George Clooney backs Meryl Streep's anti-Donald Trump Golden Globes speech

'The reality is you have to hope he will do a decent job because if the United States fails, really terrible things happen, so you have to hope that he can,' says Clooney

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The Independent US

George Clooney has given his support to Meryl Streep after her scathing rebuke of Donald Trump at the Golden Globes.

The actress used the first major televised US event since the Republican billionaire’s victory and the last high-profile Hollywood event before his inauguration to condemn the President-elect for imitating a disabled reporter. She said his impression legitimised bullying and gave “permission” for others to do the same.

The speech prompted a Twitter tirade from Mr Trump who claimed Streep was one of the most “over-rated actresses in Hollywood” and was a “Hillary flunky who lost big”.

Clooney, an ardent Hillary Clinton supporter, addressed Streep’s speech at a reception hosted by The Clooney Foundation for Justice on Monday.

“Aren’t you supposed to be running the country?” Clooney asked Mr Trump rhetorically in response to his Twitter rant, reports The Guardian.

“I didn’t vote for him, I don’t support him, I don’t think he’s the right choice," he continued.

“At this moment in our lives we have to hope that he doesn’t destroy everything. The reality is you have to hope he will do a decent job because if the United States fails, really terrible things happen, so you have to hope that he can.”

However, he concluded that he didn't "see any signs of it".

Clooney was speaking a reception for a a Netflix documentary, The White Helmets, which is set in Aleppo, Syria, and parts of Turkey in early 2016 and follows the lives of the rescue volunteers in Syria.

In her viral speech, Streep said Mr Trump’s imitation of a disabled reporter was the one performance this year which shocked her. She argued it filtered down into the attitudes of wider society.

“There was one performance this year that stunned me. It sank its hooks in my heart,” she said as she accepted the Cecil B DeMille award. “It was that moment when the person asking to sit in the most respected seat in our country imitated a disabled reporter. Someone he outranked in privilege, power and the capacity to fight back.”

Streep is referring to the incident when Mr Trump mocked the New York Times reporter Serge Kovaleski during a rally in November 2015.

At the time the Republican billionaire was widely condemned for mocking Mr Kovaleski – who had disputed Mr Trump’s claim he witnessed “thousands” of Muslims in New Jersey celebrating on the day of the 9/11 attacks.

Mr Trump jerked his arms in a manner which poked fun at the reporter’s condition. Mr Kovaleski has arthrogryposis, a congenital condition affecting how his joints move.

The Republican denied the fact he mocked him at the time and has continued to do so. “For the 100th time, I never ‘mocked’ a disabled reporter (would never do that) but simply showed him ‘groveling’ when he totally changed a 16 year old story that he had written in order to make me look bad,” Mr Trump tweeted on Monday. “Just more very dishonest media!”

Streep’s speech, which also pleaded for Hollywood to support the Committee to Project Journalists, has triggered a boost in donations to the organisation which promotes press freedom and defends the rights of journalists.