Melania Trump appeared to wriggle her fingers away from her husband’s on Tuesday as he tried gingerly to grasp her hand during an awkward photocall with the loved-up French President and First Lady.
The foursome were having their photograph taken on the South Lawn after a welcome ceremony to mark President Emmanuel Macron’s visit to Washington, the first state visit of Trump’s presidency.
The two presidents stood next to each other with their wives on either side and all four posed formally for the moment, with their hands by their sides.
Here it comes: President Trump extends his pinky finger towards his wife’s hand as they have their photograph taken with French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigette
Closing in: As Trump’s hand grazed against his wife’s, she appeared to draw breath and looked startled
Gotcha: After a few seconds of wriggling, Trump took a firm grip of his wife’s fingers. The Macrons started lacing their fingers in one another afterwards
After a few brief seconds, Trump’s little finger subtly crept towards his wife’s.
Her expression changed drastically as she appeared to draw breath.
She resisted his hand and, while their exact movements were unclear, appeared to wriggle away before he took a strong hold of her fingers.
With Melania firmly in his grip, President Trump mouthed an exaggerated ‘thank you’ then began walking past the press which had gathered to take their photographs.
Earlier, she volunteered her hand for President Macron to kiss it after he gave a brief speech commemorating his visit.
Bonjour: French President Emmanuel Macron kisses Melania’s hand during an arrival ceremony on the South Lawn on Tuesday
Mon amour: As Macron tenderly kissed his wife’s hand, the Trumps looked at each other with less affection
Melania was happy to give her husband a kiss to welcome him to the stage to speak at the ceremony. It is the first state visit they have hosted
She had greeted her husband with a kiss on the cheek.
It is not the first time Melania has been shy of her husband’s affection.
During an official visit to Israel earlier this year, she swatted Trump’s hand away as he tried to hold it while they walked across the tarmac after touching down in Air Force One.
On other occasions she has shunned his advances while walking down the aircraft’s steps and as they made their way towards Marine One.
By contrast, she is hands-on during meetings with the public and is particularly touchy-feely with children.
In recent weeks, the first lady has had to endure fevered speculation about the president’s alleged affair with porn star Stormy Daniels.
She is at the heart of an ongoing investigation into Trump’s lawyer Michael Cohen who gave her $130,000 to keep quiet days before the 2016 election.
Daniels claims to have had sex with Trump in 2006, a year after he married Melania and just a few months after she gave birth to their only child together, Barron.
Trump denies her claim that they had sex and kept in touch afterwards.
Stormy is not the only person to have claimed to have slept with Trump during his marriage. Former playmate Karen McDougal said they had an affair around the same time.
Swat: In February, Melania swatted her husband’s hand away in Tel Aviv, Israel, as they walked along the tarmac at the airport
No thanks: In May, as they arrived in Rome, Melania fixed her hair instead of taking her husband’s hand when he extended it
Nope: Melania kept her hand inside her coat and pulled it backwards when Trump tried to grab it in February at the White House