Donald and Melania Trump's most cringe-worthy moments

Can someone please get Melania out of there? Since the moment Donald Trump was sworn into office, the first lady seems to have maintained her constant frown just about as well as her fierce sense of style. From dodging her husband's hand-holding advances to sequestering herself in her gold-encrusted NYC penthouse long after he moved to Washington, it's unclear if this first couple actually like each other at all.

Donald and Melania Trump's marriage is a stark contrast to Barack and Michelle Obama's White House love-fest. It's not hard to argue that POTUS showed more affection to French President Emmanuel Macron than his own wife (in his defense, at least Macron kissed him back.) Part of this undeniable tension could be that Melania didn't really know what she was getting into (something she admitted in a 2016 GQ interview) or maybe it's the alleged porn star hush money and the creepy comments Trump lobs at his own daughter. Either way, it's awkward as heck.

At the very heart of it, the infamous couple seems like polar opposites: she's dignified and reserved, while he's the kind of guy that boasts about groping women and antagonizes foreign dictators on social media. That's not to say opposites don't attract, and a big fortune can can help dull even the worst qualities in a person. But is it enough? Here's a run-down of Donald and Melania Trump's most cringe-worthy moments. Just when you think things can't get weirder, they do.

Melania looked less than thrilled on Inauguration Day

Melania support of her husband's new career path has been subject to tons of speculation. In the scathing White House tell-all Fire & Fury, author Michael Wolff writes that Melania cried "tears — and not of joy" after finding out about her husband's unexpected win. 

This is something that was vehemently denied by Stephanie Grisham, the first lady's communications director. She swore Melania encouraged Donald to run in the first place and was "very happy" with the election's outcome. Strangely enough, during the actual inauguration, Mrs. Trump looked anything but. 

Melania's morose expression was so obvious that the internet rushed to her aid with the hashtag #FreeMelania. In a clip that launched a thousand divorce rumors, FLOTUS grinned at POTUS only to immediately frown the moment he turned back around.

Naturally, that scowl could have a very reasonable explanation. Maybe she was bored out of her mind (only a small handful of people bothered to show up that day.) Maybe she was reeling from the fact that her son, Barron, totally snubbed her high-five. Maybe she cut down on carbs to maintain her model figure and felt a little hangry (how many carbs are in a dozen Diet Cokes?) Melania loves her husband very much and was thrilled to be there, okay?

Their Inauguration Day dance was beyond awkward

Melania Trump spent the better portion of the inauguration staring into a meaningless abyss of self-doubt (or at least it looked that way to us.) By this point in the night, Donald Trump had already ditched her to greet the Obamas. She had to suffer through an awkward greeting with Michelle, who seemed less than thrilled about her gift from Tiffany's, and her own son left her hanging on a high-five (are you even a mom if your tween kid doesn't snub you?) Our sympathies to the first lady, especially considering how things went after "The Donald" was sworn in.

During the first dance, the newly inaugurated POTUS appears noticeably stiff while Melania looks straight-up miserable. He's pulling her in at the waist and she's leaning back like a house cat who's totally over being pet. According to a body language expert who spoke to the Mic, that analogy may not be too far off. "Melania is an object to [Trump]," said Susan Constantine. "I don't see any warmth or true love and compassion in that relationship whatsoever."

To the Trumps' credit, it may have just been difficult to groove romantically along to Frank Sinatra's "My Way" in front of the world. Why does the first couple have to know how to dance, anyway?

Melania slapped Trump's hand away in Israel

Things didn't get less awkward when the first couple jetted over to Israel to meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and discuss moving the U.S. Embassy. We're not exactly sure what went down on Air Force on the way there, but Melania clearly wasn't feeling very affectionate toward her husband by the time they landed.

The incident went down as Netanyahu and his wife — who were holding hands — escorted President Trump and Melania across the red carpet. Trump reached out to grab the first lady's hand, and she swiftly smacked it away.

This was just one of a few cringe-worthy moments during the Trumps' trip to the Middle East. After the quick snub, Melania went on to give a misguided speech about "work life" balance to Saudi women, who, as a whole, weren't even legally allowed to drive at the time. The Trump camp also bizarrely posed around some sort of crystal ball — and everyone knows uplighting doesn't make for a very flattering photo-op.

Did she pretend to fix her hair to avoid holding hands?

It's a classic move: pretend to fix your hair to avoid having to touch someone you don't want to. Nervous teenagers testing the dating waters have been doing it for centuries, and apparently, so has Melania Trump.

