Unless you were purposefully hiding from media coverageÛÓnobody would blame you at this pointÛÓthere is almost no chance you missed Melania’s infamous jacket. If you somehow did, we’ll give a little recap.
Back in June, the world was up in arms over the Trump administration’s zero-tolerance border policy. The policy saw immigrant children taken from their families and put into internment camps.
Children as young as only a few months old were forced to represent themselves in court. Multiple videos were posted across social media that featured kids living in camps, screaming in fear as they were taken from their families and sitting confused and afraid in court.
The public was highly critical of the administration’s position that these young children and their families were criminals. Media coverage was unflinching.
Protests were rampant.
Stories were coming out about children sleeping on bare concrete floors and children being separated and “lost in the system” so that parents could not find them again. The administration acknowledged having no plans or method in place to reunite these families.
Horrific stories of these children being sexually assaulted by government employees came out. Psychologists and experts warned that these kids would be mentally scarred by this practice.
Children who did manage to be reunited often acted like they had been abusedÛÓmany didn’t seem to recognize their own parents.
In the midst of all that madness, Melania Trump decided to fly to one of the camps and check out the conditions for herself.
On her way to visit immigrant children detained in Texas, she made a controversial choice in wardrobe.
Melania Trump ruffled feathers on Thursday when she traveled to meet with immigrant children wearing a jacket that read “I REALLY DON'T CARE, DO U?” across the back. https://t.co/DqDa3RFTBZ pic.twitter.com/qNcYlAXisD
— E! News (@enews) June 21, 2018
She wore an olive-green coatÛÓeven though it was 80 degreesÛÓwith the words “I REALLY DON’T CARE, DO U?” written on the back.
People were furious and took it as a statement about her feelings on the children and the conditions they were living in. Her communications director, Stephanie Grisham, was quick to strike down that idea.
Grisham made a statement to the media:
“ItÛªs a jacket. There was no hidden message. After todayÛªs important visit to Texas, I hope this isnÛªt what the media is going to choose to focus on.Û
She followed that statement up with a tweet.
TodayÛªs visit w the children in Texas impacted @flotus greatly. 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. #SheCares #ItsJustAJacket
— Stephanie Grisham (@StephGrisham45) June 21, 2018
Interestingly, at the same time Grisham was denying that the jacket meant anything, experts were in vehement disagreement.
Bob Phibbs, the chief executive of a consulting agency in New York, had this to say about it:
“Fashion is not by accident with this woman. SheÛªs a former model. Every piece of clothing has statement and purpose. SheÛªs all about image, and so is Trump. She knows the power.”
Her husband, presumably an expert on Melania, also had an official Presidential explanation.
He tweeted his version of events, claiming:
“I REALLY DONÛªT CARE, DO U?Û written on the back of MelaniaÛªs jacket, refers to the Fake News Media. Melania has learned how dishonest they are, and she truly no longer cares!”
Twitter didn’t buy Melania’s claim that there was nothing to the jacket.
People weren’t about to let the issue go, many were positive it was a statement about her feelings on the treatment of the children she was going to see. She did not wear the jacket while she visited with the kids, but kept it on for most of the rest of her trip.
It was a big deal for a while.
Not only a $35 jacket, but also something a near 50 yr old woman would never wear. This was an intentional display of her true feelings. Melania has always supported her husband 100%.
— Leia Girl (@KathyMarie355) June 22, 2018
This is not the mediaÛªs fault so stop blaming them. @MELANIATRUMP chose to wear that jacket…this by a woman who carefully chooses her clothes and looks. This is totally on her shoulders and that of her staff…the media reporting what is seen. You donÛªt get to decide.
— I am tired. (@hipsgalore) June 21, 2018
They both planned it. ItÛªs a bizarre stunt. It was a hot day- no need for a jacket. They both know how to read.
— Maria Long (@mavrolo) June 21, 2018
I'm glad it impacted her, I hope she can help. Let's not pretend clothing, especially for the first lady, does not send a message. It is curated and cultivated and absolutely sends a message. To pretend it was not intentional is insulting… as is the message it sent.
