Trump tweets Melania's foreign-made dress to support American labor
"We are building our future with American hands," he said.
Twitter users have observed that President Trump's archive seems to hold "a tweet for everything" — meaning that many of his actions and statements in office have a corresponding tweet from his past that contradicts or condemns those very actions or statements.
Sometimes the phenomenon collapses in on itself in the same tweet. Trump's Labor Day tweet — "We are building our future with American hands, American labor, American iron, aluminum and steel. Happy #LaborDay!" — reiterated his "Buy American" message with a picture of himself and the first lady. The element in question: the Melania Trump dress, which was, you guessed it, foreign-made.
The $2,255 frock by Greek designer Mary Katrantzou was made in Italy with French materials, reports the Huffington Post, which also notes that although the provenance of the president's suit is unclear, if he's wearing one of this Donald Trump branded suits or ties, they were likely made in China, Indonesia or Mexico.
The White House didn't comment.
It is not the first time that Trump's statements about American manufacturing have been contradicted by his family's personal choices — which, unlike Melania's dress sense, makes them money. During July's "Made in America Week," American-made products from 50 states were displayed on the White House lawn. Not among them: Any merchandise by the Trump organization or the Ivanka Trump brand, most of which are made overseas, PBS NewsHour reported.
The Washington Post found that Ivanka Trump's clothing, shoes and handbags were made in five foreign countries: Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia and Vietnam. As recently as 2013, some of her shoes were made in Ethiopia. Abigail Klem, the brand president, told the Post that, to make the merchandise in the U.S. "at a large scale is currently not possible."
"The workers no longer exist here or only in very small, small capacity; the machinery in many instances does not exist here," she said. "It is a very complex problem."
In 2015, then-candidate Trump defended his made-in-China Donald Trump branded neckties, which he said were mainly made there because of China's currency manipulation.
"My ties, many times, are made in China, not all of them, by the way, but a lot of them are made in China, because they have manipulated their currency to such a point that it's impossible for our companies to compete," he said.
In April, Trump said he had decided that China was not a currency manipulator after all.