MELANIA’S WARDROBE MALFUNCTION: First Lady Melania Trump’s unannounced visit to a Texas detention center Thursday is now known for one message and it has nothing to do with the welfare of immigrant children. FLOTUS arrived in McAllen, Tex., wearing an Army green hooded jacket with lettering on the back that read, “I really don’t care, do u?”
The takeaway look of that $39 Zara jacket sparked outrage on social media. One person who appeared to be in the dark about the First Lady’s outerwear choice was her go-to stylist Hervé Pierre. He said Thursday that he had never seen that jacket before. En route to Paris to present his Atelier Caito for Hervé Pierre collection to European buyers, Pierre declined further comment.
The First Lady’s communications director Stephanie Grisham tried to tamp down the controversy. She said via e-mail, “It’s a jacket.There was no hidden message. After today’s important visit to Texas, I hope the media isn’t going to choose to focus on her wardrobe. (Much like her high heels last year.)”
Grisham did not respond to a request for further comment Thursday.
Last summer, Trump was lambasted for heading to Air Force One wearing towering stilettos heels for a visit with Hurricane Harvey victims. The First Lady arrived in the Lone Star state Thursday in a sand-colored safari style shirt, white jeans and seemingly new Adidas Stan Smith sneakers.
It has been a brusk few days for the First Lady, who along with her husband welcomed Spain’s King Felipe and Queen Letizia to the White House on Tuesday.
Executives at the Spanish-owned Inditex, Zara’s parent company, did not respond immediately to a request for comment.
Plans to visit a Border Patrol facility were scrapped due to flooding, so the First Lady spent about 75 minutes at the Upbring New Hope Children’s Shelter, according to a pool report from The Dallas Morning News. There, she spent time with 55 children, most of whom are from Guatemala, chatting with them and asking each one individually about where they are from, the pool reporter said.
During a briefing with shelter staff and homeland security and HHS officials including Secretary Alex Azar, the First Lady said, “They are scared without their families. And I want to thank you for your hard work, your compassion and your kindness. And I’d also like to ask you how I can help to — these children, to reunite with their families, as quickly as possible.”
She also inquired about how often the children are allowed to speak with their parents. (They are given a 10-minute phone call once it is confirmed that the person being contacted is in fact a family member, according to the pool report.) FLOTUS also asked how long the children typically stay at the facility — on average they stay between 42 and 45 days. When an employee noted three children had been reunited with family, the First Lady said, “Oh, that’s great. That’s three of them, they already reunited,” according to the pool report.