— Amandaaahhh! Die! Bert! _Ù_Ä_ÙÐ__Ù_÷¥ü_Ùá_Ù¤ª_ÙÈÛªÛü_Ù¤Ý_ÙÈÛªÛü_Ù (@amandadeibert) June 21, 2018
Recently, Melania has been doing a lot of talking about how she feels she is the “most bullied person on the world.”
She sat with ABC to discuss her feelings. During the talk she claimed, as she has in the past, that she wants the media to focus on what she does rather than focus on what she wears. In that same interview, she admitted that there is absolutely a message to what she wearsÛÓincluding that now-infamous jacket.
Melania now claims that the jacket was meant to send a message to “the people and left-wing media.”
She told ABC’s Tom Llamas that she was taking aim at those who criticized her, telling them she doesn’t care what they think. She also said the jacket helped her get media coverage and it was totally obvious that the message was not meant to be for or about the detained immigrant children or their conditions.
ABC Tweeted some footage from the interview.
Melania Trump tells @TomLlamasABC she wore the Û÷I really donÛªt careÛª jacket ÛÏfor the people and for the left-wing media who are criticizing me. And I want to show them that I donÛªt care.Û https://t.co/UC7pWf1lPU #MelaniaTrump pic.twitter.com/cAo0A4C92a
— ABC News (@ABC) October 13, 2018
While nobody is particularly shocked by the revelation, it’s not being received well.
Admits she wore the jacket to *literally* convey a message to the media. The media got the message, talked about jacket. Now Melania “wishes they would focus on what I do and not what I wear.” Then maybe don't wear *literal* messages to the media on your clothes? _Ù_Ó https://t.co/rOgA4KoM11
— Did you… read the article? (@bungarsargon) October 14, 2018
Melania Trump tells @TomLlamasABC she wore the Û÷I really donÛªt careÛª jacket ÛÏfor the people and for the left-wing media who are criticizing me. And I want to show them that I donÛªt care.Û #MelaniaTrump https://t.co/EqEyfZkJvZ pic.twitter.com/2EWeCKB0de
— ABC News (@ABC) October 13, 2018
Melania: Why do people make such a big deal about what I wear?
Also Melania; Here is the deliberate, petty calculated public statement I made by wearing something.
What a charmless, awful fraud this woman is. https://t.co/b8Oee4MQst
— Eddie Love (@EddieLove44) October 13, 2018
Me too Sheila! I liked her at first, now, I donÛªt care anymore!! SheÛªd like to think sheÛªs a poor victim, bullied all the time. I have no sympathy!!
— Barbara Maschino (@BarbaraMaschin1) October 13, 2018
And, I was thinking about myself not the children.
— Mark Twain (@SarriaPaul) October 13, 2018
Just as a reminder: The First LadyÛªs office and the West Wing were adamant that Melania was NOT sending any sort of message by wearing the jacket https://t.co/0mvkycdjgw
— Chris Cillizza (@CillizzaCNN) October 13, 2018
Yeah, we know sheÛªs lying. That jacket sent the message she wanted to send that day that she really didnÛªt care about those kids. Well, I really donÛªt care about Melania. I think she should #BeBest and stop lying like her husband.
— Make them pay – Vote! (@sharpetax) October 13, 2018
Even if she's telling the truth….shewore it when visiting the poor people who have been jailed for mos….13,000 of them children. So basically she's telling us that she could care less that we disapprove off the barbaric actions being taken against these fellow humans.
— Alexis Bobbie Gouzou (@AlexisBobbie) October 13, 2018
Melania finally admits that she wore that tone-deaf “I really donÛªt care. Do U?” jacket on a trip to visit detained migrant children just to own the libs. She was too busy playing the victim to show the proper respect to the actual victims. pic.twitter.com/PAYoJNIoGl
— Adam Best (@adamcbest) October 13, 2018
Melania Trump claims she wore the jacket for the ÛÏLeft-wing media criticizing meÛ.
Sure Melanie and the detained children wore the foil blankets because they were protesting duvets.
— Tommy Campbell (@MrTommyCampbell) October 13, 2018
Since the story already changed several times, who knows what the final version will be.
But her current tale does not seem to “Be Best.”