A viral video circulating on Wednesday appeared to show Donald Trump patting his leg to summon wife Melania like he is calling a dog over to him.
The video was taken earlier in the month but was shared in a tweet on Wednesday by comedian James Felton, showing the president patting his leg three times as he waited for his wife to walk over to him before they entered a car. As Newsweek noted, it wasn’t clear if Trump was intentionally calling his wife over to him by patting his leg, but it would appear to match the way he has treated Melania in a number of other viral instances.
Last October, Donald Trump held an oversized umbrella as he spoke to reporters on the White House lawn, leaving Melania alone and unprotected from the rain. As The Huffington Post noted, the exchange drew a massive backlash online for those who called out Trump for his lack of etiquette or even basic care for his wife. Others noted that Trump seemed to worry more about not getting his hair wet than keeping his wife dry.
One of the thousands of people who responded to the video also pointed out that it seemed consistent with a 1992 New York Magazine article that included a now-infamous quote from Donald Trump on how he advised friends to treat their wives: “You have to treat ’em like s***.”
Donald Trump:— James Felton (@JimMFelton) August 28, 2019
“Nobody respects women more than me”
Also Donald Trump:
“Here girl, come here girl” [pats leg] “come here wife, there’s a good girl” pic.twitter.com/kpAYOeLHRY
Other viral incidents have hinted at possible tensions between Melania and Donald Trump. One of the most famous came in May 2017, when a video appeared to show Melania swatting her husband’s hand away as he tried to hold hands with her as they departed Air Force One during a trip to Israel. As Newsweek reported, video of the incident went viral and was taken by many to be evidence that there was some major tension in the marriage. The incident came at the height of reports about Trump’s alleged affair with adult film star Stormy Daniels, who Trump paid off to keep quiet about their brief tryst that took place just months after Melania had given birth to the couple’s son.
Looks like Melania doesn't want to even hold hands with Donald Trump.— Red T Raccoon (@RedTRaccoon) May 22, 2017
Notice how she slaps his hand away.
Not a good sign from the wife. pic.twitter.com/YeazsFUXav
The rumors of tension in the marriage appeared to be confirmed when Melania Trump decided to stay at Mar-a-Lago for their son’s spring break as Donald Trump returned to Washington — with the couple parting ways on the same day that Stormy Daniels gave a nationally televised interview spilling details about the alleged affair.