U.S. President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump were caught in another awkward moment, adding to speculations that they are facing marital issues.
On Monday, Donald and Melania Trump arrived in Tel Aviv, Israel, as part of his eight-day tour in five countries. However, the significance of the trip was somehow overshadowed by a highly awkward moment between the Trumps.
As Donald and Melania Trump walked away from the Air Force One on the tarmac, many were quick to notice how the president attempted to reach for his wife’s hand. However, the first lady was clearly not having any of it as she appeared to be swatting his hand away.
The embarrassing moment was caught on camera and instantly became viral after being shared on social media, gaining various reactions from netizens.
One user pointed out how the couple appeared to have marriage issues for quite a while now.
“Every female in the world knows what that gesture means. She is utterly disgusted and turned off by him. She does not want to be with him, faking & pretending.”
Another one wrote, “Not surprised. He never walks with her or holds her hand. He’s just showing out for the camera.”
Meanwhile, others view the awkward moment differently.
One user commented, “This is disrespectful, on her [Melania] part. She is married to the man, you do not disrespect your husband in public, no matter if he’s the janitor or the President.”
— Haaretz.com (@haaretzcom) May 22, 2017
Following the cold husband-and-wife moment, a veteran body language expert and author, Patti Wood, dished on the meaning and significance of Melania’s hand swat.
According to Wood, Donald and Melania Trump’s latest body language is somehow different compared to previous sightings. She pointed out how the president reached back for her, something completely opposite from other photos.
“It’s different because he’s reaching back for her, and we don’t typically see that in photos from his presidency.”
However, Wood clarified that although Donald tried to reach for his wife’s hand, it doesn’t mean they’ll be equal.
“She’d still be ‘less than’ if she grabbed his hand, rather than equal to a full, equal power dynamic couple.”
In addition, the body language expert also mentioned how Trump, who was striding inches ahead of his wife, reached for her hand “without looking back — sort of what you’d do to keep a child in line.”
Wood also claimed that Donald’s attempt to hold hands with Melania is not for affection but more of asking her to come along.
“It’s more about, ‘come along now’, and she’s swatting his hand away as a child would, from the top down, saying ‘don’t lead me’. It’s not a bid for affection by him, it’s more like ‘come along.'”
In addition, Wood noted that tension was evidently visible in Melania’s posture during the swatting incident, claiming that the first lady’s arms appeared to be stiff and down at her sides.
The body language expert also explained that Melania’s hand swat is “more of a rejection of the president’s patronizing gesture than a rejection of his touch.”
“He wants to be seen as president and more powerful, he doesn’t necessarily want to be seen as a presidential couple. ‘See me, I’m in the lead, I’m the president.’ With the other leaders, his steps are fairly even, but she’s outside that intimate zone of space where you’d usually be to be seen together as a couple, as a unit.”
In the end, Wood concluded that Donald Trump only wants to be seen as “president” and not as a couple, something completely in contrast with former President Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle.
“This is a decision that he’s made about how he wants to appear as a politician. He wants to be seen as ‘president,’ not as a couple. He does not view her as an equal, does not want to be seen on an equal plane.”
This is not the first time Donald and Melania Trump faced similar issues. Previously, the first lady’s verified Twitter account liked a tweet showcasing her dramatic change in facial expression during her husband’s inauguration.
In the said post, Melania can be seen smiling and then scowling when the president looked her way.
The tweet reads, “Seems the only #Wall @realDonaldTrump’s built is the one between him and @FLOTUS #Melania #trump.”
Melania’s Twitter account unliked the controversial post shortly after. Recent reports revealed that the first lady was not aware that her account liked Andy Ostroy’s mocking tweet.
— Andy Ostroy (@AndyOstroy) May 3, 2017
[Featured Image by Ronen Zvulun/AP Images]