Donald and Melania Trump have had some pretty awkward moments together during their time in the White House, and many of them have played out in public view. Never before have a president and first lady given us so many cringe-worthy moments, and in this age of social media, those instances are magnified. The internet has no shortage of GIFs and memes created from the viral videos of them looking uncomfortable, cold, and just plain uninterested in each other.
Here’s a look at a few awkward moments that really made us wonder if they’re like this in in front of a crowd, what their relationship is like behind closed doors. We’ll also check out some cringeworthy moments between Donald and Ivanka Trump.
The smile to frown
Social media users really began buzzing on Inauguration Day when the president turned around to look at his wife and she flashed him a big smile. However, as soon as he turned away, Melania’s smile turned to a frown, and she looked like she was ready to vomit.
TV cameras captured how quickly she changed her expression, and it became one of the most popular GIFs of 2017.
Next: Could the presidential couple look any more stiff?
The stiff inaugural dance
That evening, it was their first dance on what should have been one of their happiest nights together. But instead, they both looked super uncomfortable and like they wanted to be somewhere else.
The internet certainly took notice of how the president and first lady were forcing themselves to smile throughout the dance, and at one point, Melania refused to even fake it. The sour face she had most of the time was not something we expected to see during that dance.
Next: This awkward kiss left plenty of air between their lips.
The awkward air kiss
The couple’s Inauguration Day awkwardness made our list again. This time, for the chilly air kiss Melania gave her husband prior to one of the biggest speeches of his life.
You would think a good luck kiss on the cheek would be in order for this moment, but this type of gesture between the pair looked like they didn’t want to even touch one another — and so they didn’t.
Next: This action spoke volumes.
Her delayed move-in to the White House
Melania made history as the first lady after her husband’s inauguration — but in a controversial way. It took her five full months to move into the White House, which she claims was to allow their son, Barron Trump, to finish his school year in New York.
However, it seems she was grateful to have a reason not to make the immediate move to Washington, D.C. A source told People, “I don’t know if she will ever live away from New York full time, especially with her son in school there. She loves her home in Manhattan and her independent life.”
Next: The controversial move seen ’round the world.
The hand swat seen ’round the world
Melania’s hand swat seen around the world was definitely another awkward moment. In May 2017, the Trumps touched down in Israel and when they got off the plane, President Trump reached for his wife’s hand. Melania, though, quickly swatted his hand away.
People instantly thought that maybe they were mid-fight when they arrived in Tel Aviv. While most high-profile couples would just do the hand holding to make things look good, Mrs. Trump had other ideas.
Next: Did Melania refuse to hold Donald’s hand?
The refusal to hold hands
The very next day, the couple arrived in Rome and it was take two of Mrs. Trump refusing to hold her husband’s hand.
This was a blink-and-you-miss-it moment and probably wouldn’t have been such a big deal had it not been for the hand swat the day before.
Next: A cringeworthy move.
That cringeworthy handshake
One of the most cringe-worthy moments between the president and first lady was during an appearance at Joint Base Andrews in September 2017. After Melania introduced her husband, he gave her a handshake before speaking. Yes, they shook hands. No hug or even an air kiss this time.
It looked all business, and Melania was basically treated like one of her husband’s associates he just closed a deal with. Following that move, he gave her a motion to get off the stage and told her to go sit down. Awkward!
Next: Melania’s unfortunate picture happens on the biggest stage.
This ‘liked’ tweet
Finally, it was Melania’s reported reaction to a tweet that serves as the last instance or our list because it was so odd.
It appeared that the first lady “liked” a tweet on her personal account, suggesting that her relationship with the president was strained. “Seems the only #Wall @realDonaldTrump‘s built is the one between him and @FLOTUS #Melania #trump,” the tweet read.
We know President Trump loves Twitter, but we bet he wasn’t loving this. So of course, the communications director had to come out and say something. The excuse given was that the “like” did not come from Melania herself, but someone else and therefore, the password on her account was being changed.
Twitter, however, had a field day with the news, and it became a top trending topic.
Next: Melania’s body language says a lot.
Melania’s constant look of misery
Even if Melania is playing her part as first lady, her face can’t hide her true feelings. Body language expert Patti Wood revealed to Cosmopolitan just how much Melania has changed since her husband became a presidential candidate.
Past photographs reveal Melania being expressive and joyful, but since the start of her husband’s campaign, her demeanor has shifted. Her body language can regularly be described as “stiff,” as put on display during her first dance with Donald at the inaugural ball.
The hashtag #FreeMelania even began trending on Twitter after her infamous look of disdain on Inauguration Day. She can be seen smiling in an encouraging manner at her husband, but once he turns away, her face turns to a miserable scowl. Wood described the look as “sadness mixed with a little bit of anger.”
Wood explained that since becoming first lady, Melania has become someone “whose shoulders go down, whose mouth turns down, who gives furtive, down-gazing looks, and who is tense, tight, small, and unhappy.”
Next: Trump’s awkward tweet in defense of Melania
Donald’s tweet defending Melania
The president wasn’t exactly pleased to hear speculations regarding Melania’s misery in the White House. He took to Twitter, naturally, to prove that Melania was actually loving her new role.
He wrote, “Melania, our great and very hard working first lady, who truly loves what she is doing, always thought that ‘if you run, you will win.’ She would tell everyone that, ‘no doubt, he will win.’ I also felt I would win (or I would not have run) – and Country is doing great!”
The desperate tone of the tweet seems to have the opposite effect, suggesting that everything’s not as coming up roses as he claims. Many Twitter users suspected Trump’s cover-up of Melania’s true feelings about her new job. One user replied, “So she doesn’t work hard and she doesn’t like what she is doing? The truth hurts, jerk. But lying is worse.”
It wouldn’t be the first time Donald lied on Twitter about how successful his presidency has been so far. For example, he tweeted that his job approval rating was “not bad” in July 2017, when in reality, his ratings hit a historic all-time low compared to every past president at the same point.
When she publicly said she wished she was on a deserted island
Only one week after Donald criticized skeptics of Melania’s happiness, she added fuel to the fire with her Christmas wish. During a visit to the Children’s National Hospital in Washington, D.C., a 10-year-old boy asked Melania, “If you could spend the holidays anywhere in the world, where would you go?”
She replied, “I would spend my holidays on a deserted island, a tropical island — with my family.” Intentional or not, we’re definitely picking up on Melania’s suggestion that she is tired of being in the White House. Twitter users didn’t let it pass, either.
Comedian Deven Green tweeted, “Melania Trump’s Christmas wish is for her family to go to a deserted island. Funny, that was mine, too.”
Additional reporting by Chelsea Leary.
Follow Michelle Kapusta on Twitter @philamichelle.
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