Donald Trump on diplomatic immunity row: Wrong-way driving ‘happens’

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Donald Trump appeared to defend an American woman suspected of being involved in the death of Harry Dunn by saying wrong-way driving ‘happens’.

The President had been asked by Boris Johnson to reconsider granting immunity to the woman and allow British police to pursue the young motorcyclist's death in an earlier telephone conversation.

When asked about the diplomatic immunity row by reporters, Trump called the incident a "terrible accident" but suggested driving on the opposite side of road was confusing - saying "it happens”.

President Donald Trump talks before signing two Executive Orders to further protect the rights of Americans against bureaucratic abuse in the Roosevelt Room of the White House on October 9, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Oliver Contreras/SIPA USA)
Donald Trump said wrong-way driving 'happens' when asked about the death of Harry Dunn (PA)

"The woman was driving on the wrong side of the road, and that can happen. You know, those are the opposite roads, that happens," he said.

"I won't say it ever happened to me, but it did.

"When you get used to driving on our system and then you're all of a sudden on the other system where you're driving - it happens. You have to be careful, very careful.”

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Harry, 19, was killed when his motorbike crashed into a car on August 27.

The suspect, 42-year-old Anne Sacoolas, who is reportedly married to a US intelligence official, was granted diplomatic immunity following the crash.

The car was thought to have been driving on the wrong side of the road after leaving RAF Croughton in Northamptonshire - a military base used by the US Air Force.

Harry was killed when his motorbike crashed into a car on August 27 (PA)
Harry was killed when his motorbike crashed into a car on August 27 (PA)

Mr Trump confirmed that his administration would seek to speak to the driver, after Number 10 said the Prime Minister had urged him to "reconsider" in an earlier phone call.

"The Prime Minister urged the President to reconsider the US position so the individual involved can return to the UK, co-operate with police and allow Harry's family to receive justice," said a Downing Street spokesman.

"The leaders agreed to work together to find a way forward as soon as possible.”

WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 09:  U.S. President Donald Trump responds to a question from a reporter at an event for the signing of two executive orders aimed at greater governmental transparency at the White House October 9, 2019 in Washington, DC. Trump answered questions on the pending impeachment inquiry and the Turkish offensive into northern Syria following the signing of the executive orders. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
Trump confirmed that his administration would seek to speak to the driver, who has diplomatic immunity (Getty)

Radd Seiger, a lawyer acting on behalf of Harry's family, said he was "delighted" Mr Trump had become involved, and said he hoped he was "good for his word" on his comments that his administration would speak to Mrs Sacoolas.

Harry's family said a meeting with Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab over the death of their son felt like a "publicity stunt”.

Mr Raab met Harry's mother Charlotte Charles and father Tim Dunn on Wednesday afternoon after having talks with US Ambassador Woody Johnson on Tuesday.

Harry's mother told reporters she felt "let down by both governments”.

Spokesman Radd Seiger for the family of Harry Dunn, flanked by mother Charlotte Charles and father Tim Dunn, speaking to the media after leaving the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London, where they met Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab. 19-year-old Harry was killed when his motorbike crashed into a car on August 27. The suspect in the case, 42-year-old Anne Sacoolas, was granted diplomatic immunity after the crash, but Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Mr Raab and Northamptonshire Police have asked the US to consider waiving it.
Spokesman Radd Seiger for the family of Harry Dunn, flanked by mother Charlotte Charles and father Tim Dunn, speaking after their meeting with Dominic Raab (PA)

Speaking after the meeting, Mr Raab said he shared the "frustration" felt by the family and vowed to continue to "press the US authorities" into co-operating with the UK investigation.

The family's lawyer and spokesman Radd Seiger said the family would be willing to talk with Mr Trump about the issue and confirmed they plan to travel to the States.

Mr Seiger said they were engaging lawyers to take a civil case against Mrs Sacoolas in America.

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