Melania Trump booed at 'Be Best' event in Baltimore

President Donald Trump has derided Baltimore as a "rodent-infested mess."

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By Dareh Gregorian

First lady Melania Trump was greeted with a loud chorus of boos Tuesday while giving a speech to a crowd of young students in Baltimore as part of her "Be Best" campaign.

Trump spoke for about five minutes before hundreds of middle and high school children at the UMBC Event Center in Baltimore and warned them about the dangers of opioid addiction.

"I hope that the knowledge you gain here will help you tackle the tough decisions you may be faced with, so that you can live a healthy and drug-free life," she told the students, many of whom were speaking loudly throughout her remarks in a city her husband, President Donald Trump, has derided as "a disgusting, rat and rodent-infested mess."

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"Get involved and be a part of the solution," the first lady urged the students.

When she first took the stage, she was greeted with a mix of cheers and boos, but the boos appeared to be much louder and longer-lasting than the cheers.

She closed her speech by wishing the crowd a happy Thanksgiving. "Be safe. May God bless you, your families and the United States of America," she said to cheers and even more jeers.

In a statement to NBC News, the first lady said, “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 event was organized by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Mark Wahlberg Youth Foundation. The first lady — whose Be Best program has targeted online bullying and the dangers of opioid abuse — was introduced at the event by Jim Wahlberg, brother of actors Mark and Donnie Wahlberg.

"Thank you so much, first lady! We appreciate you," Wahlberg said as he led her off the stage.

The Wahlberg foundation did not respond to a request for comment.