Was Melania Trump's Infamous Jacket Actually a Dig at Ivanka?
Melania Trump's now-infamous "I REALLY DON'T CARE, DO U?" jacket has yielded plenty of outrage and analysis, and now, there's a new theory about one of the first lady's most out-of-touch fashion moments.
In the unauthorized biography, Free, Melania, author and CNN White House correspondent Kate Bennett posits the theory that the jacket was actually a message for the president's daughter, Ivanka.
"I believed, and still do, that the jacket was a facetious jab at Ivanka and her near-constant attempts to attach herself for positive administration talking points," Bennett wrote, according to the New York Times. She adds that Melania's fashion choices are never a coincidence.
Trump was photographed wearing the jacket in June 2018 during a visit to an immigrant children's detention center in Texas. At the time, her communications director, Stephanie Grisham (now White House Press Secretary) said the sartorial move was just coincidental and held no deeper meaning, though the FLOTUS offered another explanation.
"I wore the jacket to go on the plane and off the plane," Melania said after the fact. "And it was for the people and for the left-wing media to show them that I don’t care. You will not stop me to do what I feel is right."
However, Bennett has a different idea. She wrote in her book that the relationship between Melania and Ivanka is "cordial, not close," and that Ivanka's international travel "rankles" her stepmother.
"The trips were, according to a source, too close for comfort for Melania, who thought Ivanka was invading her turf," Bennett wrote.
It's been reported that the first lady and first daughter have a "complicated" relationship, and the two have reportedly butted heads in regards to matters relating to photo ops. Last year, the New York Times reported that then-White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, who was responsible for managing the relationship between Ivanka and Melania’s offices, had to work out a situation in which both Ivanka and Melania shared social media posts of themselves each holding small black children during respective aid trips to North Carolina and Ghana. It's still unclear what the situation was, but either way, it was enough of a problem for Kelly to have to reportedly address the overlap with Ivanka's staff.