Melania’s smile ignites old rumours
The hand-holding incidents. The persistent rumours about an affair. The googly eyes at Justin Trudeau.
It's easy enough to see why some observers refuse to surrender the idea that something is not right with the 45th President and the First Lady.
Melania Trump inadvertently fanned the flames this week during a photo opportunity at Saint John Paul II National Shrine in Washington D.C.
In a moment that was captured by cameras and later went viral on social media, Mr Trump turned to his wife and asked her: "Can you please smile?"
Mrs Trump responded with … well … perhaps it's best to just watch the vision below.
Trump asks Melania to smile during today's photo op. pic.twitter.com/B59YeDHKRM— The Recount (@therecount) June 2, 2020
And just for good measure:
ABC reporter Louise Milligan was among those to express concern about the footage.
"The camera can, contrary to the cliche, sometimes lie, but I have watched this over and over and there is something mesmerisingly worrying about Melania Trump's face in this," she wrote in a tweet that was liked more than 2800 times.
Others saw the funny side.
"Imagine having to remind a professional model to smile for a photograph," one viewer commented.
"That's the Usain Bolt of smiles," another commented.
The incident, which came during a worldwide uprising over the death in custody of black man George Floyd, is the latest in a long list of moments that between the pair that have made chins wag.
One such moment came in October last year when Mr Trump reportedly told a group of people at a Republican fundraiser that his wife would not cry for him if he was shot.
The moment, reported by The Guardian, was dismissed as a joke by those in attendance.
It came about during a conversation regarding the shooting of Republican and US House Committee Whip, Steve Scalise.
Scalise was among a handful of people who were shot by James Hodgkinson during a charity baseball game in Virginia in 2017. He underwent surgery and made a full recovery.
According to those in attendance, Mr Trump said of Scalise's wife: "She cried her eyes out when I met her at the hospital that fateful day … I mean not many wives would react that way to tragedy, I know mine wouldn't."
It might've been a light moment misconstrued without the benefit of context. Or maybe Mr Trump genuinely believes his wife would take such news in her stride, as she appears to with everything else.
Which is a neat little segue into Mrs Trump's cavalier attitude to rumours of her husband's infidelity.
During a chat with America's ABC News in October 2018, Mrs Trump brushed aside questions about alleged cheating.
Mrs Trump was told by a reporter that "you did agree to do this interview to your credit with no preconditions".
"Correct," she replied.
"It has been a tough year for you personally," the reporter continued. "You're not the first First Lady to have to deal with her husband's alleged infidelities."
Mrs Trump was then asked whether the rumours have put a strain on her marriage.
EXCLUSIVE: First lady Melania Trump brushes aside allegations of her husband's infidelity.— ABC News (@ABC) October 12, 2018
“I'm a mother and a first lady, and I have much more important things to think about and to do," she tells @ABC. https://t.co/VILtmVBA2E pic.twitter.com/MSLsRksVu8
"It is not concern and focus of mine," she said. "I'm a mother and a First Lady, and I have much more important things to think about and do.
"I know people like to speculate and media like to speculate about our marriage."
In the same interview, Mrs Trump was asked to comment on Stormy Daniels, the porn star who accused Trump of having an affair. She brushed the questions aside.
For the sake of the record, here's a key timeline of events and where Ms Daniels claims she fits in.
In January, 2005, Donald and Melania marry. In March, 2006, their son Barron is born. Ms Daniels claims that in July of that same year she and Mr Trump began an "intimate relationship" that continued until the following year.
Asked by the ABC reporter if she loves her husband, Mrs Trump responded: "Yes, we are fine. Yes, it's what media speculate, and it's gossip. It's not always correct stuff."
So … not "always" correct.
Not exactly pouring water on the fire.
That fire is not helped by the sheer volume of hand-holding mishaps the couple have endured in front of the media.
Like this one:
Melania deploys a stratgeic & well-timed hair move to avoid the tiny hand of a perv as Trump arrives in Rome. pic.twitter.com/wIcWLspRh9— ☇RiotWomenn☇ (@riotwomennn) May 23, 2017
And this one:
a very short story about two people holding hands pic.twitter.com/m2i7pn5a6d— Tasneem N (@TasneemN) January 19, 2017
And also these ones:
Trump and Melania have another awkward attempt at holding hands pic.twitter.com/g4iOEOAakI— The Independent (@Independent) June 3, 2019
LOL! Melania in Tel Aviv is as MISERABLE, as Melania in the U.S. Watch her push away the CREEP's hand. PRICELESS😂😂😂This guy is DISGUSTING! pic.twitter.com/lhR1JdTi1m— Voice of Reason (@raggapegs) May 22, 2017
Originally published as Melania's smile ignites old rumours