- First Lady Melania Trump talked about the jacket she wore to an immigration facility in June that bore the message, “I don’t really care, do U?,” during a candid interview with ABC News that aired Friday night.
- Trump said that the statement on the jacket was a message intended “for the left-wing media who are criticizing me.”
- The first lady did not wear the jacket during her June 21 visit to a facility on the US-Mexico border where children who had been separated from their parents were being held, but she put the jacket back on when as she returned to her plane to depart after the visit.
- Trump was criticized for what many viewers saw as an insensitive message, considering the circumstances surrounding her visit.
First Lady Melania Trump talked about the jacket she wore to an immigration facility in June that bore the message, “I don’t really care, do U?,” during a candid interview with ABC News that aired Friday night.
“The jacket,” Melania said with a smile. “You know, I often asking myself, if I would not wear that jacket if I will have so much media coverage.”
In June, the first lady made headlines when she made a surprise visit to a Health and Human Services-funded immigration facility that housed migrant children in McAllen, Texas. During her trip, she was photographed wearing an olive green jacket with the words “I really don’t care, do U?” printed on the back.
Trump was criticized over that message. Critics deemed it insensitive, considering the circumstances surrounding her visit. Her trip came amid the fierce backlash from President Donald Trump’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy that resulted in children being separated from their parents at the US-Mexico border.
During her interview that aired Friday, she insisted it was “obvious” the jacket’s message was not “for the children”: “I wore the jacket to go on the plane and off the plane.”
Trump’s spokeswoman, Stephanie Grisham, previously said that there was no message, hidden or otherwise, from the jacket.
“It’s a jacket,” Grisham said in a statement to Business Insider in June. “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.”
A person close to the first lady contradicted Grisham’s statement and said there was a message intended for those who criticized her decision to visit the facility, according to a New York Times report published in August.
Trump appeared to confirm parts of the statement and said the language on the jacket was meant “for the left-wing media who are criticizing me.”
“And I wanna show them that I don’t care,” Trump said, referring to her critics during the ABC News interview. “You could criticize; whatever you wanna say, you can say. But it will not stop me to do what I feel is right,” the first lady said.
Mrs. Trump did not wear the jacket while visiting the children, but she put it back on while returning to her plane, despite the fierce backlash, suggesting it was meant to push back against commentators who had been talking about it.
“After the visit I put it back on because I see how media got upset about, obsessed about it,” Trump said. “They got so obsessed. And I said, like, you know what, that’s what I’m talking about.”
“I would prefer that they would focus on what I do and on my initiatives than what I wear,” she added, referring to her “Be Best” initiative to address bullying amongst teenagers.