The first lady appears to put forth a great deal of effort to avoid holding Donald Trump's hand. She snubbed him during their first overseas trip and did it again when they landed in Rome. This time, she brushed her tousled brunette mane out of her face to perhaps save herself the grief of showing her husband public affection. To be totally fair, a first lady's hair is of the utmost importance, and maybe she didn't see the president's tiny hand bidding for her attention. There was a lot going on in that moment.

According to a member of the president's inner circle who spoke to Vanity Fair, her perceived coldness isn't a diss. Melania reportedly prefers to step back and let her husband have the spotlight. Of course, the internet wasn't kind about Melania's perceived snub and the #SaveMelania hashtags resurfaced like so many cockroaches.

Let's just shake on it

It's true: your husband is supposed to be your life partner, but does that mean he's also your business partner? That appears to be the case for Donald Trump, who greeted his wife with the firm handshake of a fellow colleague.

By the time POTUS arrived with his wife at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland, Melania had already made it pretty clear that she's not into PDA. It seems the president finally got the memo, because he greeted the first lady with a handshake and awkwardly nudged her off stage after she introduced him to the crowd.

The encounter was so strange that Twitter erupted with commentary. One user claimed this incident was "by far the most awkward husband/wife encounter" they'd ever witnessed; another said, "Nothing says I love you [to] my wife like a firm handshake and false pleasantries." Others questioned if Donald and Melania actually know each other at all.

The prez finally lands the hand, and he's grateful for it

We imagine the conversation going something like this: "Melania, you're embarrassing me. Please, just hold my hand in front of the cameras when we get out there. Please. Just for a second." While we're certainly not behind the closed doors of Donald and Melania Trump's alleged separate bedrooms, it appeared that FLOTUS finally appeased her husband's hand-holding advances during the State Arrival Ceremony in April 2018 — if only for a moment.

The first couple posed for a photo-op next to French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife, Brigitte, who slinked her fingers around her husband's hand as he reached out to meet her half-way. Melania, on the other hand, was dazzling in a fierce white hat and could not be bothered. The president reached out to grab her hand, and she eventually took it without even giving him a glance. According to the Daily Mail, he then "mouthed an exaggerated 'thank you.'" As soon as the couple completed the photo op, Melania appeared to let go of Donald's grip and proceed to trail behind him. President Macron and Brigitte remained side-by-side for a bit.

Again, Melania appeared totally thrilled to be there next to her beloved husband — thrilled.

Her Wicked Witch of the West Wing holiday vibe

Some say Melania is in a cold, loveless marriage, but what if that's just her personal aesthetic? If you're going by her Christmas decorations — which Vox described as a "nightmare pulled straight out of a horror movie" — that seems like the case.

The first lady is impossibly chic, even if her style isn't exactly the epitome of holiday cheer. It's not totally her fault. She didn't ask to be stuck in the White House on Christmas. In fact, Melania said she'd most like to spend the holidays "on a deserted island" with her family. With this in mind, it's not really surprising she chose an elegant, understated palette — a palette that transformed into a hellscape ripped straight from The Forest (that flick where the cursed forest murders literally everyone.)

Melania's take on Christmas in the White House was a far cry from the Obama's cozy, classic decorations. Instead of stringing the hallway with garland and warm, twinkling lights, she opted for uplit bushels of stark white branches. The final results garnered her comparisons to the White Witch (that terrifying woman in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe that lures kids into a wintry nightmare) and also the Demogorgon-spawning demon from Stranger Things. Others compared the FLOTUS stoicly watching the various Nutcracker-inspired Ballerinas to Black Swan and The Ring.

There's probably one thing we can all agree on. It certainly wasn't tacky.

Remember when his alleged affair with a porn star messed up their anniversary?

More than a decade of marriage is something to celebrate — but not for the Trumps. Their 13th wedding anniversary came and went with little fanfare. Perhaps the couple is just superstitious (do Trump hotels have a 13th floor?) or maybe Melania was absolutely furious.

The Trumps reportedly intended to spend their anniversary weekend at a posh resort in the Swiss Alps that was hosting the World Economic Forum, at which the president was scheduled to speak. Those plans were made before The Wall Street Journal dropped a bombshell news report claiming Donald paid porn star Stormy Daniels $130,000 to remain quiet about an affair. They allegedly had a sexual encounter in July 2006, shortly after Melania gave birth to Barron Trump. Soon after the story broke, CNN confirmed that Melania had cancelled her trip to Sweden due to "scheduling and logistical issues." The president attended the event alone.

Did Melania throw some shade at her husband on his Inauguration Day anniversary?

