First lady Melania Trump attempted to show her compassion Thursday with a visit to the border between US and Mexico, where undocumented immigrant families have been separated, but her message may have been muffled by a fashion choice.
The first lady's stop at Upbring New Hope Children's Center in McAllen came the morning after President Donald Trump signed an executive order halting the practice of separating these families.
She wore an olive green jacket, which said on the back: "I really don't care".
In an email to USA TODAY, her spokeswoman, Stephanie Grisham, dismissed the idea there was anything wrong with the jacket, which Trump was wearing again when she returned to Washington Thursday evening. There was no hidden message.
Trump wore a different pale yellow jacket when the plane landed in Texas.
But Trump's fashion has often played a leading role during her tenure as first lady.
The youthful jacket sharply contrasts with the first lady's typically bold, foreign-flavored and higher-priced wardrobe.
But upon returning to the White House she sported the jacket once more, despite stifling heat and humidity in the Washington region.
So when President Trump later contradicted Grisham by tweeting a claim that her message "refers to the Fake News Media", it seemed clear the spin to fix this mistake had begun. Six of the children were separated from their families upon reaching the border, while the rest arrived unaccompanied. Grisham underscored that message with a tweet and the hashtags #SheCares and #ItsJustAJacket.
"Facing worldwide outcry over the separation policy, Trump had signed an executive order on Wednesday to stop the separations and keep families together during immigration proceedings".
"As with many topics she will continue to give her husband her opinions", Grisham said. Trump said at a cabinet meeting that he had directed the departments of Justice, Homeland Security and Health and Human Services "to work together to keep illegal immigrant families together during the immigration process and to reunite these previously separated groups".
The facility opened to the first lady was of course selected keeping in mind press would be accompanying her. He said: "I didn't like the sight or the feeling of families being separated".
" 'I'm headed down to Texas, ' " is what Grisham said the first lady told her husband, and "he was supportive".
One of many around the country created to hold the nearly 2,300 children separated from their families.
"Right now, we're averaging 42 to 45 days", de la Cerda said.
Melania Trump, first lady of surprises, had another one Thursday when she donned a short trench coat with a startling message scrawled on the back for her unexpected trip to Texas to visit a migrant children's shelter.
Grisham released a statement last weekend saying the first lady "hates" to see children separated from their families and "believes we need to be a country that follows all laws, but also a country that governs with heart". Fashion speaks - and Mrs. Trump, a former fashion model, is known to carefully select her outfits before public appearances, paying careful attention to the designer and tone of her sartorial selection.
Since becoming first lady, Trump has said she wants to champion helping children, yet has been for the most part vague about how exactly she intends to accomplish her goal.