January 22, 2020 / 3:15 PM / a month ago

DAVOS-Trump has parting words for the star of Davos, Greta Thunberg

(Adds further quotes from Trump, Thunberg; details)

By Alexandra Alper

DAVOS, Switzerland, Jan 22 (Reuters) - Just before he departed the slopes of Davos, U.S. President Donald Trump had some final words for Greta Thunberg, saying he would have loved to have seen her speak at the World Economic Forum.

Back-and-forths between the teenager and the 73-year-old president have dominated the first two days of the annual gathering of the world’s business and political elite, as both have attempted to frame climate change.

Trump noted that Thunberg had “beat me out on Time Magazine”, a reference to her being Time’s Person of the Year.

On Tuesday, Trump dismissed “perennial prophets of doom” on climate change in his keynote address, while Thunberg sat in the audience.

Thunberg, who has been treated as a star in the Swiss ski resort, addressed a packed auditorium less than an hour later.

“Our house is still on fire,” Thunberg said, repeating her warning at the WEF meeting a year ago. “Your inaction is fuelling the flames.”

Before he departed Davos on Wednesday, Trump told reporters he wished he could have seen Thunberg speak.

When asked if he still thought climate change was a hoax, Trump responded: “No, not at all.”

He said he thought Thunberg should shift her attention away from the United States to focus on other, more polluted countries.

“You have another continent where the fumes are rising at levels that you can’t believe... I think Greta ought to focus on those places,” he said.

Thunberg will remain in Davos after Trump returns to the United States for his impeachment trial.

On Wednesday, she was due to meet British heir to the throne Prince Charles to discuss climate change, before a dinner with young activists following in her footsteps. (Editing by Leela de Kretser and Alex Richardson)

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