in Westminster after the meeting, Mrs Charles said: ‘I can’t really see the point as to why we were invited to see Dominic Raab. We are no further forward than where we were this time last week.
‘Part of me is feeling like it was just a publicity stunt on the UK Government side to show they are trying to help.’
Harry Dunn’s mother Charlotte weeps as she and her family speak to the media following a meeting with foreign secretary Dominic Raab yesterday afternoon
Harry Dunn (pictured, right, and, left, with his mother) died following a crash near the RAF airbase in Northamptonshire
Why are Americans at RAF Croughton in the UK?
RAF Croughton is an air base that is currently being leased by the US government.
It houses the 422nd Air Base Group, but is also being used by spies working for the Joint Intelligence Operations Center Europe (JIOCEUR).
JIOCEUR is a military intelligence analysis center which is part of the Defense Intelligence Agency. The agency is an external branch of government which provides intelligence to ‘warfighters, defense policymakers and force planners in the Department of Defense and the Intelligence Community’.
The entrance to RAF Croughton is shown. Sacoolas was exiting the base when she turned onto the wrong side of the road on August 27
It provides intelligence information for the U.S. European and African commands as well as NATO.
The Center is based at RAF Molesworth in Cambridgeshire but, following the 2015 announcement that it was to close in 2023, many of the positions were moved to Croughton.
There are plans to consolidate it with the U.S. Africa Command to make a larger station at Croughton that will be known as the Joint Intelligence Analysis Complex – a major hub for US intelligence gathering.
According to locals in Croughton, the communications center – where Sacoolas’ husband is said to work – is a ‘site within the site’ which has its own separate security.
The US government is reconsidering the relocation after being met with resistance from lawmakers who said it would be too expensive.
A file photo of a geodesic dome covering radar scanners and satellite dishes at the base. It is an intelligence gathering hub which the US Defense Intelligence Agency uses to collect information from Europe and Africa
Boris Johnson last night urged Mr Trump to intervene to ensure Mrs Sacoolas, who was driving a SUV Volvo in the collision with Harry, faces justice.
The Prime Minister spoke to the President last night to ask him to ‘reconsider the US position’, a Downing Street spokesman said.
The parents said they felt they now had no choice but to begin their own legal action. They have instructed Geoffrey Robertson QC and human rights lawyer Mark Stephens to begin their fight, and are launching a civil case against Mrs Sacoolas in America.
Mrs Charles, 44, said: ‘We will still keep going. There’s still fire in our bellies to continue.’
Becoming tearful, she described the ‘nausea’ she feels ‘waking up each morning and realising you have lost your boy’.
Harry’s father said he felt ‘extremely let down’ by the Government, adding: ‘I am so disappointed. He was a beautiful lad.’
Harry was on his way to his father’s house in Brackley, Northamptonshire, when he was involved in a collision with Mrs Sacoolas’s car on August 27.
The diplomat’s wife had reportedly pulled out of RAF Croughton, a US intelligence hub in Britain, on the wrong side of the road and collided with the teenager’s motorbike at the brow of a hill. Harry suffered horrific injuries and died in hospital later that night.
The crash took place in August outside RAF Croughton in Northamptonshire (pictured) – a US intelligence hub in Britain
Harry is pictured with his mother, Charlotte, in an undated photograph provided by the family
Mrs Sacoolas, whose husband is understood to work in intelligence at the base, was initially co-operative with police.
But Northamptonshire Police were later told she and her family had left the country and that she was citing diplomatic immunity. Requests for the US embassy to grant a waiver have so far been refused. Lawyer Radd Seiger, who is representing the family, said the Foreign Office tried to prevent him from attending the meeting in London yesterday afternoon.
It was only when the Dunns said they did not want to proceed without him that he was allowed in.
He said when Mr Raab spoke to the American government they simply reiterated, ‘No. You can’t have her back. She’s protected by immunity.’
The lawyer said they would now take their fight to Washington and invited Mr Trump to meet them.
Mr Raab said: ‘We are continuing to press the US authorities for their co-operation to ensure the police can pursue this case unimpeded and to allow Harry’s family to get justice.’