On the Obamas' 25th anniversary, the former president gushed about his wife by tweeting that he "married the love of [his] life and [his] best friend." The lovey-dovey statement sent fuzzy feelings to admirers across the nation. On the flip-side, there was nothing warm and fuzzy about the Trumps' 13th anniversary. Jan. 22, 2018 came and went without the POTUS and FLOTUS making public statements of affection. Hey, maybe that's just not their style. 

We do have to give Melania some credit: Two days before the big day, Melania did take the opportunity to reflect on her time as first lady. The strange thing — you'd never know her husband had anything to do with it. Melania tweeted a photo of her with her hunky military escort on Inauguration Day along with this message: "This has been a year filled with many wonderful moments. I've enjoyed the people I've been lucky enough to meet throughout our great country & the world."

Was this some subtle shade? By the looks of it, those wonderful moments didn't include her husband — the person who was actually inaugurated on Inauguration Day. Yikes!

She rode to the State of the Union solo

Amidst the Stormy Daniels drama, Melania Trump didn't limit her reported shade-throwing to Twitter posts and cancelled anniversary plans. Nope, the first lady also opted to travel solo to her husband's State of the Union Address on Jan. 30, 2018. In fact, the couple had not been publicly seen together since New Years Eve.

Though the State of the Union address is given just a few minutes away from the White House, the first couple reportedly took separate cars, reported CNN. Melania rode with some guests she invited, who joined her in a special box. She arrived just one minute before the president's speech was supposed to begin.

Even more curious, Melania opted to wear a white pantsuit to the event. The year prior, Democratic congressional members donned white in protest of President Trump's policies. Maybe the first lady has joined the resistance, but more likely, cream may be one of her wardrobe-staples. Either way, she looked stunning.

According to Press Secretary Sarah Sanders, there was nothing shady about Melania's separate ride. She reportedly took her own car out of convenience. Plus, she wanted to greet guests, and the president needed to go straight inside.

He dropped the ball on her birthday

Donald Trump has made a name for himself by telling it like it is (or just saying whatever the heck is on his mind without really thinking about it.) This produced a rather cringe-worthy interview when he took his "executive time" to call into Fox & Friends in late April 2018. The interview was shocking for a few reasons — the terrified looks from the anchors as they nervously tried to push him off-air; the way he may have incriminated himself in legal matters; and the moemnt he totally admitted that he forgot to get Melania a birthday present.

"…I better not get into that because I may get in trouble," he said about his birthday gift to his third wife. "Maybe I didn't get her so much. I tell you what, she has done — I got her a beautiful card. You know, I'm very busy to be running out looking for presents, okay! But I got her a beautiful card and some beautiful flowers."

This begs the question: What's worse? The wrath of a wife whose birthday you forgot or implicating yourself in an ongoing criminal investigation? Only one of those things can be lawyered around.

He joked that Melania will be the next staffer to leave him

Donald Trump clung to his reality TV catchphrase, "You're fired," long after The Apprentice was cancelled. Trump's presidency has become notorious for its high turnover rate. As of May 2018, more than 30 staff members have reportedly been fired, forced out, quit, or retired, and it seems like the world is always speculating about who's next.

It could be Melania. According to W magazine, the president riffed on the fact that Melania looks miserable in an overwhelming amount of public appearances. "I like turnover. I like chaos. It really is good," he said. "Now the question everyone keeps asking is, 'Who is going to be the next to leave? Steve Miller or Melania?'"

Basically, joking about how the general public thinks your wife hates you is as awkward as expected — especially considering the notoriously private FLOTUS was apparently offended.

She finally cracked a smile...with Obama...at a funeral

Melania may be very serious and reserved by nature, but that doesn't mean she never lets loose. The first lady cracked a rare smile at Barbara Bush's funeral (in her husband's absence) — and the irony was not lost on the internet.

President Trump did not attend the service, but Melania was there to pay her respects. Instead of sitting by herself, the first lady sat next to Barack and Michelle Obama. This is awkward in itself, when you consider the fact that her husband supported a campaign promoting the conspiracy theory that President Obama's birth certificate was fake. It's even more awkward when you realize Melania looked happier and more relaxed with the Obamas than she had in months appearing alongside her husband.

Online audiences adored Melania's perceived rare reprieve of misery. One Twitter user quipped: "Melania looks happier at a funeral than she has in ages." Even Hillary Clinton adviser Philippe Reines took the time to tell the internet that the first lady allegedly "ALWAYS" used to smile in photos, yet this is the "first smile on her in years." He added, "That's a woman craving distance from a monster being reminded what dignity looks like." Sheesh.

