If there's one thing the denizens of social media tend to notice, it's when President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump share some sort of awkward or visibly uncomfortable moment that's caught on tape. And on Friday, everyone got one more example of just such a moment ― Trump rushed to board Air Force One before Melania, hurrying up the stairs in the midst of some evidently whipping winds.
This is far from the first time Trump's body language or seemingly lack of awareness towards his wife has drawn some attention. Last year, you might recall, there was Melania's infamous snubbing of Trump's attempt to hold hands. The first lady was caught on video swatting away his outstretched hand, one of multiple awkward moments between the pair since the president took office last year.
In this case, the video is far less dramatic and dynamic than that hand swat heard 'round the world. To be clear, the thing that people noticed isn't any kind of awkward contact between the president and first lady, but rather, their distinct lack of contact ― by the time Melania was out of the car and heading for the stairs up to Air Force One, Trump had already jogged up the steps, not even taking a glance backwards as the wind swirled around him.
The pair were boarding Air Force One to travel to North Carolina for the funeral of the late Billy Graham, a controversial evangelical Christian pastor who was close with several U.S. presidents. Trump has repeatedly expressed condolences and well-wishes since the news of Graham's death broke last week.
After video of Trump ditching Melania to hurry up the steps went public, some people on Twitter ― where the president has no shortage of critics, needless to say ― speculated that he'd hurried up the stairs to keep the wind from messing up his hair.
It would not be the first time Trump risked exposing his scalp by way of a windy afternoon. Last month, a gust of wind pulled away a flap of hair on the back of his head as he boarded Air Force One, exposing his bare scalp underneath.
Trump's relationship with Melania has been a subject of some intense speculation over the past couple of months, owing in part to high-profile allegations that he engaged in a 2006 extramarital affair with Stormy Daniels, an adult film star. Daniels has denied the affair, although in 2011, she discussed the alleged sexual relationship with Trump extensively in an interview with In Touch magazine.
Trump Organization lawyer Michael Cohen has also denied the affair, although he's since claimed he paid Daniels $130,000 out of his own personal funds, in what he reportedly described as a "private transaction."
In the aftermath of the reports on Trump's alleged affair with Daniels, it was further reported that the first lady was upset with Trump, and that she allegedly avoided being seen in public with him for some time afterwards. These reports helped fuel further speculation about the couple's relationship after Melania traveled to the State of the Union separately from Trump, breaking from custom.
Obviously, however, these kinds of awkward images of the Trumps in public have been a semi-regular occurrence over the last 13 months or so, and as such, they can't be pinned entirely on any one thing. But if anything's been made very clear over the past several months, it's that social media eats up videos like this one. And the image of Trump scaling the Air Force One stairs in the swirling winds, with Melania trailing behind him, won't soon be forgotten.