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‘It’s Sad.’ Melania Trump’s Office Pushes Back After Footwear Controversy

August 29, 2017, 7:48 PM UTC

Melania Trump’s office is pushing back after the first lady ignited some controversy by emerging for her visit to hurricane-stricken Texas in a pair of stiletto heels.

“It’s sad that we have an active and ongoing natural disaster in Texas, and people are worried about her shoes,” the First Lady’s spokesperson told Fortune.

The First Lady and her husband are in Texas for the day, touring the Emergency Operations Center in Austin and participating in a briefing on Hurricane Harvey, which officials said has killed nine people.

The First Lady did step off of Air Force one in Texas wearing running shoes. But the image of the First Lady in stiletto heels as she walked to Air Force One had already made the rounds on social media, with some opining about the optics of wearing expensive footwear to visit a state ravaged by the worst flooding in its history.

But those commenting on her choice of shoes also faced criticism on social media for caring about her footwear and overlooking the point of her visit.

Trump issued a statement about her desire to offer assistance the victims of the hurricane Tuesday evening. “I want to be able to offer my help and support in the most productive way possible, not through just words, but also action,” she said. “What I found to be the most profound during the visit was not only the strength and resilience of the people of Texas, but the compassion and sense of community that has taken over the State.”