Despite spearheading an anti-bullying campaign, Melania Trump has chosen to give her husband, Donald Trump, a pass for bullying 16-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg.
Trump attacked Thunberg on Thursday after she beat him out to be named Time magazine’s Person of the Year.
“Greta must work on her Anger Management problem, then go to a good old fashioned movie with a friend! Chill Greta, Chill!” wrote Trump.
The comment was widely criticized, and Thunberg received support from figures like former first lady Michelle Obama, who said, “Ignore the doubters and know that millions of people are cheering you on.”
Melania Trump was asked by reporters to reconcile her husband’s behavior with the “Be Best” anti-bullying campaign she has led, along with her complaint that a witness in the impeachment hearing had used her son Barron’s name.
“It is no secret that the President and First Lady often communicate differently – as most married couples do,” White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said in a statement released Friday. Grisham is also Melania Trump’s spokesperson.
“Their son is not an activist who travels the globe giving speeches. He is a 13-year-old who wants and deserves privacy.”
The statement gives Trump’s bullying a pass because Thunberg has been an effective advocate for action on climate change, rallying millions around the world to the cause — especially young people.
Trump has previously claimed that climate change is a “hoax” created by the Chinese government and pulled the United States out of the Paris Climate Accords. Trump has also allowed polluters to work within his administration to ease regulations surrounding their industries.
Melania Trump has been a reliable supporter of her husband’s most widely reviled actions.
Last year, when visiting a detention center where immigrant children were being held after her husband ordered them taken from their families, Melania Trump wore a jacket that read, “I Really Don’t Care, Do U?”
In 2011, she supported Donald Trump’s promotion of the racist and false “birther” smear of President Barack Obama.
“It’s not only Donald who wants to see [Obama’s birth certificate], it’s American people who voted for him and who didn’t vote for him. They want to see that,” she said.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.