"We just are very compatible. We get along … We just have a very good relationship," Donald Trump told Larry King in a 2005 interview, according to People.
However, on a handful of occasions, Donald Trump and Melania's body language and facial expressions have shown that maybe they don't always get along.
Adding to the existing list of hair-raising, awkward moments of Donald and Melania Trump was an incident that took place while the couple was touring Saint John Paul II National Shrine in Washington DC. The video of the cringy moment went viral at the beginning of June 2020.
As the president and first lady stood and posed for the flashing cameras, Donald Trump reportedly appeared to tell his wife, "Can you please smile," according to Evening Standard.
The video shows Melania looking cold and stone-faced, showing not even an ounce of emotion when her husband was speaking to her. According to Yahoo Lifestyle, it seemed like the president was asking her to smile while they were being photographed, Suzanne Masefield, a body language expert, believes that the first lady was trying to control what she was really feeling and hid her emotions behind a poker face.
Trump asks Melania to smile during today's photo op. pic.twitter.com/B59YeDHKRM— The Recount (@therecount) June 2, 2020
"Melania shows what we call a poker face, masking her true feelings with little muscle movement in her face initially and her body is rigid," Suzanne said, adding that Melania appeared to be in the "freeze, fight or flight scenario."
Standing almost like a frozen statue next to her husband, Suzanne felt that Melania appeared to be in "a heightened state of stress."
"When her husband turns to her to speak to her, she draws in a breath, does a slight lip bite controlling her anger, followed by a facial micro-expression of disgust," the body language expert went on to say. "All is not well in their marital world going by this interaction."
While Melania was on one side with an impenetrable air of frostiness, Trump was on the other side trying to put up an "everything-is-normal" show for the cameras.
"Trump gives a fake insincere smile for the cameras that doesn’t reach his eyes, then does a tongue jut which is often shown in card players when they think they’ve got away with something," Suzanne said. "Followed by a micro-expression of contempt showing signs of overconfidence or superiority towards either his wife Melania or whatever he’s thinking about at that time. These gestures can also often be present when people have narcissistic tendencies where they believe the world revolves around them."
A couple of years ago, in May 2017, another incident also took place where Melania was seen slapping her husband's hand away while he tried to hold her hand. Yes, in public.
The first lady swatted her husband's hand away as if it were a fly when they arrived at Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion International Airport.
When body-language expert Patti Wood was asked about Melania unaffectionate response, Wood told Independent, "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.'"
The incident could have also meant that Melania was apprehensive about showing any public displays of affection during their Tel Aviv visit.
Wood said that this could be a sign of how the couple's relationship changed since the time Donald Trump stepped into the White House. Before, the First Couple's relationship was all about "high contact," Wood said and added that it was "highly sexualised, with him touching intimate zones of her body in public freely and easily, typically as he smiled and even gloated."
However, after Donald Trump got the title of being the President of the United States, things between the couple changed where Melania is seen trailing behind him while he steams ahead. "He wants to be seen as a president. Not as part of a presidential couple," Wood said.
Talking about how Melania's body language changed, Wood said that before, she would be "very loose, open and comfortable in her own skin." However, since becoming the first lady, she seems to be someone "whose shoulders go down, whose mouth turns down, who gives furtive, down-gazing looks, and who is tense, tight, small and unhappy."