U.S. First Lady Melania Trump travelled to Texas today to visit immigrant children being detained at the border wearing a jacket with the phrase, “I really don’t care, do u?” scrawled on the back.
The first lady can be seen boarding a plane at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland headed for Texas wearing a $39 army green military-inspired jacket from Zara with the flippant phrase written out in graffiti-style lettering. When she deplaned in Texas, she had changed into a fitted cream-coloured Safari jacket.
When she arrived at Andrews Air Force Base upon returning to Washington, DC, the First Lady was once again wearing the jacket:
Trump, who works with personal stylist Hervé Pierre, often changes her clothing en route to a destination, so it’s not known if she was alerted to the potentially offensive message on her jacket or if she had already planned to change into something else.
Stephanie Grisham, the first lady’s spokesperson, insisted that there was no ulterior message to her attire, stating simply, “It’s a jacket. There was no hidden message.”
She followed it up with a plea to focus on the visit and not her clothing.
“After today’s important visit to Texas, I hope this isn’t what the media is going to choose to focus on.”
However, social media users were quick to jump on the provocative message and use it as fodder to question her motives.
Following the uproar, President Donald Trump issued an explanation, alleging the message refers to his wife’s opinion about “the Fake News Media.”
Trump’s decision to head to Texas comes on the heels of a widely-criticized tweet she sent out two days earlier, in which she thanked Queen Letizia of Spain for having tea with her and discussing ways to “positively impact children.”
Many called the statement “tone-deaf” in light of the fact that her husband, President Donald Trump, had enacted a “zero tolerance” law that saw immigrant children of those seeking to illegally enter the United States separated from their parents and held in detention centres.
The first lady has been uncharacteristically vocal about her feelings on this policy. Earlier this week, she said that she “hates to see children separated from their families,” according to Grisham.
During her visit today, Trump said she was “looking forward to meeting the children.”
In addition, Grisham laid out Trump’s reasons for visiting the facility.
“Her goals are to thank law enforcement and social services providers for their hard work, lend support and hear more on how the administration can build upon the already existing efforts to reunite children with their families,” she said.
While Grisham insists that today’s choice of attire did not have a “hidden message,” others have pointed out that in the past, Trump’s fashion decisions were, in fact, poignant.
During the presidential campaign, after the notorious “Access Hollywood” tape was leaked, the former model wore a pussy bow blouse that did not go unnoticed by the media. Similarly, she has worn culturally-inspired outfits during visits to both Saudi Arabia and Japan.
Consciously or not, the first lady was seen to be sending a message on this otherwise altruistic trip. And it’s one that many won’t soon forget.
Check out more Twitter reaction to the First Lady’s jacket below: