The parents of a British teen recently killed in a motorcycle accident say they’ve suffered more “grief and pain” at the hands of “nincompoops” in the White House who tried to pull off a surprise, made-for-TV moment Tuesday.
Harry Dunn’s parents were in Washington this week to ask American officials to help extradite Anne Sacoolas, the U.S. diplomat's wife who allegedly fatally struck Harry on a U.K. road in August, to Britain. But U.S. national security adviser Robert O’Brien had secretly invited Sacoolas to the White House and planned to spring an impromptu meeting between her and Dunn’s parents — in front of a gaggle of reporters and cameras.
O’Brien apparently hoped that the White House press corps would capture photos of Sacoolas and Harry's family embracing in the Oval Office, a lawyer for the family told the BBC, but his plan was thwarted when the Dunn family refused the meeting.
“It was the president’s intention for Harry’s family to meet Mrs. Sacoolas in the Oval Office in front of several photographers in what was obviously designed to be a press call,” the Dunn family lawyer, Radd Seiger, said in a statement.
In August, Sacoolas was driving down the wrong side of the road near an Air Force base used by the American military when she struck and killed Dunn, who was on a motorcycle.
But Sacoolas claimed diplomatic immunity protections and fled the U.K. She has not been seen in public since, The Daily Beast reported. In emotional interviews, Dunn’s parents have publicly called for Sacoolas to return to Britain and face justice.
Dunn’s family referred to the U.S. officials involved in the stunt as “nincompoops” in a statement they posted about the surprise meeting on a GoFundMe page.
“It struck us that this meeting was hastily arranged by nincompoops on the run and in particular Mr. O’Brien, who appeared to be extremely uptight and aggressive and did not come across at all well in this meeting which required careful handling and sensitivity,” the statement read.
“The family remain open to the possibility of meeting Mrs. Sacoolas one day in the future but in a neutral and appropriately controlled environment,” the statement continued.
Dunn’s parents have said that they want Sacoolas to return to the U.K. and stand trial for Harry Dunn’s death, though they added they would ask for a suspended sentence. At that point, the family said, they would be willing to meet Sacoolas in person.
Cover: Charlotte Charles, mother of Harry Dunn, who died after his motorbike was involved in an August 2019 accident in Britain with Anne Sacoolas, wife of an American diplomat, speaks at a news conference as she is joined by Dunn's father Tim Dunn, center right, and other family members and supporters Monday, Oct. 14, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)