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Donald Trump defends US diplomat's wife over Harry Dunn crash and blames 'Europe's roads' after ambushing family

DONALD Trump today appeared to defend a diplomat's wife over Harry Dunn's death by blaming "Europe's roads" for the tragedy – hours after he was accused of trying to ambush the teen's parents.

The president described his meeting with Harry's family as "beautiful" and "sad" but then said the fact our roads are the "opposite" of those in the US could be one of the reasons for the smash.

The 19-year-old was killed when his motorbike collided with a car outside an RAF base in Northants in August.

Anne Sacoolas – the woman alleged to have hit the teen after driving on the wrong side of the road –  then returned to America after wrongly being granted diplomatic immunity.

Speaking to journalists today, Trump said: "I believe it (Sacoolas' car) was going down the wrong way because that happens in Europe. You go to Europe and the roads are opposite.

"It's very tough, if you're 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.

"She said that's what happened. That happens to a lot of people, by the way."

Earlier today the president was accused of trying to ambush Harry's parents by trying to get them to meet up with Sacoolas in the White House.


However he has now claimed British PM Boris Johnson had asked him to set up the meeting.

"Boris, he asked me if I'd do that and I did it. Unfortunately they wanted to meet with her and unfortunately when we had everybody together they decided not to meet – perhaps they had lawyers involved at that time – I don't know," said Trump.

He added: "I thought they were, based on what I saw, ready to meet – but now they say they only want to meet when they are in the UK and that'll be up to them.

"They did not want to meet with the person in question, but we had a very good meeting, they're very nice people. "It was very sad, to be honest. They lost their son."

The highly-publicised meeting between Trump and Harry's family took place on Tuesday.

A lawyer for the parents, Charlotte Charles and Tim Dunn, said Trump's national security adviser had heaped pain on the grieving parents by trying to bring Sacoolas into the meeting.

Trump reportedly held hands with the mum as he mentioned the prospect of meeting Sacoolas who was waiting nearby – but the grieving couple refused to meet her.

Harry's devastated parents Charlotte and Tim Dunn described Trump's surprising move to bring Sacoolas to the West Wing as "inappropriate" and said such a meeting should only take place in Britain.

Charlotte said Trump asked them three times to meet Sacoolas so she could "get some healing".

She told CBS: "He offered his condolences, he seemed warm and he was welcoming but it didn't take long for him to drop into the conversation that Anne Sacoolas was in the building.

"It took your breath away when he mentioned it for the first time. He did ask two or three times.

"We said no, we didn't feel it was right and he said: 'No she's here so let's get some healing' or something like that – but we stuck to our guns."

Sacoolas, a US spy's wife, was given diplomatic immunity and fled to the US without facing UK courts over the death of Harry.

She released a statement today through her lawyer, which said: "We are trying to handle the matter privately and look forward to hearing from the family or their representatives.

"Anne accepted the invitation to the White House with the hope that the family would meet and was disappointed."

But in a major breakthrough this week, Harry's parents were told she no longer had this diplomatic protection – because she is now in America.

In the crunch meeting, Trump told Harry's family they made a "compelling" case for her return to Britain to face justice.

But he then informed devastated parents, that Sacoolas will not return to the UK, before "ambushing" them with the proposed meeting.

Charlotte said: “We were a bit shocked but she could have been two miles away. It’s not appropriate to meet her without therapists and mediators.”

Speaking to reporters, she said: "We basically reiterated that we were still willing to meet but on UK soil.

"She needs to come back and face the justice system… and he was quite respondent.

"When we said to him if this was your son you would be trying to do the same to get justice for him.

"He agreed with that and said he said he will now push to look at this from a different angle."

Speaking of the potential meeting, she added: "We were still shocked that they actually did spring it on us.

"We’ve been saying all along since we started out on this journey that we do still want to meet her.

"But we’ve said all along it needs to be on UK soil and she needs to come back to the UK to face our justice system so that we can get justice for Harry.

"We don’t want a meeting on US soil, where she currently remains hidden, and have his death swept under the carpet.


"It’s not really very fair that it was sprung on us like that."

Harry's mum said that Trump held her hand during the extraordinary meeting.

She told Good Morning Britain today: "It was during the main meeting, I spoke directly to him for a few minutes.

"He did seem sincere, he seemed to listen to me, he didn’t try to cut me off and I explained how much grief we’ve got locked away.

"I said we feel it was very inhumane for her to leave the UK and come back to the US. I wanted answers. Who made that decision? Why did they think it was the right decision?

"Why she left? What date she left? But I didn't get those answers.

"At the end of the meeting, when we were leaving the room, he shook all of our hands again.

"He took my hand and I squeezed it very tightly. I said to him 'if this was your son, surely you’d be doing the same thing and be trying to get justice for him?'

"He agreed with me and said 'yes, yes I would'. So I said 'please, please do the right thing, please just try'.


"And he squeezed my hand back and he said he would try and push another way forward, sorry, try and 'look at this from another angle' was what he said.

"I don’t know what he meant by that. But it felt sincere enough that we had come out with a little positive."

The parents also said there had been "a little bit of progress" – but they were frustrated at not being told who made the decision to bring her back to the US.

When asked if she US officials were trying to sweep Harry's death under the carpet, Charlotte said: "Initially yes I did think they were trying to do that – certainly by having Mrs Sacoolas there.

"I think maybe they were thinking that would be enough for us. We're seven weeks on and it's just not enough."

Speaking about the decision to turn down the meeting with Sacoolas, dad Tim added: "We weren't ready to meet her, it would have been too rushed.

