Former first lady’s chief of staff: Melania Trump’s staff knew the jacket would ‘send a message’

Anita McBride, who served as former first lady Laura Bush’s chief of staff, said first lady Melania TrumpMelania TrumpThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Pence taps health official to aid coronavirus response The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Trump on US coronavirus risks: 'We're very, very ready for this' The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump to speak on coronavirus as pressure mounts MORE’s staff likely knew the controversial jacket she wore on Thursday would “send a message.”

On her way to and from a visit to the Texas border to meet migrant children, Trump wore a jacket emblazoned with the message “I don’t really don’t care, do u?”

“She might have really wanted to wear it and was stubborn about it. Maybe her staff did say something. We don’t know,” McBride told The Washington Post. “But when you are putting together a trip like this, they have to know that anything they do and say and wear is going to send a message.”

Many critics called the jacket insensitive, given the intense public scrutiny this week of the Trump administration’s policy of separating migrant children from their parents at the border. 

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“It’s a jacket,” Trump’s spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham said on Thursday. “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.”

Grisham later tweeted, “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.”

But President TrumpDonald John TrumpThe Memo: Biden seeks revival in South Carolina Congress eyes billion to billion to combat coronavirus Sanders makes the case against Biden ahead of SC primary MORE suggested the jacket was an intentional message to the media.

 “'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!” he tweeted on Thursday.