If you thought Mike Tyson and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie having an awkward exchange about Donald Trump’s promised pardon was peak Friday news dump, think again. In a long New York Times profile, George Guido Lombardi — the president’s longtime Trump Tower neighbor and apparent connection to Europe’s far-right movement — claimed his friend is “very upset” about Amanda Knox’s decision to support Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election. No, seriously — the sitting President of the United States of America apparently isn’t (not the past tense “wasn’t”) too thrilled about Knox’s political affiliation.
According to Lombardi, Trump “asked [him] to look into her case during a trip to Italy” back in 2011, when Knox’s imprisonment and trial became the subject of national interest. At the time, Trump commented on the matter frequently — tweeting in late September that “everyone should boycott Italy if Amanda Knox is not freed” since “she is totally innocent.”
As New York magazine points out, Trump even appeared on Seattle ABC affiliate KOMO 4 to discuss the case. “I study people and I’ve become rich because I understand what people are about. And I watched the Amanda Knox case unfolding in news reports,” he claimed, “and after watching it for a little while, I said, ‘This is not a guilty person.’”
Despite his “support” for Knox on Twitter and in her local Seattle, however, Lombardi told the Times Trump was unhappy to discover the young American was a supporter of his Democratic rival in the 2016 election. In a blog post from October 2016, she wrote, “Donald Trump has succeeded in coming a step away from the most powerful position in the world merely because he is a destabilizing agent. No matter that he is inexperienced, uninformed, and irresponsible (to say the very least).” Knox also offered some criticism for Clinton, though she concluded she was “feeling less apathetic about this election” and backed Clinton.