First lady Melania Trump answered some personal questions in an ABC Newsinterview during her recent trip to Africa, offering her thoughts on topics including the #MeToo movement and allegations of her husband’s infidelity.
She also spoke about a controversial wardrobe choice she made ahead of a trip to Texas where she visited children separated from their illegal immigrant parents near the border.
Trump wore a jacket to and from the destination with a message scrawled on the back that read, “I really don’t care. Do U?”
At the time, a spokeswoman said the first lady did not mean to send a specific message with the fashion decision. In her recent interview, however, Trump acknowledged that she did.
“It was for the people and the left-wing media who are criticizing me,” she said. “And I want to show them that I don’t care. You could criticize whatever you want to say, but it will not stop me to do what I feel is right.”
Soon after the controversy, President Donald Trump defended his wife’s decision in a tweet that said the “Fake News Media” were the topic of her statement.
“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
“Melania has learned how dishonest they are, and she truly no longer cares!” he said.
That statement, along with Melania Trump’s explanation this week, stood in apparent contrast to the first lady’s spokeswoman.
“It’s a jacket,” Stephanie Grisham said at the time. “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.”
Melania Trump said she has spent time since that day wondering whether the jacket played a role in her treatment by reporters.
“You know, I’m often asking myself if I did not wear that jacket, if I would have so much media coverage,” she said.
Rebutting speculation that her message was intended for the separated children, she said it is “obvious” that was not her intent.
“I wore the jacket to go on the plane and off the plane,” Trump said.
When asked why she wore the controversial jacket again on the trip home after the initial controversy, Melania Trump said it was part of her effort to mock the media.
“After the visit, I put it back on because I see how the media obsessed about it,” she said, admitting the jacket “was kind of a message.”
The first lady echoed Grisham — and her own comments after wearing a pith hat during a recent trip to Africa — by requesting that people stop paying so much attention to her attire.
“I would prefer that they would focus on what I do and on my initiatives than what I wear,” Trump said.