Melania Trump's 2018 'I Really Don't Care' Zara Jacket Was Message For...

Melania Trump wore the jacket in June 2018 as she boarded an Air Force plane (File/Reuters)

New Delhi:

Remember the time former US First Lady Melania Trump stirred up a massive controversy when she stepped out to attend a children’s charity in an olive jacket from Zara that read: “I really don’t care, do you?”? She wore the jacket in June 2018 as she boarded an Air Force plane to visit the Upbring New Hope Children’s Shelter in Texas, where immigrant children separated from their parents during border crossings were put up.

Rumour mills worked overtime to decode what the message meant and who it was for, while Melania’s supporters and detractors waged a war over her fashion choice.

Now a new book claims to spill it all about the raging 2018 controversy.

According to Katie Rogers’ upcoming book “American Woman: The Transformation of the Modern First Lady, from Hillary Clinton to Jill Biden”, the jacket was most definitely a message. 

The message was, however, aimed neither at the children nor the “left-wing media” as Melania had claimed.

At the peak of the controversy, Melania had said: “It’s obvious I didn’t wear the jacket for the children… It was for the people and for the left-wing media who are criticising me. I want to show them I don’t care. You could criticise whatever you want to say. But it will not stop me from doing what I feel is right.” She criticised the media for being “obsessed” with her clothing.

The jibe was at her step-daughter Ivanka, with whom she was locked in a battle for four years, only pausing to renegotiate her pre- and post-nuptial arrangements with her husband Donald Trump, the new book claimed.

The feud began when Melania Trump didn’t move into the White House right away at the beginning of Trump’s presidency to let her son Barron, then 10, finish his school year in New York. As Ivanka decided to re-do the East Wing of the White House, Melania jumped right in to resist it, leading to the four-year-long “internal power struggle” between the two.

According to the new book, “She was aware that her husband had suggested that his eldest daughter would be helping to share the responsibilities of being First Lady, and this was not a development that pleased her.”

The eldest daughter intended to take over the First Lady’s quarters and eliminate her role essentially, making it “geared to serving the entire First Family, not just the First Lady”, Rogers, New York Times’ White House correspondent, said.

She had her father’s backing as Trump pushed for Ivanka to take on the role alongside Melania. He even told reporters when he began his tenure that his daughter would “help her (Melania) and work with her” in her First Lady duties.

However, Melania dismissed any such attempts, kickstarting her bitter battle with her stepdaughter she called “The Princess”.

Even as Ivanka served as an advisor in her husband’s West Wing, Melania and she mostly avoided each other.

The First Lady believed it was inappropriate for Ivanka, her brothers, and all their spouses to be so exhaustively involved in the White House.

“If she ever waged a battle over the issue, it is one she clearly lost: For four years, it was hard to see where the operations of the family business stopped and the Trump administration started,” Ms Rogers wrote.

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