Politics

On her way to border, Melania Trump wore jacket that said: ‘I really don’t care, do u?’

US First Lady Melania Trump departs Andrews Air Rorce Base in Maryland June 21, 2018 wearing a jacket emblazoned with the words "I really don't care, do you?" following her surprise visit with child migrants on the US-Mexico border. / AFP PHOTO / MANDEL NGANMANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images
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Melania Trump in Maryland wearing a jacket emblazoned with the words: "I really don't care, do u?" following her surprise visit with child migrants on the US-Mexico border.

As she boarded a plane to visit the US-Mexico border on Thursday, where immigrant children have been forcefully separated from their parents under a “zero-tolerance” policy by President Trump, first lady Melania Trump was spotted wearing a green military-style jacket with a phrase on the back that read: “I really don’t care, do u?”

First lady Melania Trump boarded a plane at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland.
Andrew Harnik/Associated Press
First lady Melania Trump boarded a plane at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland.

The jacket’s phrasing sparked some outrage among critics and led the White House to defend the first lady’s clothing choice.

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

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Grisham followed up with a tweet, again admonishing the media for reporting on the jacket:

JOINT BASE ANDREWS, MD - JUNE 21: U.S. first lady Melania Trump steps out of her motorcade before boarding an Air Force plane and traveling to Texas to visit facilities that house and care for children taken from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border June 21, 2018 at Joint Base Andrews, Maryland. The first lady is traveling to Texas to see first hand the condition and treatment that children taken from their families at the border were receiving from the federal government. Following public outcry and criticism from members of his own party, President Donald Trump signed an executive order Wednesday to stop the separation of migrant children from their families, a practice the administration employed to deter illegal immigration at the U.S.-Mexico border. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
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First lady Melania Trump arrives to board a plane at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., Thursday, June 21, 2018, to travel to Texas to visit the U.S.-Mexico border. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
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The jacket is reportedly sold by Zara, a Spanish fashion retailer that is popular both abroad and in the United States.

And in apparent show of defiance, the first lady donned the jacket yet again as she arrived back in Maryland early Thursday evening, and then continued wearing it as she walked into the White House.

First lady Melania Trump arrives at the White House, in Washington, Thursday, June 21, 2018, after visiting the Upbring New Hope Children Center run by the Lutheran Social Services of the South in McAllen, Texas. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
AP
First lady Melania Trump arrived at the White House Thursday evening.

First lady Melania Trump arrives at the White House, in Washington, Thursday, June 21, 2018, after visiting the Upbring New Hope Children Center run by the Lutheran Social Services of the South in McAllen, Texas. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
AP

President Trump also tweeted about the jacket Thursday.


Mrs. Trump wore the jacket on her way to a Texas facility housing migrant children who have been separated from their parents. Trump reversed the separation policy on Wednesday.

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The youthful jacket sharply contrasts with the first lady’s typically bold, foreign-flavored wardrobe. In public appearances, the first lady has worn designs by Dolce & Gabbana, Del Pozo, Christian Dior, Emilio Pucci, Givenchy, and Valentino, often with daringly high Christian Louboutin heels.

It’s also worth noting: When she got off the plane in Texas, Mrs. Trump had changed into a different jacket for her visit.

First lady Melania Trump arrives at McAllen Miller International Airport in McAllen, Texas, Thursday, June 21, 2018, to visit the Ursula Border Patrol Processing Center and the Upbring New Hope Children Center run by the Lutheran Social Services of the South. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
AP

MCALLEN, TX - JUNE 21: U.S. first lady Melania Trump participates in a round table discussion with doctors and social workers at the Upbring New Hope Childrens Center operated by Lutheran Social Services of the South and contracted with the Department of Health and Human Services June 21, 2018 in McAllen, Texas. The first lady traveled to Texas to see first hand the condition and treatment that migrant children taken from their families at the U.S.-Mexico border are receiving from the federal government. Following public outcry and criticism from members of his own party, President Donald Trump signed an executive order Wednesday to stop the separation of migrant children from their families, a practice the administration employed to deter illegal immigration at the border. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
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‘‘I’m here to learn about your facility,’’ Mrs. Trump said as she received a briefing about the work of Upbring New Hope Children’s Shelter. She told facility directors that she wants to ‘‘ask you how I can help these children be reunited with their families as quickly as possible.’’

President Trump said during a cabinet meeting Thursday afternoon that his wife had gone to the border ‘‘because it really bothered her to be looking at this and seeing it, as it bothered me.’’

Grisham told reporters earlier on Thursday that the first lady had asked Tuesday that the trip be organized, one day before the president issued an executive order changing his policy.

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‘‘She wanted to see everything for herself. . . . She supports family reunification,” Grisham said. he thinks that it’s important that children stay with their families.’’

Thursday isn’t the first time the first lady caught attention for what she was wearing. In August 2017, on her way to Texas to survey the damage caused by Tropical Storm Harvey, she was spotted boarding Marine One and then Air Force One in sky-high heels. However — similar to Thursday — upon arrival in Corpus Christi, Texas, the first lady was wearing much more sensible footwear: white sneakers.

JACQUELYN MARTIN/AP
President Trump and first lady Melania Trump walked from the White House to the South Lawn to board Marine One for a short trip to Andrews Air Force Base in August 2017.

EVAN VUCCI/AP
President Trump and first lady Melania Trump arrived in Corpus Christi to take part in a briefing on Harvey relief efforts in August 2017.

Material from the Associated Press was used in this report.