U.N. Human Rights Chief Slams Trump for ‘Poisonous’ Criticism of the Media

President Donald Trump gives the commencement address for the Class of 2017 at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va., Saturday, May 13, 2017. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
Pablo Martinez Monsivais/Associated Press

The U.N.’s head of human rights took another shot at President Trump Wednesday, criticizing the president’s “poisonous” stance toward the liberal media – the latest in a line of anti-Trump statements from the human rights chief.

High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein told reporters in Geneva Wednesday that Trump had started a “dangerous sequence” by attacking members of the press.

“It’s really quite amazing when you think that freedom of the press, not only sort of a cornerstone of the U.S. Constitution but very much something that the United States defended over the years, is now itself under attack from the president himself,” he said.

“It’s sort of a stunning turnaround. And ultimately the sequence is a dangerous one,” he told a news conference in Geneva.

In a long-winded response, he defended mainstream media organizations such as the New York Times, the Washington Post, and CNN, saying Trump’s decision to blast such outlets as “liars,” “fake news,” and “crooks” “does tremendous damage.”

“To refer to individual journalists in this way, I have to ask the question, is this not an incitement for others to attack journalists?” he asked.

“Let’s assume a journalist is harmed from one of these organizations, does the president then not bear responsibility for this?” he asked, before calling the demonization of the press “poisonous.”

Zeid, a Jordanian prince, also said Trump had made concerning remarks about women, Mexicans, transgender people, and Muslims – and even went so far as to question his decision to pardon Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

“Does the president support racial profiling of Latinos in particular, does he support the abuse of prisoners?” he asked.

Zeid has been an outspoken critic of Trump, despite the U.S. being the top voluntary contributor to his office. Before Trump won, Zeid compared Trump and other populist leaders to ISIS.

In June, he accused Trump of a “persistent flirtation” with torture.

In his remarks Wednesday, it was clear that Zeid was not planning on toning down his language when it comes to Trump even now he is in office: ”I almost feel that the president is driving the bus of humanity and we’re careening down a mountain path,” he said.

Zeid was also asked about the events in Charlottesville this month, where white nationalists clashed with alt-left protesters. Zeid condemned the racism seen on the streets. He called the events an “abomination.”

“From a human rights perspective it was a nightmare,” he added.

Adam Shaw is a Breitbart News politics reporter based in New York. Follow Adam on Twitter: @AdamShawNY.

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