Melania stunned the media world Thursday by making a surprise visit to a illegal immigrant child detention center on the U.S.-Mexico border.
The media has spent the better part of the week hammering the Trump administration as uncaring for enforcing U.S. immigration laws. In the stunned lead-up to the footage of the first lady entering the facility, a CNN panel ripped into the trip, calling it a “photo-op” and “ham-handed,” saying that Melania was “trolling” Trump and engaging in “image management” on the trip.
This speculation was before Melania even spoke. A panel hosted by Dana Bash hedged the Melania visit, wondering aloud if the entire trip was just a PR stunt.
“What images are we going to see? Are we going to see her, you know, with children who are well cared for? Let’s hope,” Dana Bash said, “But are we going to see images that the administration wants to put out.”
“The real test is does this go beyond a photo-op image management situation?” CNN panelist Jackie Kucinich complained, “Does she keep the focus on these children making sure there is a solution for them? As we discussed, there is not right now. They’re ham-handedly putting it together at the moment.”
Another panelist, Nia Henderson proposed that Melania was trolling Trump with the visit, “Knowing her and the way she has, to put it bluntly, trolled her husband on issues like this,” she said.
“The president had to be convinced by his wife and daughter that this was a bad idea. Why didn’t he come to himself?” Henderson lamented, “Ted Cruz apparently didn’t need his wife to know that this is something that shouldn’t happen.”
CNN panelist Franco Ordonez dismissed the trip as overtly political “I was just going to add that there is a political factor here,” Ordonez said, “The president and the administration had a really difficult time with it. This is showing a different image.”