When Former First Lady Melania Trump Seemingly Slapped off Donald Trump’s Hand During Middle-East Trip
There seems to have been no 'peace' between Melania Trump and Donald Trump during their Middle-East Peace Trip in Tel Aviv, Israel, in 2017. In a video of their arrival at Ben Gurion International Airport in the capital, the first lady seemingly swatted away her husband's hand, who reached out to her, prompting body language experts to decode her unexpected gesture.
On May 22, 2017, the 'presidential couple' walked together for their first trip to Tel Aviv, where Melania was a half-step behind her husband when the 77-year-old extended his hand to hold his wife's [hand]. Unexpectedly, the First Lady rebuffed, showing no change in expression or body language.
The commander-in-chief didn't break his stride, just like his wife, and responded to what seemed like a slap by adjusting his necktie. However, it was unclear what prompted Melania to behave this way. Hawk-eyed people came up with their theories, some citing personal turmoil while some tried to read between the lines.
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According to Patti Wood, a body language expert, the 53-year-old's move was not accidental but deliberate. Woods believed, "He was walking way in front to show his power and putting his hand back to lead her like a child," adding, "her hand went under his and up and out to say 'No, you can't lead me like a child,'" reported The Independent. Another possible angle could be the First Lady didn't want to indulge in any PDA with her husband.
The underlying issue remained a secret as the former president delivered a brief speech alongside his wife, Melania, Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and his wife, Sara. They were also joined by the then-president Reuven Rivlin and his wife Nechama, who walked hand in hand. Trump and Melania left soon after their speech to their next destination.
Wood also pointed out that prior to becoming the 'First Couple,' their relationship was more casual, involving PDA moments like Trump consciously reaching out to "more intimate" parts of her body, caressing her in public, and smiling freely. However, the expectations have now changed with their position.
The body language expert explained, "He [Trump] wants to be seen as a president. Not as part of a presidential couple," citing how he tries to power out Melania through his gestures, more so in the media. However, in February 2017, the opposite of this incident happened.
The First Lady extended her hand towards her husband [to hold], but Trump merely patted and dropped it, suggesting he wasn't interested in holding hands. According to Woods, the Republican candidate is conscious of their "public image" and wants to control how Americans perceive them, per The Independent.
Mary Jordan, who wrote an unauthorized biography of the First Lady, The Art of Her Deal: The Untold Story of Melania Trump, interviewed several White House staff, housekeepers, and others to decode and detail the "unusual" relationship of the 'First Couple.'
She said, "I don't know any couple that spends as much time apart. They are often in the same building but nowhere near each other." Jordan continued, She rarely goes into the West Wing. She doesn't like to golf. She has her own little spa. She likes to be isolated. She is a loner. He is a loner," reported The Guardian. "They're perfectly happy to be separated."
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