"It's not what we wanted – we wanted a meeting with her in the UK."

The White House meeting came after Sacoolas admitted she was driving on the wrong side of the road.

She has now also claimed she waved down a passing driver after the horror crash so she could "comfort" her children.

Sacoolas released a statement to say she is "terribly, terribly sorry" for causing the tragedy.

However, she claims she stayed at the scene after the head-on collision outside a Northants RAF base and told Harry she would call for help.

The mum-of-three gave her account through her lawyer Amy Jeffress, of US legal firm Arnold & Porter, reports the Mirror.

A statement read: “Anne was driving on the wrong side of the road and is terribly, terribly sorry for that tragic mistake.

"She wants to meet the family to apologise and take ­responsibility. Anne had no time to react when she saw the motorbike.

“Anne stayed on the scene of the ­accident to assist. She spoke to Harry to tell him that she would call for help.

“She waved down another car. That driver offered to assist Harry so that Anne could comfort her young children in her car.”

It comes as Harry's family have begged to know if the immunity given to Mrs Sacoolas was a "c**k up".

What we don't know is whether somebody c***ed up or whether they were put under pressure by the Americans to concede

A family spokesman said an official probe will look into advice given by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) to Northamptonshire Police in the aftermath of the tragedy.

Radd Seiger said the family want to know "whether somebody c**ked up or whether they were put under pressure by the Americans to concede".

Mr Seiger said the family's lawyers are now prepared to launch a full investigation into the FCO over their involvement in the decision to grant immunity to Sacoolas.

He said: "We are going to write to the FCO very shortly, explaining that we don't want to do a judicial review, but to avoid that please let us have the following documents.

"All e-mails, messages, notes in relation to your advice to Northamptonshire Police that this lady had it (diplomatic immunity).

"What we don't know is whether somebody c***ed up or whether they were put under pressure by the Americans to concede.

"We want to conduct an investigation into the FCO's decision to advise Northamptonshire Police that this lady had the benefit of diplomatic immunity.

"If we're not satisfied, then we'll go to a judicial review and ask a High Court judge to review it all."


THE 1961 Vienna Convention makes foreign diplomats and their families immune from prosecution in their host country.

Those who hold that status cannot be automatically charged with a crime — but immunity can be waived by the state that has sent them following an appeal from the Foreign Office.

The immunity only usually covers those based in London, but a special deal with the US extended that to RAF Croughton.

On Sunday, the UK's Foreign Office said Sacoolas, 42, is no longer covered by diplomatic immunity – because she is now in the US.

Sobbing Charlotte said she should be brought back to the UK to face justice, saying: “It’s the right thing to to do. It’s the humane thing to do.”

Charlotte said Sacoolas should also do so to set an example of moral behaviour to her own children.

She added: “She needs to do the right thing and come back and face what she has done.


“Face our family. Face the UK justice system.

“She needs to set an example to her own children. You can’t run away when she has done something this terrible.”

And she told how she promised the teen justice as he lay dying in hospital following the "fireball" crash.

She said: "We shouldn't be suffering like this. It should have been an open and shut case. The evidence is extremely clear what happened.

"We've been told that there is CCTV evidence showing her leaving RAF Croughton on the wrong side of the road and that CCTV follows her all the way down the road on the wrong side of the road and you see Harry's headlight of his motorbike and then there is a big fireball when his bike went up.

"So it should have been a clear-cut case. It should have been simple and I promised Harry and we promised Harry as a family when we'd lost him that night, when we were talking to him in the hospital when we'd lost him already, that we would make sure justice was done."

Describing her pain at losing her son, Charlotte said she has been unable to cry as she is not able to understand "this whole situation".

She added: "All of our grief has gone on hold, it's coming out in other horrific ways, your legs feel like lead, you're in pain morning until night that no pain killers can take away."

The mum also revealed Sacoolas' children were in the car at the time and must also be "suffering", adding: "Our lad wasn't a little lad, the car was extremely damaged as well as Harry."

Charlotte continued: “She is suffering, her children must be suffering. Two of them were in the car and that’s horrific.

"We’re not inhumane. We don’t wish her any harm but we need to hear it from her in her own words…  on our terms in the UK. Hearing it from a statement, seven weeks in, is a little too little, too late.”


Her pain was echoed by dad Tim, who appealed to US President Donald Trump to help bring the US diplomat's wife back to the UK.

He said: "I would say to him as a man, as a father, how could you let this happen, if you are a father and your child died surely you'd want that person to own up and take responsibility?

"I've always wanted to ask her if she could explain the moment of the crash, find out if she comforted Harry, if she spoke to Harry, find out what her movements were, did she try and call the emergency services, or I don't know.

"I'm just struggling because I can't imagine my lad being in the ditch and not having any comfort from anybody until the ambulance and police turn up 'X' minutes later.

“She didn't mean to have an accident, but you cannot walk away from that and just leave and expect nothing to happen. Our boy died and he deserves to have some justice.”

Family spokesman Radd Seiger said the parents will only meet her if she promises to come back to the UK and face the consequences.

Harry's dad Tim today broke down at he told CBS about his son's final moments.

He said: "Yes (he was conscious) when I got there the paramedics were just putting him onto the stretcher pulling him out of the grass verge.

"I could see broken bones out of his arms, he was talking; he knew (I was there).

"I called over and said Harry it's your dad, they're going to fix you. Be calm let them help you

"I said 'Harry, they're going to sedate you now, it's for the best, you're going to be OK'.
"We'll see you later in hospital. And then they sedated him that was the last time I saw him.

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