Melania Trump released a statement today that justified her husband’s Twitter attack on Greta Thunberg and appeared to many to blame the 16-year-old for inserting herself into the spotlight.
Trump had sparked controversy when he took to Twitter on Thursday to mock the teen climate activist, who the day before had been named Time magazine’s “Person of the Year.”
“So ridiculous,” Trump said 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 is known to suffer from Asperger’s syndrome, a neurological disorder that is known to cause difficulty with communication and social skills. Many said that Trump’s tweet appeared to take aim at her demeanor and the disorder.
Trump’s attack came just weeks after many in the Trump family voiced their anger about impeachment witness Pamela Karlan mentioning the name of the president’s youngest son, Barron Trump, while making a comparison about the rule of monarchs versus presidents. This included Melania Trump, who blasted Karlan for voicing the name of a minor.
“Pamela Karlan, you should be ashamed of your very angry and obviously biased public pandering, and using a child to do it,” she tweeted.
But after many took aim at Melania for her silence on Donald’s mocking tweet aimed at the 16-year-old, critics claim that the first lady now appears to have justified the attack. After remaining silent for a day after her husband’s tweet — and after facing some criticism that she appeared to be abandoning the purpose of her “Be Best” anti-cyberbullying campaign — Melania released a statement through a spokesperson.
CNN reporter Kate Bennett shared the statement on Twitter.
“BeBest is the First Lady’s initiative, and she will continue to use it to do all she can to help children,” the statement read. “It is no secret that the President and First Lady often communicate differently — as most married couples do. Their son is not an activist who travels the globe giving speeches. He is a 13-year-old who wants and deserves privacy.”
As Raw Story noted, many saw the statement as blaming Thunberg for placing herself in the spotlight.
This was not the first time that Trump took to Twitter to mock the teen activist. This summer, as Thunberg was appearing in New York to speak to the U.N. General Assembly on the dangers of climate change, Trump retweeted a quote from her and what appeared to be mocking words calling her “a very happy young girl looking forward to a bright and wonderful future.”