Amanda Knox says she owes President Donald Trump no loyalty for his support of her during her imprisonment for the murder of 21-year-old Meredith Kercher, only thanks. “What do I owe Trump? A thank you for his well-intentioned, if undiplomatic, support. So for the record: Thank you, Mr. President,” she wrote in an op-ed in the Los Angeles Times Thursday. She was responding to claims that the President was “very upset” with the 29-year-old for voicing her support of Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election.
Knox was arrested for the 2007 killing of her then-roommate in Perugia, Italy, along with her Italian boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito. However, from the start the evidence against them was tenous at best, and their conviction and 25-year prison sentence was met with outrage in the United States. Donald Trump had long championed her cause, proclaiming her innocence via Twitter and on various talk shows. He had even given money to her family to help with legal costs and called for a boycott of Italy.
Following further investigations and international pressure, Knox and Sollecito were acquitted in 2011. Though they were eventually re-tried and again found guilty, though Italy's highest court definitively overturned the convictions in March 2015. Having returned to the United States, Knox began a carrier as a freelance writer, and had criticized Trump and pledged her support for Hillary Clinton in the 2016 U.S. Presidential race, according to The Washington Post.
Trump confidant George Guido Lombardi said the President was “very upset” with Knox for her lack of gratitude in a recent New York Times profile. The Italian-born businessman, who is Trump’s downstairs neighbor at Trump Tower and a channel to Europe’s far-right politicians, was once asked by Trump to look into Knox’s case during a trip to his home country. In her op-ed Knox said supporters of the President have also voiced their anger at her, and “felt that I owed Trump my allegiance and were outraged at columns I wrote in which I criticized his policies and explained my reasons for endorsing Hillary Clinton.”
Knox, however, is standing firm in her criticisms of the President. On the subject of loyalty, she says the supports “loyalty to our ideals of due process, equal protection under the law, the freedom to speak one’s mind and to vote according to one’s principles.” And while she is grateful to Trump for supporting her during her hour of need, and thanks him for it, she says, “The more important question is, what do I owe my country? Civic engagement, careful consideration of issues that affect my fellow citizens, and support for policies that deserve support, even if it makes the president “very upset.”