Melania Trump’s Jacket Raised Questions. Why Didn’t White House Stop Her

A day after first lady Melania Trump stirred controversy by wearing a jacket that read “I really don’t care, do u?” on a trip to visit a children’s shelter on the U.S.-Mexico border, people are still scratching their heads.
What did it mean? And how did something like this happen?
On his late-night show, comedian Stephen Colbert asked a version of the question reverberating around political Washington: “How many people would get fired for this at a normal White House? One? Five? The entire executive branch? . . . People who were supposedly on her side let her get on a plane with a jacket that said, ‘I really don’t care, do you?’”Whether the first lady anticipated – or was warned – that her outerwear would divert attention from what her staff described as a humanitarian mission, her choice to wear it in public seems to be deliberate.Her small staff has described her as a decisive first lady who values loyalty and privacy.Melania Trump’s East Wing team includes only 10 aides, compared with the 25 or so who worked under Michelle Obama and Laura Bush. She also a eschews a “body person,” a personal aide who typically travels with a president or first lady and acts as an assistant.
In an interview in April, the first lady’s chief of staff, Lindsay Reynolds, said Mrs. Trump determined that she didn’t need to fill that role. “She is so low-maintenance, so efficient, that she does everything herself,” Reynolds said. “So in the very beginning, I started interviewing people for the role. I said, ‘OK I have people for you to meet.’ And she said, ‘I don’t need one.’ “ melania trump jacket afpMelania Trump was traveling to Texas to see first hand the condition and treatment that children taken from their families at the border were receiving from the federal government.Mrs. Trump is known for taking on the kind of decisions that previous first ladies typically delegated to others. For her first state dinner, she opted not to hire an outside party planner, as is the norm, and chose everything, including the flowers and the table linens, herself, with the help of Rickie Niceta, her social secretary.And she often selects her clothing without assistance, relying less on stylists and personal shoppers than on her own taste. Her spokeswoman, Stephanie Grisham, told The Washington Post’s fashion critic, Robin Givhan, in December that the first lady “chooses what she likes and what is appropriate for the occasion. She does not worry about her critics.”Designer Herve Pierre, who sometimes acts as Melania Trump’s stylist, had never seen the controversial jacket – which is from the fast-fashion clothing line Zara’s 2016 collection – before the first lady wore it this week, according to an interview with Women’s Wear Daily.