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Body Language Expert Weighs In on Donald Trump’s Awkward RNC Stage Hugs With Melania and Ivanka

Well, that was weird. Donald Trump awkwardly hugged his wife, Melania Trump, and daughter Ivanka Trump at the Republican National Convention on Thursday, July 21, after he finished his speech accepting the Republican presidential nomination.

Body language expert Patti Wood spoke with Us Weekly on Friday, July 22, to break down the Republican presidential nominee’s cringeworthy embraces with Melania, 46, and Ivanka, 34.

Related: PHOTOS: Celebrities' Political Affiliations

When the former Apprentice host, 70, finished his 75-minute long RNC speech at Cleveland’s Quicken Loans Arena, he welcomed his family to the stage. After greeting his spouse with a nonromantic peck on each cheek, Donald grabbed the former model’s arms in what appears to be an effort to keep her at a distance.

Donald Trump, Melania Trump and Ivanka Trump
Donald Trump with his wife Melania Trump and daughter Ivanka Trump.

“That was not even a real hug. He held both her arms, cupping his hands around her forearms to keep her at a certain distance from him. She also didn’t go in close,” says Wood, who authored Snap: Making the Most of First Impressions, Body Language and Charisma. “There was no heart-to-heart contact. There was no pelvis-to-pelvis contact. That was really odd. There was no real warmth.”

Related: PHOTOS: Donald Trump's Former Flames

Not only was their PDA totally cold, Wood notes that Donald giving Melania’s arms a slight shake was to assert his dominance.

Donald Trump and Melania Trump
Donald Trump with his wife, Melania Trump.

“[That was to show] ownership, like, ‘She’s mine, I can do what I want with her.’ [It was] very distinctive and different from that extra pat we would give to somebody because we just love them so much and we want to just give them that little bit of affection given after a warm embrace or a tender kiss,” she tells Us. “They just pecked each other.”

Related: PHOTOS: First Children

When it comes to Donald’s hug with Ivanka, who introduced the real-estate tycoon turned politician at Thursday night’s gathering, Wood tells Us that his hand placement was inappropriate. As viewers witnessed, the business mogul showed his appreciation for his daughter’s glowing statements by kissing her cheeks and then placing his hands on her lower hips.

Donald Trump and Ivanka Trump
Donald Trump with his daughter Ivanka Trump.

“He patted her in a sexually dismissive way. That repetitive pat with open hands on that location is usually a set of body language cues to say, ‘The sex with you, it was good,’ or, ‘That was fun sexual play,’” Wood says. “I want to be clear that is not even a pat you would give to a child under the age of 5. You would pat them higher up on the back.”

Since Donald’s strange hugs with his wife and daughter (whom he shares with ex-wife Ivana Trump) aired on national television, many have taken to social media to share their opinions about the physical contact.

“Daddy Donald was more (inappropriately) affectionate to Ivanka than to Melania,” one viewer tweeted, while another sniped, “Donald grabs Ivanka’s ass gave [Melania a] weird friend zone hug.”

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