Donald Trump's response to the Charlottesville violence has rocked his presidency
Trump originally blamed the violence on "many sides" and then "both sides"
President Donald Trump has yet to speak with the family of Heather Heyer, the 32-year-old who was killed during the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, on Saturday.
Susan Bro, Heyer’s mother, said Friday that calls from the White House were made during Heyer’s funeral on Wednesday, a charge that White House aides have so far failed to respond to.
Trump’s response to the tragedy in Charlottesville has rocked his presidency, causing some of his staunch Republican defenders to question his competence and CEOs who had planned to work with the White House to distance themselves from Trump.
Saturday, August 12
Trump blamed the violence on “many sides” of the Charlottesville conflict during a statement given from his suburban New Jersey golf club on Saturday.
In a subsequent tweet, the President offered condolences to “the young woman killed today.”
“Condolences to the family of the young woman killed today, and best regards to all of those injured, in Charlottesville, Virginia,” he wrote. “So sad!”
Sunday, August 13
Trump didn’t say anything publicly Sunday, including on Twitter.
Monday, August 14
Trump, during his scripted statement from the White House on Monday, condemned the white supremacists and neo-Nazis behind the Charlottesville violence and remembered Heyer.
“Two days ago, a young American woman, Heather Heyer, was tragically killed,” he said. “Her death fills us with grief, and we send her family our thoughts, our prayers and our love.”
Bro, in a statement to CNN, thanked the President.
“Thank you, President Trump, for those words of comfort and for denouncing those who promote violence and hatred,” she said. “My condolences, also, to the grieving families of the two state troopers and quick recovery for those injured.”
A day later, on Tuesday, Bro said she did not recall praising or criticizing Trump.
“I was so tired I don’t remember saying something nice or derogatory about him,” she said.
Tuesday, August 15
On Tuesday, during Trump’s staggering news conference in the lobby of Trump Tower, the President said he had not talked to Heyer’s family.
“No, I’ll be reaching out,” Trump said. “I’ll be reaching out.”
Trump also said that Bro, Heyer’s mother, “wrote me” on Twitter to say “the nicest things, and I very much appreciate that.”
“I hear she was a fine, a really – actually, an incredible young woman,” Trump said. “But her mother on Twitter thanked me for what I said. And honestly, if the press were not fake and if it was honest, the press would have said what I said was very nice. But unlike you and unlike – excuse me – unlike you and unlike the media, before I make a statement, I like to know the facts.”
Wednesday, August 16
Heyer’s funeral at Paramount Theater in downtown Charlottesville began around 11 a.m. ET on Wednesday.
Throughout the day – including after the funeral – White House aides told reporters that they were working on a call.
Trump, before the service started, called Heyer “beautiful and incredible” in a message on Twitter.
“A truly special young woman,” he wrote. “She will be long remembered by all!”
Thursday, August 17
CNN has asked the White House since Saturday whether Trump planned to speak with Heyer’s family. White House aides, for days, have said that Trump wanted to speak with the family but that they were working on the logistics of the call.
“We appreciate the unifying words that Heather’s mother spoke yesterday,” White House spokeswoman Lindsay Walters said Thursday. “We are working on identifying a time that is convenient for the family to speak with the President. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family.”
Trump also tweeted about Heyer on Thursday, in a message that also attacked Sen. Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican.
“Publicity seeking Lindsey Graham falsely stated that I said there is moral equivalency between the KKK, neo-Nazis & white supremacists and people like Ms. Heyer,” Trump wrote. “Such a disgusting lie. He just can’t forget his election trouncing. The people of South Carolina will remember!”
Friday, August 18
Bro told ABC on Friday morning she did not want to speak with Trump but that she missed a few calls, the first of which seemed to come during Heyer’s funeral.
“At first I just missed his calls,” Bro said. “The first call, it looked like, actually came during the funeral. I didn’t even see that message.”
Bro added: “There were three more frantic messages from press secretaries throughout the day, and I didn’t know why that would have been on Wednesday, and I was home recovering from the exhaustion of the funeral, and so I thought, well, I’ll get to him later, and then I had more meetings to establish her foundation, so I hadn’t really watched the news until last night.”
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders declined to directly respond to Bro’s comments but said, “Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with her and her family.”
CNN’s Jim Acosta contributed to this report