I’M GOING ON A SAFARI: Thousands of miles away from the swarm of anticipation for a final vote and what some might describe as beastly debate over the Senate vote for Supreme Court Justice nominee Brett Kavanaugh, First Lady Melania Trump carried on with her weeklong goodwill mission in Kenya on Friday. The action-packed day included a visit to an elephant orphanage, an hourlong safari, tea with First Lady Margaret Kenyatta and a Sarakasi dance performance at Kenya’s National Theatre.
For a morning visit to Nairobi National Park, Trump dressed the part in a Ralph Lauren white button-down shirt, khaki colored pants and boots. Her white shirt remained “pristine,” during the 15-minute elephant feeding on red clay, the pool reporter noted.
After helping to feed orphaned elephants protected by the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, the First Lady added a white pith helmet to her ensemble before setting off to see giraffes, rhinos, hippos, zebras and other creatures on safari. Aside from the earth tones she has favored during her four-nation African trip, she also has varied her assortment of label choices beyond the European designer ones that many associate her with. This afternoon’s dance performance called for a quick wardrobe change — a neutral tuniclike dress with a wide belt from Thierry Colson. When duty calls, her back-to-back schedule doesn’t always allow for multiple outfit changes, her stylist Hervé Pierre noted. “The effort is always one of teamwork with the First Lady always having the final word,” Pierre said.
In photos with the dancers, Trump was all smiles after seeing the performance of Sarakasi — a blend of traditional dance, modern music and gravity-defying athleticism, according to the pool report.
Trump also toured a site of an ivory burn, which is meant to discourage ivory trade. That appearance was counter with the Trump administration’s efforts to lift the ban on some elephant trophy imports, the press pool noted. In addition, Trump’s two adult sons — Donald Jr. and Eric — have game-hunted in Africa, the pool report pointed out.
While today’s photo-ops have been aplenty, Trump’s public remarks have been minimal, according to press pooler Katie Rogers of The New York Times. In addition, the First Lady has yet to speak to the press pool on the record about how her trip is going and what message she hopes to send to the world, Rogers noted in one of today’s dispatches. Despite the press pool having “pushed” for a few questions, and the First Lady’s team vowing that would happen this afternoon, it had not, she said. That had been expected to come together, during her trip to The Nest, an orphanage that cares for children whose mothers are incarcerated. But “no dice,” as Rogers put it. Trump did describe the children as “beautiful” and “so well-behaved.”
The First Lady, however, did shake her reticence long enough for a sit-down exclusive interview with ABC News’ Tom Llamas that will air October 12 during a special edition of “20/20.” The hourlong exclusive is billed as “Being Melania: The First Lady” and is a serious get for Llamas, who traveled with Trump to Africa.
The First Lady’s first official solo trip abroad isn’t finished just yet. Egypt will be the final stop before she returns to Washington.