President Donald Trump reacted to news that Greta Thunberg had been named Time’s 2019 “Person of the Year” by urging the teen climate activist to “chill.”
“So ridiculous. Greta must work on her Anger Management problem, then go to a good old fashioned movie with a friend! Chill Greta, Chill!” Trump tweeted Thursday morning in response to “Touched by an Angel” actress Roma Downey’s message of congratulations to Thunberg.
So ridiculous. Greta must work on her Anger Management problem, then go to a good old fashioned movie with a friend! Chill Greta, Chill! https://t.co/M8ZtS8okzE
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 12, 2019
Time announced Thunberg as 2019’s “Person of the Year” winner on Wednesday.
The 16-year-old Swede beat out fellow nominees Trump, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and “the Whistleblower” to become the youngest person to ever earn the honor.
In a Time profile also released on Wednesday, Thunberg is described as having “become the biggest voice on the biggest issue facing the planet.”
The magazine’s editor in chief, Edward Felsenthal, explained that while Time subscribed to the “Great Man theory of history,” which has historically meant “people who worked their way up the ladders of major organizations and were at home in the corridors of power,” Thunberg was in a new category.
“[I]n this moment when so many traditional institutions seem to be failing us, amid staggering inequality and social upheaval and political paralysis, we are seeing new kinds of influence take hold. It is wielded by people like Thunberg, leaders with a cause and a phone who don’t fit the old rubrics but who connect with us in ways that institutions can’t and perhaps never could,” Felsenthal wrote.
In the piece, Felsenthal quoted the Brazilian mother of two climate strikers, who said: “Greta is an image of all of this generation.”
Trump and Greta
The media darling climate change activist has a bit of a history with the president.
News outlets made much of Thunberg’s brief brush with Trump in September, which came following her star-making speech at the United Nations Climate Action Summit in New York.
After her speech, Thunberg happened to be in the lobby of U.N. headquarters when Trump arrived. Her scowl was captured by news cameras from around the world as they clamored around the president.
Trump showed little interest in the whole scene. According to the White House pool report, he spent about 14 minutes at the U.N. Climate Action Summit, which saw world leaders pledge action to stop climate change. He did not make a formal statement.
However, internet commentators had plenty to say about the “meeting.” Both right and left hailed Reuters’ footage, in particular, as a masterpiece.
— Helen Rumbelow (@HelenRumbelow) September 24, 2019
Helen Rumbelow, a reporter at The Times in London, called for the cameraperson to receive a “lifetime award for this literal and symbolic focus pull, under pressure.”
Many progressives said they related to Thunberg’s seeming antipathy toward the president― a skeptic of climate science who has rolled back environmental rules and initiatives and vowed to withdraw the United States from the Paris climate accord.
Trump later stirred up outrage when he commented on Thunberg’s address to world leaders at the U.N.
“She seems like a very happy young girl looking forward to a bright and wonderful future. So nice to see!” Trump tweeted.