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Amal Clooney Condemns Trump in Searing Speech: He’s Giving ‘Green Light’ to Kill Journalists

Attorney and activist Amal Clooney delivered a blistering rebuke of Donald Trump, drawing a straight line between his ant-press rhetoric and the murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi by the government of Saudi Arabia.

At the United Nations Correspondents Association Awards Wednesday night, Clooney spoke about autocratic regimes that imprison and murder journalists, and placed some of the blame squarely with Trump.

“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, referencing a phrase that Trump has used to describe the press for over a year now, and which many have observed was a favorite term of Joseph Stalin‘s.

“And of course, two months ago, Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi walked into a consulate in Istanbul, and was brutally tortured to death,” she added.

Criticism of Trump’s anti-press rhetoric reached a fever pitch after CNN headquarters were among the targets of a wave of attempted pipe bombings in October. Those attacks did little to slow down Trump’s hostile rhetoric toward the press.

Then came the Khashoggi murder, which the CIA has assessed was ordered by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman.

In the wake of the bombings and the Khashoggi murder, Trump tried to defend himself by claiming he only refers to “fake news” as the “enemy of the people,” but the facts say otherwise. Trump has said “They’re all fake news,” and specified every network by name, excluding Fox News.

He has also kept up the attacks, and temporarily revoked CNN reporter Jim Acosta‘s credentials after a contentious exchange at a press conference in November. A federal judge quickly ordered the White House to restore them.

Now, Trump faces pressure to sanction MBS and Saudi Arabia over the murder, even as he and his administration resist that pressure. Following a briefing on the killing by CIA Director Gina Haspel this week, even Republican senators were convinced of the crown prince’s guilt.

[featured image via screengrab]

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