Trump's visit to McAllen, Texas, came amid the firestorm over President Donald Trump's "zero tolerance" immigration policy that has led to children being separated from their parents at the US-Mexico border. There was no hidden message.
The political compromise the first lady had sought so far has not materialized. The first lady asked that the children be reunited with their families "as quickly as possible".
"Her goals are to thank law enforcement and social services providers for their hard work, lend support and hear more on how the administration can build upon the already existing efforts to reunite children with their families", the statement said.
Instead, the first lady spent an hour-plus at the shelter, talking directly to children who spoke to her either in English or in Spanish, through a translator.
"This was 100% her idea", said Grisham of Trump's decision to travel to McAllen, making clear the first lady is not on a mission assigned by the President nor is she acting as his emissary.
"She's seen the images", Grisham told reporters. Mrs. Trump, whose focus as first lady is on child well-being, appears to have been among those pushing her husband to act. "She was concerned about it".
The Trump administration, meanwhile, has asked the Defense Department to provide space at military facilities by the end of the year to house 20,000 children who have arrived in the USA without any adults. For a tour of Upbring New Hope, a housing facility for children aged 12 to 17, as well as other meetings throughout McAllen, she wore white jeans, a khaki shirt, and white Stan Smith sneakers. At the facility, officials told the first lady that the separated children could speak to their parents twice a week.
She visited a schoolroom at Upbring and chatted with about 20 young girls and boys who had school folders on their desks.
The settlement the DOJ addressed on Thursday, in the 1997 case of Flores vs. Reno, also states that children can not be detained longer than 20 days.
It is, however, unusual for Melania Trump to wear low-cost clothes when on public business.
"Ivanka feels very strongly, my wife feels very strongly about it, I feel very strongly about it".