AP

One of the primary reasons people are talking about Melania Trump's decision not to wear a headscarf in Saudi Arabia is because of Donald Trump's tweet.

In January 2015, Trump tweeted criticism of Michelle Obama for not wearing a headscarf during her trip to Saudi Arabia with then-President Obama. "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," he wrote, suggesting that Michelle's decision to forgo a headscarf was so controversial it would make an enemy of Saudi Arabia.

Today, Melania was noticeably not wearing a headscarf during his visit to Saudi Arabia with Trump, but there's no backlash from the president this time around. Perhaps because he realized that most Western women (including past First Ladies Obama and Hillary Clinton) have gone without the scarf, as head coverings aren't required for foreign visitors, AP points out.

Dress code:

While headscarves are the standard among Saudi women, the only dress code for female visitors to follow is wearing a loose, black robe known as an abaya, while in public. Melania followed that with a Western interpretation of the abaya — an all-black pantsuit.

Bottom line: Trump is still controlling the media narrative surrounding his Saudi Arabia trip, even without making public remarks. His controversial tweet from the past has reminded people of his hypocritical views on Western women, particularly the First Lady, wearing a headscarf in Saudi Arabia .

Go deeper

7 hours ago - World

China-Iran deal envisions massive investments from Beijing

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

China and Iran have negotiated a deal that would see massive investments flow into Iran, oil flow out, and collaboration increase on defense and intelligence.

Why it matters: If the proposals become reality, Chinese cash, telecom infrastructure, railways and ports could offer new life to Iran’s sanctions-choked economy — or, critics fear, leave it inescapably beholden to Beijing.

Updated 7 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 7 p.m. ET: 13,048,249 — Total deaths: 571,685 — Total recoveries — 7,215,865Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 7 p.m. ET: 3,353,348— Total deaths: 135,524 — Total recoveries: 1,031,856 — Total tested: 40,282,176Map.
  3. World: WHO head: There will be no return to the "old normal" for foreseeable future — Hong Kong Disneyland closing due to surge.
  4. States: Houston mayor calls for two-week shutdownCalifornia orders sweeping rollback of open businesses — Cuomo says New York will use formula to determine if reopening schools is safe.
  5. Education: Los Angeles schools' move to online learning could be a nationwide tipping point.

House Judiciary Committee releases transcript of Geoffrey Berman testimony

Geoffrey Berman. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

The House Judiciary Committee on Monday released the transcript of its closed-door interview with Geoffrey Berman, the former top federal prosecutor in Manhattan who was forced out by Attorney General Bill Barr last month.

Why it matters: House Democrats have seized on Berman's testimony, in which he claimed the attorney general sought to "entice" him into resigning so that he could be replaced by SEC chairman Jay Clayton, to bolster allegations that the Justice Department has been politicized under Barr.