President Donald Trump responded to Greta Thunberg’s angry climate change speech on Monday evening with what many took to be dismissive humor.
In a tweet just before midnight, Trump shared a video of Thunberg, a 16-year-old Swedish climate activist, bitterly accusing world leaders of destroying her future with their inaction on climate change.
“This is all wrong,” said Thunberg. “I shouldn’t be up here. I should be back in school on the other side of the ocean. Yet you all come to us young people for hope? How dare you!”
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“You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words,” Thunberg added. “And yet I’m one of the lucky ones. 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 fairy tales of eternal economic growth. How dare you!”
The president commented on the video: “She seems like a very happy young girl looking forward to a bright and wonderful future. So nice to see!”
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
Critics outraged that Trump would tweet critically about Greta Thunberg
The president’s critics were outraged by his apparent irreverence.
This is the president of the US, joining in the right wing attacks on @GretaThunberg. You knew he would, but damn. https://t.co/ELLywwidJM
— Charles Johnson (@Green_Footballs) September 24, 2019
Political analyst Amr Khalifa called Trump “the most unfeeling ‘person’ on earth” for “bullying a teenager.”
The most unfeeling "person" on earth bullying a teenager who has done more with her life at 16 than he has done in 4 times the lifespan. #GretaThurnberg https://t.co/zrO6bm2liL
— Amr Khalifa (@Cairo67Unedited) September 24, 2019
However, many conservatives defended Trump.
The Daily Wire’s Ryan Saavedra said he was “right to mock this idiotic message,” which he deemed anti-capitalist media propaganda.
The media is using Greta Thunberg as a political pawn to push their radical climate agenda which is *not* about the environment, it's about destroying capitalism and implementing socialism@realDonaldTrump is correct to mock this idiotic message & he did so in a hilarious manner https://t.co/hLmm6xSL1F
— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) September 24, 2019
After Thunberg’s speech, she and Trump crossed paths in the lobby of U.N. headquarters, and her scowl, captured by assembled news cameras from around the world, also prompted a reaction online.
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.
I felt that pic.twitter.com/0uuYf94COb
— marv (@mrvndn) September 23, 2019
Meanwhile, conservative pundit Benny Johnson called a meme of the Trump-Thunberg moment the “Greatest GIF in human history.”
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Johnson said Trump’s apparent disregard for the teen, who he said was being exploited by the left, “demonstrates how all Americans should treat annoying, foreign, communist propagandists on our soil.”
Greatest GIF in human history.
Trump demonstrates how all Americans should treat annoying, foreign, communist propagandists on our soil — ignore them.
SHARE if you are also sick of the left abusing & brainwashing innocent children to use them as political props pic.twitter.com/qHLpHkf1HP
— Benny (@bennyjohnson) September 23, 2019
It was unclear how Thunberg, who sailed from the United Kingdom to New York to minimize her “carbon footprint,” planned to return home.