US President Donald Trump said on Wednesday he would have loved to have met Swedish environment activist Greta Thunberg at Davos but added that she should not focus her anger on the United States.
“I would have loved to have seen her,” Trump told reporters before leaving the luxury Swiss resort while claiming that countries other than the United States were the worst polluters and “Greta ought to focus on those places”.
Trump had launched an extraordinary attack on environmental campaigners in a speech to the World Economic Forum on Tuesday, saying they were “perennial prophets of doom” and the “heirs of yesterday’s foolish fortune tellers”.
Thunberg sat quietly through the speech and was unrepentant in later remarks. “Our house is still on fire,” she said.
Trump denied he thought global warming was a hoax, saying: “No not at all — I think aspects of it are.”
He said campaigners had put global warming “at a level that is unrealistic” to the point where people cannot live their lives.
Also speaking at Davos, US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin defended the administration’s policies, saying its views had been misinterpreted.
“The US administration believes in clean air and clean water. This is a very complicated issue. We support a clean environment we just think it can be done in a way that is pro-business,” he said.