Hurricane Harvey swept ashore in Texas almost a year ago, slightly north of Aransas Pass on August 17, 2017; a category four storm considered to be the most devastating and costly natural disaster in American history.
Twelve days later, a Marine One helicopter landed on the south lawn of the White House to shuttle the President and First Lady, Melania Trump to Air Force One for an emergency meeting with Texas Gov. Greg Abbott in Houston.
Flanked by dozens of photographers, major network and cable outlets, FLOTUS was filmed and photographed as she approached Marine One wearing a stylish army green flight jacket, cropped pants, aviator sunglasses, and six inch stiletto high-heels.
Within Minutes of these photographs being published and film of her fashionable stroll towards Marine One being broadcast, a hurricane of another sort exploded on Twitter and the Mainstream Media – a unified chorus of scorn directed at the First Lady.
Jenny-Lynn tweeted: “Disaster Barbie comes equipped with all the latest accessories: Six-inch stilettos, cropped pants, a snazzy bomber jacket, and a moron to pay for it.” “And don’t forget the high-heels FLOTUS wore today to view the flood,” PERMUTATIONS tweeted. “Good going Melania,” PERMUTATIONS continued, “Always put fashion before tragedy!” Concluding this chorus of scorn against FLOTUS, ELSA#TROUBLEMAKER tweeted: “Melania wearing those high-heels!?! What did she think, that it was Fashion Week in Texas? Just plain wrong.” And Vanity Fair Magazine ran with the headline: “Who Wears Stilettos to a Hurricane? Melania Trump.”
Of Melania’s visit to the NRG Emergency Stadium/Shelter in Houston, Jess Dweck added to this chorus of scorn with her tweet: “Melania wobbles into shelter in six-inch heels. I here to help, I bring you perfumes and chocolates.”
And so it has gone for the First Lady since her husband of thirteen years became President of the United States: Many in the media fail to report all the facts and are quick to jump to conclusions, as if intending to cast a negative pall on her actions because they either do not like or disagree with the policies of her husband, President Donald J. Trump. It’s a classic case of guilt by association. Yet, her public approval rating is 57 percent - higher than the President’s, and every member of Congress.
Yes, she wore stilettos on her way to view the multitude of human tragedy that erupted due to Hurricane Harvey, but what all her Twitter-Taunters did not know, and the Mainstream Media failed to report, was that Air Force One had already been loaded at the behest of FLOTUS with several changes of clothing early that morning. This is how she was able to deplane in Houston wearing a baseball cap marked FLOTUS, a windbreaker, slacks, & Stan Smith tennis shoes. All those tweets – all those photographs with negative commentary: in the end, much ado about nothing.
And to Twitter-Taunter JessDwek who alleged the First Lady wobbled into the NRG Shelter wearing stilettos while giving away perfumes and chocolates; this never happened, as can be verified by viewing several YouTube videos of this event. FLOTUS did in fact, walk into the NRG Stadium/Shelter wearing black cotton pants, a blue denim work-shirt, and a navy blue baseball cap with the word, “TEXAS,” embroidered across the top.
Once inside the shelter, after introducing herself to the NRG staff, she stated, “Whatever it is you need me to do – I will do!” She then made a rapid bee-line to the many young & stranded children and toddlers, spending time with as many as she could, offering words of praise and comfort; letting them know that this crises in their lives will pass and is only temporary.” She then literally rolled up the sleeves of her work-shirt and got to work helping the volunteers and staff of NRG, serving food to literally hundreds of the victims whose lives had been up-ended by the devastation of Hurricane Harvey.
Much as FLOTUS did when she visited the Coastal Bend Food Bank, on December 6, 2017, along with Second Lady Karen Pence and wife of Texas Governor, Cecilia Abbott. According to Bea Hanson, Director of the Corpus food bank, “The First Lady politely introduced herself to me and stated she would do whatever I wanted her to do. I gave her a personal tour of our facility. She noticed our volunteers furiously filling up boxes of food for local victims of Hurricane Harvey. She literally rolled up her sleeves and stood beside our volunteers working shoulder to shoulder with them, filling up boxes of food. Second Lady Karen Pence, and First Lady of Texas Cecilia Abbott enthusiastically followed suit.
Her Ever-Present Secret Service
One week prior to the First Lady’s visit to the Coastal Bend Food Bank, Bea was contacted by the White House to schedule FLOTUS’S visit. “The next day, at least a dozen Secret Service agents swarmed our facility. I never saw so many men dressed in black suits at the same time. It actually reminded me of the movie, Men in Black,” Bea recalled. She was instructed by the Secret Service to provide a detailed list of all volunteers and staff of the food bank. Further, she was informed that any individual that did not pass the background check they were about to perform, would not be permitted to be present the day of the First Lady’s arrival.
