Donald Trump, his wife Melania Trump, and their son Barron Trump were seen stepping down from Air Force One at Joint Base Andrews on August 16, returning to Washington D.C. from Bedminster, New Jersey. As the president and the first lady made their way down the stairs, Trump attempted to grab his wife’s hand, but she pulled it away.
In the video, Melania Trump, 50, is holding a large tan purse in her left hand. As the couple starts down the airplane stairs, she holds the railing with her right hand. She then moves her right hand to the front of her skirt as the wind appears to pick up, before quickly putting her right hand back on the railing and moving her left hand to the front of her skirt — pulling it away just as Donald Trump attempts to hold her hand. Melania Trump keeps her head down as she walks down the steps, and her hair, blowing in the wind, keeps her entire face covered from both the camera and her husband.
Trump, 74, then briefly touches the first lady’s back with his right hand before waving to people standing off-camera. Melania Trump does not lift her head or show her face until she steps onto the ground.
Hard not to notice Trump repeatedly trying to hold Melania’s hand on their way down the steps and her having none of it https://t.co/SXwkhgUagh
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) August 17, 2020
The moment quickly went viral on Twitter on Sunday. Law & Order: SVU showrunner Warren Leight tweeted, “FIVE SECONDS IN: Look at him try to grab Melania’s hand, twice, and both times getting rebuffed as if he were a subway groper.”
Another user online tweeted out the video with the caption, “MELANIA: “I told you, bad man, holding the hand is EXTRA!” After watching the video, writer Derek DelGaudio tweeted, “She’s voting for Biden.”
Melania Trump Has Batted Away Donald Trump’s Hand Numerous Times Throughout His Presidency
This is far from the first time Melania Trump has chosen not held her husband’s hand in public. On May 22, 2017, the first lady batted Donald Trump’s hand away after they landed at Ben Gurion International Airport, refusing to hold his hand as they greeted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife, Sara Netanyahu.
Body language expert Patti Wood told the Independent of this viral moment, “He was walking way in front to show his power and putting his hand back to lead her like a child, her hand went under his and up and out to say ‘No, you can’t lead me like a child.’”
She REALLY didn’t want to hold his hand… pic.twitter.com/CWUeDlN6RE
— Albert MacGloan ➐ (@AlbertMacGloan) April 24, 2018
The very next day, when the president and the first lady landed in Rome, she avoided holding his hand by attempting to fix her hair at the same moment. In April 2018, while posing with French President Emmanuel Macron, Donald Trump stuck out his pinky finger to hold Melania Trump’s hand, which she only accepted after a second attempt.
Melania Trump Is Expected to Speak During the Republican National Convention
While Melania Trump has kept a low profile recently, the first lady’s chief of staff Stephanie Grisham confirmed to CNN that she will be speaking at the Republican National Convention. The RNC is scheduled to start on August 24.
“I don’t want to get ahead of the first lady, but details are in the works,” Grisham said. The day, time, and location of Melania Trump’s speech has yet to be revealed.