Tomi Lahren bemoans "epidemic" of disrespect on "Fox & Friends" after Melania Trump is booed

Fox News primetime star Laura Ingraham also criticized the audience members who booed Trump as "angry and stupid"

By Matthew Rozsa

Staff Writer

Published November 27, 2019 2:04PM (EST)

US First Lady Melania Trump addresses the B'More Youth Summit in Baltimore, Maryland, on November 26, 2019. - The purpose of the summit is to promote healthy choices and educate students about the dangers of opioid use.  (NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP via Getty Images)
US First Lady Melania Trump addresses the B'More Youth Summit in Baltimore, Maryland, on November 26, 2019. - The purpose of the summit is to promote healthy choices and educate students about the dangers of opioid use. (NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP via Getty Images)

First lady Melania Trump was booed Tuesday while delivering a brief speech about America’s opioid epidemic to the B'More Youth Summit outside of Baltimore.

The booing began with heckling that lasted for roughly one minute and continued with “raucous, [audible] speaking" throughout her speech, according to CNN. 

During the address, the first lady appeared to ignore the reaction of the audience.

"I am so proud of you for the bravery it takes to share that you have been strongly affected by the opioid epidemic in some way,” she told attendees.

The first lady’s office later sent a statement to CNN attributed to Trump.

“We live in a democracy, and everyone is entitled to their opinion,” she said. “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."

At the time of this writing, President Donald Trump has not commented on Twitter about the booing of his wife. Other conservatives, however, have made their displeasure known.

Our wonderful @FLOTUS is booed by students in Baltimore. Can you imagine if the same was done to Michelle Obama?” Fox Nation host Tomi Lahren tweeted Wednesday morning.

During a later appearance on “Fox & Friends,” Lahren told the co-hosts: “I think this is not only, of course, because she is Melania and her last name is Trump. But this is also just a lack of respect from young people. But where do they learn that from? Where do they learn that disrespect? Where do they learn that it is OK to boo the first lady of the United States?”

She continued, “Well, they learn that, because they don’t believe that they have to respect Melania or anyone with the last name of Trump. Because the media and congressional leaders and Democrats have told them that they don’t have to that it’s their moral right to do those things. So this is an epidemic in this country not just of people not liking anyone with the last name of Trump but just with young people being completely disrespectful.”

Lahren spoke with Salon in July about her belief in the need for civility in politics, although she did not feel that her own rhetoric had contributed to that incivility problem, including her frequent references to liberals as "snowflakes." Describing someone that way, Lahren responded, "is not the same as labeling a Trump supporter racist, homophobic, sexist, irredeemable and deplorable. The adjectives are on opposite ends of the spectrum."

Fox News anchor Laura Ingraham also denounced Tuesday's booing of Melania Trump, tweeting that “they are too angry and stupid to realize that this booing of @flotus just ends up helping @realDonaldTrump.”

Republican blogger and podcast host Wayne Dupree expressed similar thoughts, tweeting that “the First Lady didn't do anything to receive this hate response from Balt students.”

Trump has had a difficult relationship with the city of Baltimore. While criticizing the city’s late congressman Rep. Elijah Cummings, a Democrat, Trump tweeted that the city was “a disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess” and a “very dangerous & filthy place.” 

He later said in a speech, “ If you look at it statistically, it’s like, the number of shootings, the number of crimes, the number of everything — this morning, I heard a statistic: Baltimore is worse than Honduras.”

Ironically the president’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, owns properties in the city that were responsible for more than 200 code violations in 2017 alone, according to investigations.

Watch the full clip below: 

By Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a professional writer whose work has appeared in multiple national media outlets since 2012 and exclusively at Salon since 2016. He received a Master's Degree in History from Rutgers-Newark in 2012, was a guest on Fox Business in 2019, repeatedly warned of Trump's impending refusal to concede during the 2020 election, spoke at the Commonwealth Club of California in 2021, was awarded a science journalism fellowship from the Metcalf Institute in 2022 and appeared on NPR in 2023. His diverse interests are reflected in his interviews including: President Jimmy Carter (1977-1981), Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak (1999-2001), animal scientist and autism activist Temple Grandin, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright (1997-2001), director Jason Reitman ("The Front Runner"), inventor Ernő Rubik, comedian Bill Burr ("F Is for Family"), novelist James Patterson ("The President's Daughter"), epidemiologist Monica Gandhi, theoretical cosmologist Janna Levin, voice actor Rob Paulsen ("Animaniacs"), mRNA vaccine pioneer Katalin Karikó, philosopher of science Vinciane Despret, actor George Takei ("Star Trek"), climatologist Michael E. Mann, World War II historian Joshua Levine (consultant to "Dunkirk"), Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (2013-present), dog cognition researcher Alexandra Horowitz, Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson (2012, 2016), comedian and writer Larry Charles ("Seinfeld"), seismologist John Vidale, Democratic vice presidential nominee Joe Lieberman (2000), Ambassador Michael McFaul (2012-2014), economist Richard Wolff, director Kevin Greutert ("Saw VI"), model Liskula Cohen, actor Rodger Bumpass ("SpongeBob Squarepants"), Senator John Hickenlooper (2021-present), Senator Martin Heinrich (2013-present), Egyptologist Richard Parkinson, Rep. Eric Swalwell (2013-present), Fox News host Tucker Carlson, actor R. J. Mitte ("Breaking Bad"), theoretical physicist Avi Loeb, biologist and genomics entrepreneur William Haseltine, comedian David Cross ("Scary Movie 2"), linguistics consultant Paul Frommer ("Avatar"), Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley (2007-2015), computer engineer and Internet co-inventor Leonard Kleinrock and right-wing insurrectionist Roger Stone.

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