Donny's death-grip

Donald Trump has spent a few unfortunate public outings reaching for Melania Trump's hand. Remember when she swiftly pulled it away to brush back her hair, or when she straight-up gave him that infamous little swat? Needless to say, he hasn't had the best luck with public displays of affection, but that changed in the summer of 2018, amidst the growing number of protesters preparing for the couple's visit to the UK.

According to People, Trump managed to finally grab his wife's hand as they crossed the White House lawn to board Marine One in July 2018. No, their fingers weren't interlocked like teenagers in love, and no, it wasn't a light and airy caress. It was the sort of open-faced, practical hand-hold one might use with their grandmother, but it was a handhold nonetheless. 

Melania don't care

Melania Trump is a woman of great style — and sometimes that style is affordable. Her $39 Zara jacket was a break from her typical designer duds and caused quite the stir. If only she had chosen a different day to wear a military-inspired parka that read "I really don't care, do you?" 

According to Vox, Melania donned the jacket at Andrews Air Force base in Maryland on a very hot day. She was reportedly on her way to visit migrant children at the Texas-Mexico border amidst the public outrage for Trump's "zero tolerance" family separation policy. Though she removed the jacket before her arrival in Texas, the first lady gave press a clear view of the text. Her unfortunate choice of timing made it seem like she was referring to the more than 2,000 migrant children separated from their families at the border. Don't worry, though: Donald Trump made sure to clear things up. 

According to ABC News, a spokesperson for Melania claimed there was "no hidden message" in her sartorial choice, but the president took to Twitter to claim his wife's jacket referred to the "Fake News Media. Melania has learned how dishonest they are, and she truly no longer cares!"

Is Melania trolling her husband?

In May 2018, Melania launched an anti-bullying campaign called "Be Best." According to CNN, the initiative was meant to stomp out cyberbullying, an issue plaguing children in today's social media-driven society. Many were quick to point out that it's an issue also plaguing Trump's administration, and her husband was the one dishing it out.

While Melania warned against "destructive and harmful" uses of social media, her husband was making news for calling former White House staffer Omarosa Manigault Newman "that dog" and a "crazed, crying lowlife." The dichotomy prompted CNN to ask if the first lady was "trolling" her husband.

Melania pushed forward in August 2018 with a #BeBest tweet asking followers how they plan to be the best version of themselves in the upcoming school year. Her message was met with immense criticism. One user urged her to begin her campaign "with your family at home" and another asked, "Did you mean to tweet that to [Donald Trump]?" At this point, the whole campaign felt really cringe-worthy.

Keep your enemies close, and your in-laws closer

Things got awkward in August 2018 when Melania Trump's parents were sworn in as U.S. citizens using a policy that Donald Trump has vehemently denounced. We know in-laws can be pretty annoying, but this takes the whole thing to a new level.

Donald has spent a large swath of his presidency championing against illegal immigration and enacting a zero tolerance policy. According to The New York Times, he also set his sights on legal immigration, more specifically, what he considers "chain migration." According to CBS News, "family reunification," as it's officially called, allows adult green card holders and legal U.S. residents to sponsor a family member for immigration — the way Melania reportedly sponsored her parents.

Trump has been extremely vocal about his distaste for the current family reunification policy. In November 2017, when Melania's parents were going through the immigration process, he tweeted: "Chain migration must end now! Some people come in, and they bring their whole family with them, who can be truly evil." C'mon now, that's no way to talk about your in-laws.

FLOTUS is flying to Africa solo

In August 2018, the first lady announced her first major solo international trip aside from a brief stop-over to Toronto where she hung out with Prince Harry. Where did she plan to go for this notable first? The same nation her husband reportedly slammed as a "sh**hole" country — awkward!

According to The Standard, the focus of Melania Trump's trip to Africa is to learn more about struggles endured by youth. The journey corresponds with her continued focus on children's well-being and her "Be Best" campaign. Melania is expected to make the trip without her husband in tow, but does anyone believe he would actually want to go anyway?

A few months prior to Melania's travel announcement, the president reportedly referred to Haiti, El Salvador and Africa as "sh**hole countries" while discussing a bipartisan immigration deal, according to The Washington Post. (Need we mention that Africa is a continent; not a country.) Donald supposedly wants more immigrants from Norway and nations like it.

Looks like Melania is a Lakers fan

Donald Trump and Melania Trump certainly do not present a united front when it comes to the president's many beefs. In fact, she praised NBA superstar LeBron James for his charity work less than 24 hours after Trump attacked the famous baller on Twitter.

