The New York Times recently reported that President Donald Trump is apparently “very upset” that Amanda Knox backed Hillary Clinton during the 2016 presidential race, since Trump had been a vocal defender of the Seattle native when she was imprisoned in Italy after being accused of murdering her roommate. And now, Knox is speaking out, writing in a new op-ed for the Los Angeles Times that she doesn’t owe him her loyalty.
“Just as a person’s support of me should not be based upon my politics or identity, hinging instead on the fact of my innocence, so should my politics hinge on the merits of policy, not personal loyalty,” Knox writes.
Trump’s frustration with Knox was revealed during a recent New York Times profile on his Italian friend, George Guido Lombardi, where he said the president was “‘very upset’ with the ingratitude of Ms. Knox, who supported Hillary Clinton.” During her imprisonment in Italy, Trump gave television interviews about her and tweeted out missives in support, including one that read, “Everyone should boycott Italy if Amanda Knox is not freed — she is totally innocent.” Knox was exonerated in 2015.
In the Los Angeles Times, Knox writes that Trump’s call to boycott Italy while she was on trial “only served to amplify anti-American sentiment in the courtroom.” She also says that while Trump defended her innocence and recognized that coercive interrogations produce false testimony, he “claimed the exact opposite in the Central Park Five case,” and continues to view them as guilty even though they were exonerated because of DNA evidence.
Knox goes on to say that the kind of loyalty she actually supports is loyalty to due process, equal protection, freedom of speech, and to vote according to one’s principles. But by “holding personal loyalty above all else,” Trump and his supporters are creating “a political environment where reason and justice hold little sway.”
She concluded, “What do I owe Trump? A thank you for his well-intentioned, if undiplomatic, support.” But when it comes down to it, Knox believes that she owes her country civic engagement, consideration of the issues, and support for policies that deserve support — “even if it makes the president ‘very upset.’”