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Trump Once Again Targets 16-Year-Old Climate Activist Greta Thunberg On Twitter

by Morgan Brinlee

Less than a week after using his preferred social media network to seemingly mock a 16-year-old Swedish climate activist, President Donald Trump again targeted Greta Thunberg on Twitter. This time, the president appeared to applaud another Twitter user who'd decreed Thunberg to be "an actress" trying to hold others "hostage" with her push for global action on climate change.

"Keep up the great work Kellie," Trump wrote in a tweet retweeting "Kellie," a Twitter user who mocked Thunberg and the speech she gave Sept. 23 at the United Nations Climate Action Summit.

"What an actress!" that Twitter user wrote of Thunberg, before deriding the teen's assertion that she should be in school rather than educating world leaders about the importance of acting on climate change. "She's getting the best education socialism can steal. I won't be held hostage by someone who just got a learner's permit. Sorry kiddo! Tell Al to try again."

In an effort to protest what she views as policymakers' failure to adequately address climate change, Thunberg has been striking from school every Friday since August 2018. She recently inspired tens of thousands of students around the world to organize a global climate strike and appeared at the United Nation's recent Climate Action Summit in New York.

It was there, in fact, that Thunberg gave an impassioned speech in which she accused world leaders of having "stolen" her dreams and childhood with their "empty words" on climate change. "And yet I'm one of the lucky ones," she said, according to NPR's transcript of her speech. "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!"

Thunberg went on to accuse the United Nations member states of failing her generation, noting that "young people are starting to understand your betrayal."

"The eyes of all future generations are upon you," she said. "And if you choose to fail us, I say: We will never forgive you."

Of course, Thursday wasn't the first time President Trump has appeared to mock 16-year-old Thunberg on Twitter. "She seems like a very happy young girl looking forward to a bright and wonderful future. So nice to see!" Trump wrote in a tweet posted late on Sept. 23 that featured video of Thunberg's speech.

While Thunberg didn't respond directly to Trump, BuzzFeed News did report that, by Tuesday, she'd changed her Twitter bio to read, "A very happy young girl looking forward to a bright and wonderful future." Currently, her Twitter bio reads, "A kind but poorly informed teenager," which the Hill has reported is a reference to comments Russian President Vladimir Putin made about her.

Although Thunberg hasn't responded directly to Trump's latest apparent attempt to mock her, she has previously shared "The Greta Thunberg Helpline," a tongue-in cheek satirical hotline for "adults angry at a child." The question is, will President Trump call? Or will Thunberg's Twitter bio soon simply read, "an actress?"