She may have had husband George Clooney by her side, but there was another man on Amal Clooney’s mind when she took to the stage at Wednesday night’s United Nations Correspondents Association Awards: President Trump.
As the event’s Global Citizen of the Year honoree, the international human rights lawyer gave an impassioned speech about the threats to the safety of journalists, citing specific cases of imprisonment in Myanmar and by “autocratic regimes” around the globe. She then brought up Trump, accusing him of emboldening others to attack the press.
“The U.S. president has given such regimes a green light and labeled the press in this country the enemy of the people,” the Lebanese-British lawyer told the crowd gathered in New York City, alluding to his frequent condemnation of “fake news” and insults aimed at news outlets like CNN.
Clooney referred to the murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi two months ago at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. Though many believe Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to be involved in the killing, the Trump administration has been hesitant to assign any blame to the royal.
‘The chilling effect is real.’
— Michelle Nichols (@michellenichols) December 6, 2018
Though Clooney’s words make her a target of the next Trump Twitter tirade, many are applauding her defense of the press. Others, however, have complained that more attention has been given to her navy J. Mendel gown than her speech.
And 90% of the tweets are about her dress. SMH #AmalClooney
— Trace Vickrey (@WithoutaTRACE) December 6, 2018
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