Melania Trump dons 'I really don't care' jacket on flight to visit detained migrant children

Melania Trump boarded a flight to a facility housing migrant children separated from their parents wearing a jacket that had "I really don't care, do u?" written on the back.

'It's a jacket. There was no hidden message,' spokesperson says

Melania Trump boards a plane to travel to Texas to visit the U.S.-Mexico border wearing a hooded jacket with the words 'I really don't care, do u?' written graffiti-style on the back. (Andrew Harnik/Associated Press)

Melania Trump boarded a flight to a facility housing migrant children separated from their parents wearing a jacket bearing the words "I really don't care, do u?"

The green hooded spring military jacket has the words written graffiti-style on the back.

When asked what message the jacket intended to send, spokesperson Stephanie Grisham said: "It's a jacket. There was no hidden message."
The wardrobe choice drew plenty of criticism on social media where many called it tone deaf, comparing it with Melania Trump's decision to wear stiletto heels en route to another one of her visits to Texas, that time to survey the damage wrought by Hurricane Harvey in 2017.
U.S. President Donald Trump offered his own explanation of the jacket's meaning:

Melania changed into a pale yellow jacket before the plane landed in McAllen, Texas, for a visit to the Upbring New Hope Children's Center, which houses 55 migrant children.

But like it or not, her jacket had her trending on Twitter. One user borrowed an image of the back of the Zara jacket to promote groups working on behalf of immigrant children.

Zara, a Spanish-based company with a large presence in the United States and around the world, had no comment on the uproar. The jacket belongs to the company's spring-summer 2016 season.

During her visit, third-graders welcomed Melania with a large paper American flag they'd signed taped to a wall. 
 
With the words, "Welcome! First Lady" written in black marker across the red and white bars, Melania also signed the flag, which the children gave to her.
Melania Trump changed into a pale yellow jacket before the plane landed in McAllen, Texas, for a visit to the Upbring New Hope Children's Center, which houses 55 migrant children. (Andrew Harnik/Associated Press)

The visit came the morning after President Donald Trump signed an executive order halting the practice of separating families that entered the U.S. illegally. However, his policy of criminally prosecuting illegal border-crossers remains.

'Be nice and kind to each other'

Visiting another classroom, Melania asked children where they were from and how long they'd been at the centre where staff said children typically spend between 42 and 45 days. She told children to "be kind and nice to each other" as she left another classroom.

Thursday's visit was to be one of two that the president's wife made to the Texas facilities where some of the more than 2,300 migrant children are being housed after their families entered the U.S. illegally.

However, plans for her to visit a second facility where children housed in cages were seen by The Associated Press last week were cancelled because of flooding there.

In a written statement after she returned to the White House, Melania said that the visit had "impacted me greatly." She called on Congress to work together on immigration legislation that would benefit the children. 
Melania Trump's choice to wear heels during her trip to Texas to survey the response to Hurricane Harvey drew widespread criticism. (Jacquelyn Martin/Associated Press)

"Spending time with them reinforces the fact that these kids are in this situation as a direct result of adult actions," she said. "It is my hope that members of Congress will finally reach across the aisle and work together to solve this problem with common sense immigration reform that secures our borders and keeps families together."

Melania's stop in McAllen came one day after the president ordered a halt, at least for now, to the separation of immigrant families who are detained at the border.

It's possible that Melania, whose focus is on children, may have helped encourage her husband to act.

Melania said earlier through her spokesperson that she "hates" to see families separated at the border. A White House official followed up Wednesday, saying Melania had been making her opinion known to the president that he needed to act to keep migrant families together.

Thursday was not the first time Melania's fashion choices have caused a stir.

At one of the 2016 presidential debates, she showed up in a bright pink silk blouse with a large bow at the neck, long known as a "pussy bow blouse." That was just days after reports surfaced that her husband had made lewd remarks years earlier about grabbing women by the genitals.  

On the other side of the political aisle, Michelle Obama had caught grief from some critics for going sleeveless. Her husband, then president Barack Obama, was the talk of a 24-hour news cycle when he donned a tan suit in 2014 for a media briefing.

With files from CBC News