In a truly mind-blowing display, Melania Trump’s office issued a statement on Friday afternoon dodging any responsibility for refusing to address the President’s public bullying of sixteen-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg even though her signature initiative is an anti-cyberbullying campaign called “Be Best.”
Yesterday, accusations of hypocrisy were leveled at the First Lady after her husband told Thunberg that she needed to “chill” and had “anger issues” when it was announced that she had beaten him out for TIME’s Person of the Year award. Melania and the rest of the Trump family had issued huffy protests last week when Barron Trump’s name was briefly mentioned in passing as part of a harmless metaphor, weeping and moaning about how children were “off-limits” in politics, but it appears that same consideration doesn’t extend to Greta Thunberg.
In characteristically Trumpian fashion, Melania’s office implied that the Swedish teen was to blame for her own cyberbullying since she is an “activist who travels the globe giving speeches.”
— Kate Bennett (@KateBennett_DC) December 13, 2019
Apparently, #BeBest stops at the Oval Office. The “different communication” line would imply that the First Lady is not exactly thrilled with the president’s grotesque behavior but won’t bring herself to actually condemn or acknowledge it at all.
Apart from a few highly publicized trips to schools and an event here or there, the First Lady’s BeBest initiative has not accomplished very much with her husband putting on a daily seminar in the digital abuse and disparagement of others. But there was no need for her to put out a statement attempting to absolve herself of any responsibility for her husband’s actions and implicitly blaming Thunberg for her actions.
Social media quickly pounced on the First Lady’s statement:
Melania, we agree. Children are off limits. Tell your husband to #bebest and go enroll himself in anger management instead of attacking such a brilliant and courageous teenager fighting for climate change. @GretaThunberg we got your back!
— Maxine Waters (@RepMaxineWaters) December 12, 2019
— Colin Taylor (@ColsBols) December 13, 2019
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) December 13, 2019
Another reminder that Melania is both a coward and a hypocrite https://t.co/8xxLukou1A
— Mehdi Hasan (@mehdirhasan) December 13, 2019