It's been a busy Tuesday morning for the White House. During an event welcoming French President Emmanuel Macron and wife Brigitte Macron, President Donald Trump awkwardly held First Lady Melania Trump's hand — or at least tried to.
Anti-gun violence advocate and founder of Moms Demand, Shannon Watts, retweeted a clip that shows the strange moment between Donald and Melania Trump. It was originally recorded by MSNBC News on Tuesday. While the video shared is only 13 seconds long, it wouldn't be too far off to say that the amount of awkwardness in it could last for ages.
Initially, Donald Trump can be seen sticking his index finger out to presumably get his wife to hold his hand. The first lady doesn't react. Then, he pokes the her hand with his pinky, again, in vain. Eventually, the president takes her hand and she seems to finally relent.
Social media users on Twitter dissected the video and gave their own takes on just what was going on during that moment. But the awkwardness wasn't limited to the hand-holding episode. Watts shared another video clip of the president giving Melania Trump air kisses under her large white hat, which also garnered media attention and whose designer was identified as Hervé Pierre by CNN.
This isn't the first time that Donald Trump's attempt to hold his wife's hand has been met with a stiff and cold shoulder from the first lady. Last year in May, during an official trip to Israel, a similar scene unfolded on the Israeli tarmac as the Trumps stepped out of Air Force One. In various videos shared online, the president can be seen extending his left hand to hold the first lady's right hand but Melania Trump swats it away.
It may be hard to believe that the first lady said she was thrilled to be in Israel when you look at her hand-swat gesture, but according to a statement given in May, she said visiting the country was an "opportunity to support [her] husband as he works on important matters of national security and foreign relations" as well as "speak with women and children from different countries, with different perspectives."
Here's a clip from BuzzFeed to jog your memory.
Observers said they noted similar hand-swatting from Melania Trump earlier this year. In February, social media users noted that she pulled away from Donald Trump's hand-holding as the couple were headed to their plane. One Twitter user shared a theory about why Melania Trump frequently drapes a coat over her shoulders. It's because "it makes it impossible for Donald to hold her hand."
Apart from the aforementioned two awkward episodes, the president was left hanging once more in May last year during a trip to Rome. After the first couple waved at their onlookers, Donald Trump attempted to hold Melania Trump's hand. The first lady ended up pushing a lock of her hair behind her ear instead of extending her own hand to her husband. Elle magazine comically theorized that she is "allergic" to his hand.
Body language experts have analyzed the president and first lady's interactions and going by what they say, it seems like there is trouble between Donald and Melania Trump. Lillian Glass, a body language and communications analyst, told Elle that there is "definitely some breakage in that relationship" based on the first lady's swatting away movement in Israel.
Still, analysis from body language experts is just hypothetical. Neither Trump has officially spoken about these hand-holding episodes in spite of the media attention they seem to instantly attract when they happen. There is also a possibility that these awkward instances are merely awkward coincidences and nothing more. But they certainly seem to leave people cringing.