On Thursday, First Lady Melania Trump made a surprise visit to the U.S.-Mexico border to tour a shelter for immigrant children, but all the media could talk about was her wardrobe choice before and after the visit. President Donald Trump twisted the media's attacks back on them.
As CNN's Betsy Klein reported, the first lady wore an olive green jacket as she boarded her plane from Andrews Air Force Base. The back of the jacket read, "I really don't care. Do u?" in white graffiti-style lettering. She did not wear the jacket when she left the plane in McAllen, Texas, but it showed up again when she returned to Andrews Air Force Base.
Various media outlets pounced, and the jacket did indeed seem an odd choice.
MSNBC contributor Scott Dworkin declared, "That photo-op just made it clear Melania Trump hates children too. She should be as trusted as the buffoon she married. Posing for propaganda."
That photo-op just made it clear Melania Trump hates children too. She should be as trusted as the buffoon she married. Posing for propaganda.— Scott Dworkin (@funder) June 21, 2018
The jacket made no such statement, however. As Klein noted, "The $39 jacket is last season Zara."
Thursday was a hot day, so the jacket may seem out of place. However, Melania could have merely intended to cover up her outfit while traveling. After all, the media is in tow.
White House spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham insisted there was no message involved in this wardrobe choice. "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," she said.
President Donald Trump tweeted his own explanation for the jacket. "'I REALLY DON’T CARE, DO U?' written on the back of Melania’s jacket, refers to the Fake News Media," the president declared. "Melania has learned how dishonest they are, and she truly no longer cares!"
“I REALLY DON’T CARE, DO U?” written on the back of Melania’s jacket, refers to the Fake News Media. Melania has learned how dishonest they are, and she truly no longer cares!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 21, 2018
This zinger hit particularly hard, given the media's focus on this story.
CNN's Klein argued that "the notoriously private former model is intentional about her wardrobe choices: the instantly-iconic white hat for the French state visit, her white suit at the State of the Union speech and the pussy bow blouse she donned after the 'Access Hollywood' tape surfaced all sent a clear message."
Whatever Melania meant with the "I don't care" jacket, Dworkin was wrong to take it as a statement that she "hates" children.