According to CNN, the drama was sparked when newsman Don Lemon interviewed James about his contributions to his hometown of Akron, Ohio, including a public school the basketball player helped launch for at-risk third and fourth graders. The conversation ebbed toward the topic of Trump, and James revealed that he believes the president has tried to use sports to divide Americans. The president then tweeted that Lemon was "the dumbest man on television" and made "Lebron look smart."

Less than 24 hours after Trump slammed the NBA star's intelligence, a spokeswoman for the first lady praised James' charity work, saying, "It looks like LeBron James is working to do good things on behalf of our next generation and just as she always has, the first lady encourages everyone to have an open dialogue about issues facing children today." Look at Melania being her best.

At least one of the Trumps enjoys national parks

Donald Trump has been at odds with the National Park Service since the beginning of his presidency. According to The Washington Post, nearly the entirety of the National Park Service advisory panel resigned in frustration over his administration. Think Progress reported that POTUS proposed slashing nearly 2,000 park rangers at a time when park visitation was at an all-time high. Trump also announced plans to shrink Bears Ears National Monument by nearly 85 percent –  the largest monument reduction in U.S. history. According to CNN, the Trump admin also temporarily shut down the National Park Service Twitter account after it allegedly depicted the size of the crowd at Trump's inauguration in an unfavorable light. In other words: NPS and DJT don't get along.

But then there's Melania Trump. On the 102nd anniversary of the National Park Service, Melania tweeted a photo and a special birthday message, thanking the service for its "commitment to this country." In the photo, she posed with members of the park service. Her husband was nowhere in sight.

Remembering John McCain

Donald Trump has had a notoriously tumultuous relationship with Sen. John McCain, whose famous thumbs down helped topple Trump's plans for an Obamacare repeal. And who can forget the time Trump reportedly declared that the Arizona senator was "not a war hero." According to Politico, McCain spent more than five years in a North Vietnamese prison camp during the Vietnam war. He was brutally tortured, but refused an early release because he didn't think it was fair to the other prisoners who'd been there longer than he had. In Trump's words: "[McCain] was a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren't captured."

When McCain passed away from brain cancer in August 2018, the White House reportedly drafted a statement for Trump which heralded the senator as a "hero" — but that statement was never released, reported CNN. Instead, Trump opted for a short tweet that focused on the late senator's family. Only after being met with intense criticism, did Trump appear to concede, issuing a lengthier statement that praised McCain for his service and ordered flags to be hung at half mast. With the notable exception of the White House, other important locations had already lowered the flags, according to The New York Times.

Melania Trump, however, promptly honored Sen. McCain, uttering the very words her husband seemed so loathe to speak. "Thank you Senator McCain for your service to the nation," she tweeted

The curious case of Melania's online friends

Donald Trump's rivalry with Barack Obama began long before the billionaire was eyeing a presidential bid. Trump has criticized the former president for playing basketball when "our country is in trouble" and championed a conspiracy theory that claimed Obama wasn't an American citizen. 

When Trump succeeded Obama, he promptly began trying to overturn some of his predecessor's most notable policies, reported Essence. It's not clear if the president simply disagrees with Obama's policies or has a personal vendetta against the man — Trump reportedly even sought to overturn legislation that banned killing wolf pups in their dens. Whatever the reason, the first lady doesn't appear to share the same sentiment.

From the outside, at least, it looks like Melania Trump may be chummier with Obama online than she is with her own husband. (She opted not to publicly acknowledge her husband on his birthday or spend the day with him.) Donald's accounts make up two of the six she follows on Twitter. The others belong to the White House Historical Association, Mike and Karen Pence, and Barack Obama. Curiously enough, Obama is the only person Melania follows who is not involved in the current administration. Is this a quiet revolt or is she trolling?

They tag-teamed the birther conspiracy theory

Melania appears to have a pretty good relationship with the Obamas, but before serving in the White House, she helped her husband champion what's arguably the most insane of all Obama conspiracy theories: the birther conspiracy.

In 2011, Melania went on The Joy Behar Show to defend her husband's claim that Obama wasn't born in the United States, despite the fact that he released his short-form birth certificate in 2008. The future first lady claimed she and Donald felt like the short-form birth certificate released by the White House was different than an actual birth certificate. "It's not only Donald who wants to see it," she said. "It's American people who voted for him and who didn't vote for him. They want to see that."

About a week later, the White House released Obama's long-form birth certificate, which clearly showed he was born in the state of Hawaii. Years later, Donald finally admitted Obama was born in America, but he allegedly continued to peddle the conspiracy privately, according to The New York Times