Melania Trump has said the infamous jacket she wore while en route to a children’s immigration detention centre was meant as a message to the media.
The first lady said it was “obvious” the coat’s slogan, which read “I really don’t care, do you?”, was not aimed at the youngsters – who had been separated from their parents under the President’s hard-line immigration policy.
She claimed the wardrobe choice was “for the people and for the left-wing media who are criticising me.”
Speaking during an interview with ABC News, she said: “I want to show them that I don’t care. You could criticise whatever you want to say, but it will not stop me to do what I feel is right.”
Ms Trump was pictured wearing the Zara coat – which caused a social media storm – while flying to and from a Texas detention centre in June.
Critics slammed the item as insensitive amid heightened tensions along the US-Mexico border following the implementation of husband Donald Trump’s immigration policy, which separated hundreds of children from their parents.
The new comments on Friday echoed what the president said at the time. He tweeted how the jacket’s message “refers to the Fake News Media”, adding: “Melania has learned how dishonest they are, and she truly no longer cares!”
But they appeared to contradict what Ms Trump’s own spokeswoman, Stephanie Grisham, who said on the day: “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.”
In portions of the new interview released earlier, Ms Trump called herself the “most bullied person” in the world.
The 48-year-old also said women who accuse men of sexual misconduct “need to show evidence”, and claimed her husband’s alleged infidelities are “not concern and focus of mine.”
The first lady criticised the media’s speculation on their marriage, and said “we are fine” when asked if she loves her husband.
The interview was recorded during a trip to Africa – Ms Trump’s first solo sojourn abroad since Mr Trump took office last year.