The first tense moment came on Inauguration Day in January 2017, when the real estate mogul, 71, walked up the steps of the White House without the former model, 47, so that he could greet outgoing president Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama. Melania climbed out of their SUV alone and trailed a few paces behind with a Tiffany & Co. box in hand, a gift that infamously befuddled Michelle, 54.
Four months later, the Trumps arrived at Ben Gurion International Airport in Israel, where their body language made headlines again. While walking on the tarmac with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife, Sara Netanyahu, the U.S. president reached for the first lady’s hand, a move that she instantly rejected with a visible swat.
The next day, it happened all over again. When Donald and Melania landed in Rome on Air Force One, he reached over to take her hand, only to be snubbed once more. Instead, she suddenly moved her own hand toward her head and began adjusting her hair.
Things were just as awkward in 2018. A few weeks after The Wall Street Journal first reported that porn star Stormy Daniels was paid $130,000 in hush money after she allegedly had an affair with the former Celebrity Apprentice host (which he has denied), Melania’s infamous swat returned. As the couple departed the White House for a trip to Ohio in February, Donald tried to make hand-to-hand contact with Melania before giving up and instead placing his hand on her back.
Another awkward hand-holding encounter occurred in April. While posing for photos with French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife, Brigitte Macron, Donald stuck out his pinky finger in hopes that Melania would take his hand. She didn’t at first, leading him to make a second advance, which she ultimately accepted.
A source told Us Weekly exclusively in March that the Slovenia native is “very, very unhappy with her life” since her husband shifted his focus to politics. The source added, “If she could, she would get away from Donald and just be with her son [Barron].”
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