Foreign Desk Report
WASHINGTON: President Trump on Thursday mocked Greta Thunberg after the Swedish teenage climate activist was named Time magazine’s Person of the Year, edging out finalists including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Hong Kong protesters and him.
“So ridiculous,” Trump tweeted. “Greta must work on her Anger Management problem, then go to a good old fashioned movie with a friend! Chill Greta, Chill!”
Trump has long had a fixation with the Time distinction, which he won in 2016. The following year, Trump claimed that Time editors had told him he would “probably” be named Person of the Year again, conditional on an interview and photo shoot — which he said he refused.
He also claimed he should have won the award in 2018. (“I can’t imagine anybody other than Trump,” the president said then, referring to himself. “Can you imagine anybody other than Trump?”) It’s not the first time the president has used his Twitter feed to mock the 16-year-old.
In September, the two crossed paths at the United Nations, where Thunberg delivered an impassioned speech denouncing world leaders for failing to do more to combat climate change.
“This is all wrong,” Thunberg said in her speech. “I shouldn’t be up here. I should be back in school on the other side of the ocean, yet you come to us young people for hope. How dare you.”
Trump weighed in on the speech in a tweet the following day.
“She seems like a very happy young girl looking forward to a bright and wonderful future,” the president wrote. “So nice to see!”
Thunberg responded by changing her Twitter bio to read: “A very happy young girl looking forward to a bright and wonderful future.”
She responded similarly Thursday. “A teenager working on her anger management problem,” Thunberg’s Twitter bio now reads. “Currently chilling and watching a good old fashioned movie with a friend.”
In an interview in September, Thunberg said powerful men like Trump “want to silence” young climate activists like her. “They can sense that we are making an impact,” she said. “They obviously don’t want that. So they are using several methods to mock and hate.”
In November, Thunberg told Ellen Degeneres that she wouldn’t want to meet with Trump even if given the opportunity. “I don’t understand why I would do that,” Thunberg said on the “Ellen” show. “I don’t see what I could tell him that he hasn’t already heard. And I just think it would be a waste of time, really.”