President Donald Trump's 9/11 tribute tweet garnered attention for the wrong reasons Wednesday when critics online said that it looked like First Lady Melania Trump was wearing a coat that appeared to show a plane flying into a tower. The optical illusion was a result of the jacket's stitching and did not sport a specific image of a plane flying into a tower, but that didn't stop Twitter users from commenting on it.
In the photo, Trump and the first lady stood with their backs to the camera, facing some kind of overlook before an unfamiliar landscape. Melania is wearing a long black coat trimmed in white thread. It is not the same outfit she wore Wednesday during the 9/11 memorial ceremonies she and Trump attended at the White House and the Pentagon; at those, she donned a short black Ralph Lauren dress.
"We will never forget," text reads on the tribute photo beneath an American flag. Melania's Twitter account posted a version of the photo as well.
Melania wears a coat in thier 911 post that literally looks like a plane flew into a tower.— Mrs. John ❤ Shepard (@loveShepard4eva) September 11, 2019
Did they fire all the stylists too or is Melania just the biggest troll ever?? pic.twitter.com/lhLfBCFKwi
If you enlarge the photo, you can see the white trim across the back of the coat, on the belt, and up and down the split in the coat back, which is closed with a button tab — which some people thought resembled the horrifying 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center in 2001.
"I'm sure I'm not the first one to spot this but who in the world thought it was a good idea for Melania to wear this coat in the 9/11 photo. It legit looks like an object is flying into a tower or the Washington Monument," one Twitter user wrote.
"Is...is that a plane crashing into one of the twin towers in the back of Melania's coat?!?" another asked.
Others wondered what the fuss was about.
It's a flap of cloth that allows it to reach across the stitching/hem to the button.— Post And Shout 📢 (@PostAndShout) September 11, 2019
(I don’t think Melania Trump’s coat shows what people seem to think it shows.)
[slinks away]— Parker Molloy (@ParkerMolloy) September 11, 2019
White House spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham, the former press secretary for Melania who now works for both her and the president, told USA TODAY that the controversy was "ridiculous."
Melania's outfit choices have frequently come under fire ever since she was mocked in 2018 when she wore a jacket with the words "I REALLY DON'T CARE DO U?" scrawled on the back for a humanitarian visit to migrant children separated from their parents at the border.