Melania Trump jabs at media over coverage of opioid epidemic

Melania Trump jabs at media over coverage of opioid epidemic
© Greg Nash

First lady Melania TrumpMelania TrumpTrump talks to Swedish leader about rapper A$AP Rocky, offers to vouch for his bail Trump steps up attacks on 'Squad' after post-rally furor Trump says he doesn't care if attacks on 'Squad' hurt him politically MORE on Tuesday chided the media for its focus on "trivial stories," urging reporters to dedicate the same amount of coverage to the country's opioid epidemic.

Trump spoke at a town hall event in Las Vegas in the final stop on a three-state tour for her "Be Best" campaign to raise awareness around the opioid crisis and other issues affecting children. In her initial remarks, the first lady lamented that 72,000 Americans died in 2017 from overdoses.

"I challenge the press to devote as much time to the lives lost and the potential lives that could be saved by dedicating the same amount of coverage that you do to idle gossip or trivial stories," Trump said.

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"When we see breaking news on TV or the front pages of newspapers, it is my hope that it can be about how many lives we were able to save through education and honest dialogue," she added.

Trump then sat down for a Q&A moderated by former Fox News host Eric Bolling, whose son died of an overdose. Bolling, a prominent supporter of the Trump administration's efforts to combat the opioid epidemic, asked the first lady to expand on her media commentary.

"I wish the media would talk about more and educate more children, also adults, parents, about the opioid crisis that we have in the United States," she said. "They do it already, but I think not enough."

The first lady has in the past criticized the press for its coverage of her, complaining that reporters focus on "unimportant" matters. President TrumpDonald John TrumpChelsea Clinton announces birth of third child Ukrainian officials and Giuliani are sharing back-channel campaign information: report Trump attacks 'the Squad' as 'racist group of troublemakers' MORE regularly derides press coverage of his administration, labeling unfavorable stories "fake news" and labeling certain outlets "enemies of the people."