U.S. President Donald Trump revived his attacks on 16-year-old climate change activist Greta Thunberg on Thursday, criticizing TIME magazine for naming her Person of the Year and telling Thunberg to “chill!”
“So ridiculous,” Trump, who was also on the shortlist to receive the honor, complained on Twitter. “Greta must work on her Anger Management problem, then go to a good old fashioned movie with a friend! Chill Greta, Chill!”
Thunberg, the youngest person to ever receive the honor, wasted no time in reclaiming the barb, changing her Twitter biography to read, “A teenager working on her anger management problem. Currently chilling and watching a good old fashioned movie with a friend.”
Thunberg developed an international following — particularly among young people — for her persistent efforts to address climate change on an international level. She beat out Trump, who was on TIME’s shortlist to receive the title of Person of the Year along with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the Ukraine scandal whistleblower and Hong Kong protesters.
Trump’s criticism adds to his complex relationship with TIME. The president both angles for the magazine’s honors and decries the publication when he feels snubbed. Trump said in 2018 he did not imagine anyone but himself achieving the status of Person of the Year — but the honor ultimately went to a group of journalists, including murdered Saudi dissident Jamal Khashoggi.
But Trump has also long been a critic of the teenager, mocking her on Twitter after the Swedish teen delivered a forceful speech at the United Nations’ special meeting on climate change in September at which she pointed out “people are dying, entire ecosystems are collapsing.”
“She seems like a very happy young girl looking forward to a bright and wonderful future,” he said in a facetious tweet. “So nice to see!”
After the September swipe, Thunberg promptly acknowledged the tweet, again using his words in her Twitter biography: “A very happy young girl looking forward to a bright and wonderful future.”
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