Answer: Texas, at the border.
SEE TWEET/VIDEO ADDED, BELOW.
Where is the First Lady? Check out this White House Press Pool report (part of it)
Subject: FLOTUS pool #1/McAllen, Texas
First lady Melania Trump is in McAllen, Texas, on an unannounced trip.
FLOTUS planned to tour two facilities, both in McAllen: The Ursula Border Patrol Processing Center, a Customs and Border Patrol/DHS intake center where migrant families spend a few days, and Upbring New Hope Children’s Shelter, part of Lutheran Social Services. That’s an HHS grantee facility that currently houses about 60 kids, ages five to 17, from Honduras and El Salvador. Most are teens. About evenly split between boys and girls. Only six of these kids were separated from parents, and the rest arrived as unaccompanied minors, according to a “senior administration official.”
The shelter opened in 2014 in a facility that had been a vacant nursing home and assisted living facility.
Heavy rain caused a last-minute change of plans, with flooding at the Border Patrol center. So we’re heading to the children’s center first. We landed in McAllen at 10:50 am CT in a heavy downpour — a gully-washer, as they say in Texas. A flash flood warning alert sounded on phones a moment after landing. Motorcade drove through deep water at several points.
A press pool is traveling with the first lady, including wires, stills and TV. Ground rules included secrecy until FLOTUS arrived at her first stop in Texas. The pool wasn’t told what city we were going to until after takeoff. The tours will be pen and pad only for the pool. No photos or audio, for the safety and privacy of children, we are told.
Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar is traveling with FLOTUS.
At Andrews, Mrs. Trump boarded the plane wearing white pants, white top, white sneakers, sunglasses, and a green jacket.
Stephanie Grisham, the first lady’s communications director, gaggled shortly after takeoff. All material below is from her:
The trip – why, when it came together
FLOTUS asked her staff on Tuesday to plan a trip as soon as possible – before POTUS signed the executive order, though Grisham wasn’t sure if Mrs. Trump had an inkling that the order was coming.
“I don’t know what she knew. She knew what she wanted to do and she told us,” Grisham said.
“She wanted to see everything for herself…. She supports family reunification. She thinks that it’s important that children stay with their families.”
“This was 100 percent her idea. She absolutely wanted to come.” And it was her idea before POTUS signed the executive order, Grisham said, and she had no second thoughts after the order was signed. “She wants to see what’s happening for herself and she wants to lend her support, executive order or not. The executive order certainly is helping pave the way a little bit, but there’s still a lot to be done.”
President Trump supported this trip but he didn’t send her.
“This was her decision. She told her staff she wanted to go and we made that happen. He is supportive of it but she told him, `I’m headed down to Texas,’ and he supported it.”
The Air Force plane, a C-32A, landed at McAllen Miller International Airport. (Something your pooler learned only today: the first lady’s plane is designated “Executive One Foxtrot.”)
Is she doing this trip in order to persuade the president to do anything differently? “She wants to see these children and she wants to help children. It’s not about anything more than that…. She wants to see what’s real. She wants to see a realistic view.”