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First Lady Melania Trump wore a jacket emblazoned with the phrase "I REALLY DON'T CARE. DO U?" as she departed the White House on Thursday morning to visit a shelter in Texas housing migrant children who had been separated from their parents.
The jacket caused a stir Thursday afternoon when the Daily Mail first reported on the green canvas military-style coat. The phrase about not caring covered the entire back side of the jacket, which came from the midmarket label Zara.
The six-word phrase seemed to convey a message contrary to that of the first lady's trip, which President Donald Trump said earlier had been borne out of concern for the welfare of the children being detained in shelters in Texas.
In a tweet Thursday afternoon, however, the president claimed the graphic on his wife's jacket referred "to the Fake News Media."
Melania Trump removed the jacket before landing in Texas, where she visited a Lutheran nonprofit shelter in McAllen, the epicenter of family separations under the president's "zero tolerance" immigration policy, which he reversed on Wednesday.
"I'm here to learn about your facility," the first lady said during her visit, adding that she wanted to learn how she could help the children be reunited with their families as quickly as possible.
The first lady's communications director, Stephanie Grisham, later sought to play down the significance of the wardrobe choice. "It's a jacket. There was no hidden message," Grisham said in a statement to reporters. "After today's important visit to Texas, I hope the media isn't going to choose to focus on her wardrobe."
Yet even as Grisham attacked the media for taking note of the jacket, Melania Trump appeared to be doing little to tamp down the controversy.
On the contrary, the first lady donned the green jacket again -- and not the cream-colored jacket she head been wearing in Texas -- as she deplaned at Andrews Air Force Base, at around 5:15PM, EST. This was at least three hours after the message on the green jacket had first drawn scrutiny.