Roughly four months after President Donald Trump labeled Baltimore a "disgusting rat and rodent infested mess," the first lady received something of a frosty reception Tuesday from the city's youth. Middle and high school students booed Melania Trump when she showed up to speak at an opioid awareness youth summit. While addressing students, the first lady appeared not to acknowledge the jeers.
Although it was unclear exactly why students booed the first lady as she attempted to bring her "Be Best" initiative to the B'More Youth Summit, boo they did. According to USA Today, a White House transcript of the FLOTUS pool report showed Melania was "greeted with some cheers but also a resounding chorus of loud boos, which lasted for about one minute" as she took the stage to speak at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.
While the booing lasted only a minute, a number of students reportedly remained noticeably raucous during her remarks. "More talking over her remarks went on for about the first two minutes of her speech," USA Today reported the pool report read. "The talking has died down, but there is still a lot of audience noise — lots of talking in the background."
Students also reportedly booed the first lady as she made her way off stage following her speech. According to CNN, the incident is believed to be the first time the first lady has been booed while appearing in public solo.
While Melania did not appear to acknowledge or react to the jeers in the moment, she later told CNN that folks were entitled to their own opinions. "We live in a democracy and everyone is entitled to their opinion, but the fact is we have a serious crisis in our country and I remain committed to educating children on the dangers and deadly consequences of drug abuse," the cable news network reported a statement from Melania read. Romper has reached out to the White House for further comment.
Her statement to CNN was reminiscent of the vow of commitment she'd given students on Tuesday at the B'More Youth Summit. "Promoting education and awareness on these issues will always be one of my top priorities," The Washington Post reported she said. "I am in this fight with you and I am fighting for you. I encourage you, if you are struggling with addiction right now, reach out for support."
Although the exact reason behind the students' jeers remains unknown, Melania's appearance in Baltimore comes roughly four months after her husband slammed the city in a series of tweets criticizing the late Rep. Elijah Cummings. While arguing that Rep. Cummings oversaw a Congressional district "far worse" than the U.S.-Mexico border in late July, Trump labeled Baltimore both a "disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess" and a "very dangerous & filthy place." Since then Trump, and apparently his wife, have found little favor with Baltimoreons.