Whereas other presidents might have the wherewithal to ignore criticisms from younger activists, or even to acknowledge their points with their own counterpoints in a sensitive and understanding dialogue, President Donald Trump took a different route, appearing, according to many social media users, to mock 16-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg.
“She seems like a very happy young girl looking forward to a bright and wonderful future. So nice to see!” Trump wrote in a tweet late on Monday evening.
The words might otherwise seem like a compliment from the president, were it not for the media he shared alongside it.
As previously reported by HillReporter.com, Thunberg shared her thoughts to the United Nations General Assembly on Monday, choking back tears while criticizing world leaders for not acting on climate change.
She seems like a very happy young girl looking forward to a bright and wonderful future. So nice to see! https://t.co/1tQG6QcVKO
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 24, 2019
“This is all wrong. I shouldn’t be up here. I should be in school on the other side of the ocean,” Thunberg said. “Yet you come to us young people for hope. How dare you. You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words.”
She choked back tears as she continued reading her statement.
“People are suffering, people are dying, entire ecoystems are collapsing. We’re in the beginning of a mass extinction, and all you can talk about is money and fairytales of eternal economic growth.”
It was these comments, and more, that Trump shared video of within his tweet. His calling her “happy” and “looking forward to a bright and wonderful future” was deemed inappropriate and appalling, as it was juxtaposed to her dire warnings on climate change while clearly distraught.
Several users on social media weighed in.
Just when you think Trump can't go any lower, he always finds a way…
I stand with Greta Thunberg.
— Angela Belcamino (@AngelaBelcamino) September 24, 2019
— Tamela Ehlinger 🌐 (@TheTamela) September 24, 2019
I'm not sure if his choosing to use his position of power to bully a kid is a 'new low'. For this racist, pussy grabber, it may just be business as usual. But, it feels worth noting that prior to 2016 a POTUS who did this would've been forced to resign. https://t.co/9PKd2yHFC2
— Emma Adams (@Emmabob3) September 24, 2019
So Trump, of course, couldn't resist mocking Greta Thunberg. A brave young girl talks truth to power, and power mocks her. Power that is obscene, inhuman, lacking in all empathy and kindness, power that embodies evil. Power that must be destroyed. Utterly.
— Liam Carson (@Liam220262) September 24, 2019
How hollow do you have to be when you use your platform as the most powerful person on the planet to mock the sincere heartfelt efforts of Greta Thunberg?
I had thought there was no way I could despise Trump more, but he managed to confound my expectations. Detritus of humanity. https://t.co/NH6OZCGBkn
— Edwin Hayward🦄🗡️ (@uk_domain_names) September 24, 2019
Trump has had a notoriously anti-science tenure as president. In November 2018, he disputed a climate report that his own executive department agency had put together, detailing the economic impact that climate change would bring. “I’ve seen it. I’ve read some of it. It’s fine. I don’t believe it,” Trump said, per reporting from The Daily Beast.
Trump this week also suggested he was deserving of the Nobel Prize, TIME magazine reported, although he wasn’t specific for what reason. “I think I’ll get a Nobel prize for a lot of things if they gave it out fairly, which they don’t,” he said.
Thunberg has been nominated for the prestigious award this year, The Guardian noted.