Melania Trump's team fired back at critics in the media on Friday accusing her of hypocrisy. The first lady has come down hard on those who mention her 13-year-old son, Barron in any public discourse, while saying nothing of President Donald Trump's commentary about 16-year-old Greta Thunberg. To Melania, these are completely different situations.
Earlier this month, the first lady condemned an impeachment hearing witness for using Barron's name for word play. However, many detractors feel this is hypocritical given some of President Trump's taunts against climate change activist Greta Thunberg. They feel this is especially true since Melania's chosen initiative is an anti-bullying campaign called BeBest.
On Friday, White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham issued a statement on the first lady's behalf, explaining that Thunberg's status as an activist precluded her from protection against bullying.
"BeBest is the First Lady's initiative, and she will continue to use it to do all she can to help children," Grisham said, according to CNN reporter Kate Bennett. "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."
President Trump has been firing off diminutive tweets about Thunberg for months now, most recently on Thursday when Thunberg was named the Time Person of the Year.
"So ridiculous," he wrote. "Greta must work on her Anger Management problem, then go to a good old fashioned movie with a friend! Chill Greta, Chill!" Thunberg responded only by changing her Twitter bio to mock the president's words.
"A teenager working on her anger management problem. Currently chilling and watching a good old fashioned movie with a friend," it now says.
Critics, including Washington Post columnist Karen Tumulty, have pointed out that that the president's tweet not "airing his differences with her over the issue of climate change. He was calling attention to her demeanor." To Tumulty and many others, this constitutes bullying.
"Trump was not communicating 'differently' Thursday, when he tweeted to his 67.5 million followers that Thunberg "must work on her Anger Management problem." He was melting down in his own fit of rage over her selection as Time magazine's Person of the Year," she wrote.
In the last year, Thunberg has led a massive protest movement around the globe, spoken before the United Nations and won numerous awards and honors. In addition to her new title from Time, she is nominated for the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize.