White House responds after backlash over Trump's attacks on Greta Thunberg

White House responds after backlash over Trump's attacks on Greta Thunberg

The White House has issued a statement intended to clear up issues over President Trump's criticism of climate change activist Greta Thunberg.

The controversy began when the teenage campaigner was named Time magazine's Person of the Year, for her influence on the Extinction Rebellion movement and for her speech condemning world leaders for not doing enough to combat global warming and pollution back in September.

In response to this, the president tweeted: "So ridiculous. Greta must work on her Anger Management problem, then go to a good old fashioned movie with a friend! Chill Greta, Chill! [sic]"

However, many people were quick to accuse the president of hypocrisy for his disparaging a 16-year-old, since the First Lady Melania Trump is currently managing an anti-cyberbullying initiative called #BeBest, and has condemned the press for hounding their 13-year-old son Barron.

CNN reporter Kate Bennett has now tweeted a statement from the White House press secretary, which claims that Thunberg is open to criticism since she is a "public figure."

Per Bennett, the statement reads: "BeBest is the First Lady’s initiative, and she will continue to use it to do all she can to help children. 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."

Watch the moment Greta stared down President Trump in her speech made to world leaders:

In the wake of Trump's critical tweet, former First Lady Michelle Obama reached out to the teen, writing: "Don’t let anyone dim your light. Like the girls I’ve met in Vietnam and all over the world, you have so much to offer us all. Ignore the doubters and know that millions of people are cheering you on."

Obama added: "This is how a leader should act. Building people up, rather than tearing them down. Oh how I miss moments like these. Class act," one wrote. While another agreed: "A true leader who lifts those around them."

Thunberg also trolled Trump herself by changing her own Twitter bio in a hilarious way.