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AFP
December 13, 2019

Greta should ‘chill,’ go to movies: Trump

World

AFP
December 13, 2019

US President Donald Trump on Thursday slammed Time magazine’s naming of Greta Thunberg as 2019 Person of the Year, saying the Swedish teen climate activist should "chill" and go see a movie.

"So ridiculous. Greta must work on her Anger Management problem, then go to a good old fashioned movie with a friend! Chill Greta, Chill!" he tweeted. Thunberg’s reply came minutes later, when she changed the bio of her Twitter account to: "A teenager working on her anger management problem. Currently chilling and watching a good old fashioned movie with a friend."

The exchange came after Time on Wednesday the 16-year-old, who last year launched the "Fridays For Future", protest against global warming that has since grown into a worldwide movement and seen her tipped as a potential Nobel laureate.

The backlash on social media was swift, with numerous critics assailing Trump for what they saw as bullying, although some high profile tweeters came to the president’s defence.

"There’s a reason we don’t let people run for president until age 35. Greta is a good example," said Scott Adams, the creator of the Dilbert comic strip. Thunberg has become known for her fiery speeches to world leaders, and was that day in Madrid, where she accused rich countries of "misleading" people into thinking they are taking meaningful action against climate change.

In perhaps her most iconic appearance, she laid in to world leaders at another UN climate summit in New York September, thundering "How dare you?" in accusation of their failure to take action to stop runaway global warming. She had arrived in the US at the end of a two-week journey on a sailboat -- refusing to fly because of the carbon emissions caused by planes.

Her rhetoric, youth and diagnosis of Asperger’s syndrome, a mild form of autism, have made her a frequent target of critics. Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro dismissed her as a "brat," and following her September speech in New York, Trump quipped that she is a "very happy young girl looking forward to a bright and wonderful future."