Trump mocks teen climate activist
President Donald Trump mocked 16-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg on Twitter late Monday.
Posting a fatalistic statement the Swedish teen had made earlier Monday at the United Nations’ special meeting on climate change, Trump tweeted: “She seems like a very happy young girl looking forward to a bright and wonderful future. So nice to see!“
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Trump briefly attended the Climate Action Summit in New York but left after 14 minutes. The president has consistently expressed skepticism about the notion of man-made climate change, and his administration has declined to make the issue any sort of priority.
Thunberg acknowledged Trump’s tweet on Tuesday, changing her Twitter biography to read, “A very happy young girl looking forward to a bright and wonderful future.”
Thunberg has developed an international following for her persistent efforts to get the international community to combat climate change, particularly winning support among young people. Trump’s tweet contained one of her quotes from her U.N. remarks Monday: ”People are suffering, people are dying, entire ecosystems are collapsing. We are in the beginning of a mass extinction and all you can talk about is money and fairytales of eternal economic growth.”
Thunberg did not mention Trump or any other leaders by name in her remarks, but she did scold the world’s leaders.
“You are failing us,” she said to the assembled leaders. “But the young people are starting to understand your betrayal. The eyes of all future generations are upon you. And if you choose to fail us, I say: We will never forgive you.“
Last Wednesday, Thunberg addressed a congressional committee in Washington. “I want you to listen to the scientists,” she said. “And I want you to unite behind the science. And then I want you to take real action.”
Trump was not alone Monday in mocking Thunberg. On Fox News, Michael Knowles referred to Thunberg as “a mentally ill Swedish child who is being exploited by her parents and by the international left,” then doubled down and called her “mentally ill” a second time. The network subsequently apologized for his remarks.
Abbey Marshall contributed to this report.