Melania Trump issued a rare public statement on Friday responding to her husband’s latest public attack of 16-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg after she was named Time’s “Person of the Year,” an honor Trump was on the shortlist for.
“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.
The “Be Best” hashtag from the first lady’s anti-cyberbullying campaign began trending in the United States after Trump attacked Thunberg.
Thousands of social media users called on Melania to respond to her husband’s remarks in light of her “Be Best” campaign, which encourages children to be kind on social media and speak “with respect and compassion.”
Several also noted that Melania criticized legal expert Pamela Karlan last week after Karlan mentioned the Trumps’ teenage son, Barron, during testimony as part of the House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry.
— Jennifer Gunter (@DrJenGunter) December 12, 2019
“Pamela Karlan, you should be ashamed of your very angry and obviously biased public pandering, and using a child to do it,” Melania Trump wrote in a rare tweet.
Karlan later apologized for her comments, saying, “I want to apologize for what I said earlier about the president’s son. It was wrong of me to do that. I wish the president would apologize, obviously, for the things that he’s done that’s wrong, but I do regret having said that.”
Melania responded to the mounting criticism in a press statement Friday.
“BeBest is the First Lady’s initiative, and she will continue to use it to do all she can to help children,” read the White House statement released on behalf of Melania. “It is no secret that the President and First Lady often communicate differently — as most married couples do.”
Then, the statement seemed to justify Trump’s attack.
“Their son is not an activist who travels the globe giving speeches,” the statement continued. “He is a 13-year-old who wanted and deserves privacy.”
— Kate Bennett (@KateBennett_DC) December 13, 2019