Amal Clooney has some thoughts for Donald Trump, and the famed human rights attorney isn’t pulling any punches. On Wednesday, Clooney gave a speech at the United Nations Correspondents Association Awards in New York City. In it, she addressed the ongoing attack on journalists — and placed much of the blame squarely on Trump.
According to the Huffington Post, in her speech, Clooney shared numerous tales of journalists who have come under attack in recent years. She explained her own work helping to free imprisoned journalists in Myanmar and the lengthy and challenging process that has proven to be.
Clooney was quick to point out the regimes that target journalists and pose the most threat to them, notably Brazil, Hungary, Turkey, North Korea, and the Philippines. But the most intense of her criticism was reserved for Trump, who has been at war with journalists during the course of his presidency.
“The U.S. president has given such regimes a green light and labeled the press in this country the enemy of the people,” Clooney said in her speech. “And of course two months ago a Washington Post journalist, Jamal Khashoggi, walked into a consulate in Istanbul and was brutally tortured to death.”
Jamal Khashoggi’s death in October at the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul continues to leave its mark on Trump’s presidency. The journalist was reportedly murdered by agents of the Saudi government, sparking controversy across the globe.
The Saudi Arabian government has vehemently denied any involvement with the killing. The CIA conducted an investigation into the murder and determined that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was likely the person who ordered Khashoggi’s killing.
Trump immediately disputed these findings and criticized the investigation. He later insisted that the findings did not indicate Prince Mohammed had been involved in the killing — despite the findings of the CIA. Since then, Trump has continued to defend Prince Mohammed; Adam Schiff, of the House intelligence committee, maintains that Trump has been misleading regarding the CIA report.
This is not the first time Amal Clooney has faced off against Donald Trump. While serving as a keynote speaker at the 2018 Pennsylvania Conference for Women, Clooney criticized Trump for his attacks on Christine Blasey Ford.
Dr. Ford alleged that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh had sexually assaulted her when the two were high school students. Kavanaugh categorically denied these allegations and was later confirmed. Trump mocked Dr. Ford’s testimony, going so far as to mimic her words — a move Clooney appears to not care for.
“A president shouldn’t ridicule a woman who courageously comes forward to allege abuse,” Clooney said according to the Daily Mail. “Survivors in any country deserve the chance to look their abusers in the eye and for history to record what has happened to them.”