Update, 6/21, 7 p.m.: In the midst of backlash over her now-infamous "I Really Don't Care. Do u?" Zara jacket, Melania Trump inexplicably... put the jacket back on upon returning from Texas. As Melania de-boarded the plane in Maryland and got into a waiting car, she can clearly be seen wearing the jacket.
Original post, 2.30 p.m.:
In a The Onion-style moment, Melania Trump boarded a plane to visit immigrant children apparently wearing a jacket that said, "I Really Don't Care. Do u?" according to The Daily Mail. (opens in new tab) The jacket she appeared to be wearing is $39 from Zara, as pointed out by the Mail, and the First Lady had seemingly removed it by the time she landed.
Melania wore the jacket both before and after she boarded a plane en route to Texas, where she visited an immigrant children detention facility. There, she spoke to officials and assembled press about the children who have been separated from their parents due to White House policy, saying, “I would also like to ask you how I can help these children to reunite with their families as quickly as possible.”
The jacket stands in stark contrast to that statement, although it's worth mentioning that the First Lady didn't wear it in Texas or anywhere close to the immigrant facility. Still: Melania must have known where she was going when she put on the jacket and boarded the plane.
Whether it was intentional or not, the message comes at a time when the White House is being roundly criticized for, well, really not caring about immigrant children. More than 2,000 children have been separated from the parents and detained in what has been dubbed "tent cities." Some have been housed in literal steel cages. (opens in new tab)
According to ABC correspondent Meridith McGraw, (opens in new tab) the First Lady's spokesperson had this to say: "It's a jacket. There was no hidden message. After today's important visit to Texas, I hope this isn't what the media is going to choose to focus on."
Later this afternoon, however, Trump tweeted that Melania's jacket was actually an attack on the mainstream media.
But the jacket's literal message is...difficult to miss. Just ask Twitter. (opens in new tab)
The First Lady's snafu comes after days of outrage over the White House policy that allowed children to be torn from their parents, and follows similarly tone-deaf social media postings from both Ivanka (opens in new tab) and Vanessa Trump. (opens in new tab)
Melania also allegedly told the children she met at the detention camp "Good luck," before she left, according to New York Times reporter Katie Rogers. (opens in new tab) Another unusual facet of her visit to Texas is that Melania was wearing what's dubbed "fast fashion," a.k.a. a relatively affordable item from Zara—which is unusual for the First Lady, who typically wears luxury designer clothing.
On Wednesday, the president signed an executive order that will allow more families to remain together while being detained—but critics are already asking what will happen to the 2,000 kids taken from their parents (opens in new tab) and dispersed across the country. Most do not speak English.
If you actually want to help immigrant children, you can do so here (opens in new tab).
Jenny is the Director of Content Strategy at Marie Claire. Originally from London, she moved to New York in 2012 to attend the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism and never left. Prior to Marie Claire, she spent five years at Bustle building out its news and politics coverage. She loves, in order: her dog, goldfish crackers, and arguing about why umbrellas are fundamentally useless. Her first novel, EVERYONE WHO CAN FORGIVE ME IS DEAD, will be published by Minotaur Books in 2024.
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