Swedish teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg says she wouldn’t want to meet with President Trump even if given the opportunity.
“I don’t understand why I would do that,” Thunberg told Ellen DeGeneres in an interview that airs Friday on the “Ellen” show. “I don’t see what I could tell him that he hasn’t already heard. And I just think it would be a waste of time, really.”
Thunberg was in Los Angeles Friday for a protest rally by students opposed to new fossil-fuel production. She has drawn the ire of Trump, whose administration rolled back Obama-era environmental protections and withdrew the U.S. from the Paris climate accord. The president has frequently dismissed dire warnings from climate scientists, and in a 2012 tweet claimed “the concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.”
The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 6, 2012
In September, the two crossed paths at the United Nations, where Thunberg delivered an angry and impassioned speech denouncing world leaders for failing to do more to combat climate change.
“This is all wrong,” Thunberg said in her speech. “I shouldn’t be up here. I should be back in school on the other side of the ocean, yet you come to us young people for hope. How dare you.”
Trump mocked the 16-year-old’s speech in a tweet the following day.
“She seems like a very happy young girl looking forward to a bright and wonderful future,” Trump wrote. “So nice to see!”
Thunberg responded by changing her Twitter bio to read: “A very happy young girl looking forward to a bright and wonderful future.”
She responded similarly to criticism from Russian President Vladimir Putin, who suggested Thunberg doesn’t understand complexities of “the modern world” and accused her parents of exploiting her.
“When someone is using children and teenagers in personal interests, it only deserves to be condemned,” Putin said. “I’m sure that Greta is a kind and very sincere girl. But adults must do everything not to bring teenagers and children into some extreme situations.”
In an interview with Yahoo News in Iowa in September, Thunberg said powerful men like Trump and Putin “want to silence” young climate activists like her.
“They can sense that we are making an impact,” she said. “They obviously don’t want that. So they are using several methods to mock and hate.”
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