Melania Trump’s jacket raises eyebrows for edgy message

First lady Melania Trump has lobbied her husband in private to end the practice of separating families at the border, and she made a surprise visit Thursday to a detention center in Texas to show she cares for the plight of immigrant children separated from their parents. Her wardrobe choice, however, sent a decidedly different message, one that ricocheted across social media following her trip.

When Trump arrived at Joint Base Andrews Thursday morning to travel to Texas, she wore a jacket with a message emblazoned in white paint on the back: “I REALLY DON’T CARE. DO U?” The jacket was first noticed by the Daily Mail.

Her spokesperson, Stephanie Grisham, told CBS News in a statement that the writing on Trump’s jacket wasn’t intended to send a message.

“It’s a jacket. There was no hidden message,” Grisham said. “After today’s important visit to Texas, I hope the media isn’t going to choose to focus on her wardrobe.”

But the Twitter outcry was swift, with many appalled at what seemed to be an ill-conceived — if unintentional — message when she was travelling to visit migrant children separated from their parents.

“The jacket Melania Trump wore to visit caged immigrant children,” one user tweeted. InStyle’s comment was simply, “Yikes.”

The jacket only appeared upon her departure — by the time Trump arrived in McAllen, Texas, the olive drab jacket, a $39 Zara design, was gone, and she walked into the housing facility clad in a cream military-style jacket with white jeans and sneakers.

Grisham tweeted to say that Trump’s visit with the children in Texas “impacted @flotus greatly,” and she bashed the media for paying so much attention to her sartorial choices. “If media would spend their time & energy on her actions & efforts to help kids – rather than speculate & focus on her wardrobe – we could get so much accomplished on behalf of children,” she scolded.

It was Trump’s idea to go to the border to see firsthand how migrant children are being treated, her husband said. “My wife, our first lady, is down now at the border because it really bothered her to be looking at this,” President Trump told members of his Cabinet Thursday, just as his wife was landing in Texas to visit a facility where dozens of children are being housed.

At the facility the first lady talked with staff about how the children were being treated and asked how she could help. She thanked the staff for their compassion and kindness and said she wanted to hear more about how her husband’s administration could build on efforts to reunite children with their families.

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