Melania Trump’s tarmac hand swat has many Americans wondering whether she and her husband are suffering from marriage woes that have come bubbling to the surface during their first overseas trip as the first couple. In response to swat-gate, the White House photographer for the Obama administration took to social media to remind Americans of the love and affection shared between the former POTUS and FLOTUS.
As USA Today reports, a flick of Melania Trump’s wrist is all it took to shift the focus away from the accomplishments of President Donald Trump’s first foreign trip, an event that many Republicans hoped would serve as a reset button for a presidency plagued by scandal, leaks, and other distractions. While walking down the tarmac at Tel Aviv’s airport, Melania was filmed swatting her husband’s hand away when he made a grab for her fingers.
Social media can’t get enough of the hand-swat video, and one of the most popular posts about Melania’s Donald Trump denial is an Instagram photo that was shared by former White House photographer Pete Souza. Souza spent eight years observing Barack and Michelle Obama through a camera lens, and he captured plenty of sweet moments between the White House’s former occupants. Earlier today, he shared a photo of Barack and Michelle holding hands.
According to the Sun, the image of Barack and Michelle Obama was snapped in 2015 at an event commemorating the 50th Anniversary of Bloody Sunday. Souza considers it one of his favorite photos of the former first couple.
“When I glanced back towards the stage, I noticed the president and first lady holding hands,” he said of the candid snapshot.
The photographer made no mention of Melania Trump in his Instagram post, but Select All writer Madison Malone Kircher notes that Pete Souza has a history of using Instagram and his extensive collection of Obama photos to “throw a fair bit of shade at Donald Trump and the current administration.” For example, the Hill reports that Souza shared a 7-year-old photo of Barack Obama prepping to fire the first pitch at a Washington Nationals’ Opening Day game after the current POTUS declined an invitation to have a go at the ceremonial throw.
Souza isn’t the only one mocking Donald and Melania Trump’s awkward tarmac moment: Daytime and late night talk show hosts can’t get enough of the viral video. The host of NBC’s Late Night, Seth Meyers, compared Melania to NBA star LeBron James.
“She fully LeBron-ed him. I wish there was better audio so we could hear her say ‘Get that weak s**t outta here,'” he said.
— Haaretz.com (@haaretzcom) May 22, 2017
As RawStory reports, the ladies of The View also had a blast cracking wise about the hand swat.
“There may be no peace in the Middle East between the two of them,” Whoopi Goldberg quipped. “Maybe she thought he was reaching over to pinch her on the butt.”
However, there’s video evidence that Whoopi has it backwards: Donald only goes for his wife’s derrière when she denies him her hand. As CNN reports, a second video of Melania pulling her hand away from the POTUS is making the rounds just one day after the first one caused such a splash on social media. In the video, Melania ignores her husband’s attempt to grab her hand, using it to brush her hair out of her eyes instead. However, the president takes the rejection in stride: He simply places his empty palm on his wife’s rear.
— People Magazine (@people) May 23, 2017
Donald Trump is used to Americans gossiping about his hands. As the Washington Post reports, he defended the size of his paws after Sen. Marco Rubio joked that they were small during a Republican presidential debate.
“You know, my hands are normal. Slightly large, actually. In fact, I buy a slightly smaller than large glove, okay?” said the president.
How can Melania Trump swat hands like that away?
[Featured Image by Amos Ben Gershom/GPO via Getty Images]