They also instructed Bea to not contact any media outlets regarding the First Lady’s visit – and to not tell anyone of the planned event – including her husband. “I was so excited about FLOTUS coming to our food bank, and as much as I was tempted to just blurt the news out to my husband over dinner – I somehow managed to keep my mouth shut,” Bea recalled with laughter.
“I have to admit,” Bea continued, the Secret Service agents were very strict and formal, but at the same time they were extremely polite and courteous to all of our staff and volunteers.” After watching the Secret Service in action, noticing how meticulously they were inspecting every nook and cranny of the building, Bea asked one of the agents, “is all this hyper-searching really necessary?” “It’s a sign of the times,” came the agent’s firm but polite response.
The day of the event, as Bea was giving the First Lady a tour of the food bank, explaining their function in the community, she said to Melania, “My heart goes out to you – witnessing how much your life has changed by the presence of so much security.” “Forever – my life has been changed forever,” the First Lady candidly replied. Four sharpshooters were stationed on the roof of the Coastal Bend Food Bank he entire time the First Lady was present.
Selfies at Whataburger
Upon leaving the Coastal Bend Food Bank, heading back to the Corpus International Airport where Air Force One was parked, Melania noticed the Whataburger on Brownsville Road, and told her Secret Service detail she wanted to stop there for food. This was a spontaneous, unplanned stop, one that Whattaburger manager Melissa Montoya stated, “I will never forget.”
“It was a cold, slow day, we only had three customers inside. I was standing behind the counter – when all of a sudden I saw four black vans with tinted windows – escorted by two Corpus Christi Police cars pull into our parking lot. Two Secret Service agents walked inside the store – identified themselves – and stated that the First Lady and Second Lady of the United States were going to come in to order food to go. As the agent spoke to me, another agent began to search the inside of our store, while yet another agent politely and apologetically informed the three customers we did have, that they would have to leave immediately. Next thing I know, I was face to face with Melania Trump and Karen Pence. The entrance doors were immediately locked with an agent stationed at each door.
Melania apologized for all the disruption and asked to see a breakfast menu. She ordered a Breakfast Taquito and a vanilla shake for herself, and a dozen bags of fries for the press-pool that was part of her entourage in the parking lot. Many of the employees, seeing how friendly she was, began introducing themselves to her. One employee, Erica Moya, asked FLOTUS if she would take a selfie with her, and the First Lady cheerfully agreed,” Ms. Montoya stated. “She was so gracious and polite to all of us – so beautiful and down-to-Earth. It was an experience I will always remember.”
Another Fashion Controversy in Texas
While boarding Air ForceOne enroute to visit migrant children at the Texas-Mexico border city of McAllen Texas, to appraise the conditions of the facilities the children were being detained in, the First Lady wore a $39.00 Zara Jacket with the words: “I Really Don’t Care, do U?” emblazoned on the back in large bold letters. Once again, twitter exploded with a flurry of derogatory tweets accusing the First Lady of being insensitive to the plight of immigrant children - despite Melania Trump being the only First Lady in American history to be a naturalized U.S. citizen. She is the second First Lady behind Abigail Adams to be foreign born.
In addition, her recently unveiled “BE BEST” initiative, is centered exclusively around the well-being of children; so, the idea that Melania Trump would ever be insensitive to children is patently absurd.
After the First Lady disappeared from public view for about a month, after her kidney surgery of May 14th, which was performed at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center located in Washington, D.C. media reports and Twitter-Taunters were alleging she moved out of the White House to live with her parents. Some went as far to allege that her kidney operation never happened – that it was a subterfuge to hide the fact that her husband, the President, had assaulted her - that she was a severe victim of domestic abuse.
The First Lady never commented on her fashion choice that particular day on her way to McAllen, Texas; but her husband took to twitter and stated:
“I REALLY DON’T CARE, DO U?” written on the back of Melania’s jacket, refers to the Fake News Media. Melania has learned how dishonest they are, and she truly no longer cares!”
Once again, as when she visited the victims of Hurricane Harvey in Houston, Texas – she deplaned in McAllen, Texas on June 21 in a conservative, understated cream-colored shirt with kelly-green pants; an outfit appropriate to the gravity of her visit with the migrant children being detained. As with her wearing stilettos to board Air Force One, all the negative jabs and jars ended up as much ado about nothing. In several published and broadcast interviews, when asked if all the attacks against her bothers her at all, she has consistently stated: “I never heard anything negative about myself until my husband became President of the United States. I have very thick skin. I don’t let what other people say stop me from doing what I know is right. I love children and I love my country.”