Two years ago, Donald Trump criticized First Lady Michelle Obama for failing to cover her head while visiting the Muslim nation of Saudi Arabia.
But on Saturday, on Trump’s first visit to Saudi Arabia as president, his wife, Melania, and daughter Ivanka, both shunned head scarves, though they did dress conservatively, at least by Western standards.
Melania Trump wore a long-sleeved, black pantsuit with a wide, gold-colored belt. Ivanka Trump, who was accompanied by her husband, top aide Jared Kushner, wore a long-sleeved multi-colored dress that reached her ankles.
Saudi women are required to wear a loose, black robe known called an abaya and cover their hair in public. Some also cover their hair and face with a veil called a niqab.
Michelle Obama accompanied her husband to Saudi Arabia in 2015 to pay respects to the late King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz al Saud and meet the new monarch, King Salman.
“Many people are saying it was wonderful that Mrs. Obama refused to wear a scarf in Saudi Arabia, but they were insulted. We have enuf enemies,” Trump tweeted in 2015.
Michelle Obama was criticized on Saudi social media for her choice; Melania and Ivanka were not.
Other high-profile Western women have done the exact same thing.
First Lady Laura Bush and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton usually went without covering their heads. British Prime Minister Theresa May and German Chancellor Angela Merkel did not wear head coverings in visits earlier this year.
Trump arrived in the Riyadh on his first of his five-stop, nine-day tour that will also take in Israel, Italy and Belgium.