Politics

Trump Gives Melania Back Rub During Ohio Rally (Video)

| by Michael Howard
President and First Lady dance at inaugural ballPresident and First Lady dance at inaugural ball

President Donald Trump gave his wife Melania a brief back rub as she introduced him to a boisterous crowd at a campaign-style rally in Ohio (video below).

The rally took place in Youngstown on July 25 and was part of the president's "Make America Great Again" tour of the country.

The first lady was met with "U.S.A." chants as she addressed the audience on behalf of her husband. Shortly after Melania began speaking, the president could be seen moving up behind her and placing his hand on the small of her back in a rare display of public affection. He then took a step back and stood by her side for the remainder of her speech, nodding his head in approval.

"You voted for a man who has pledged to renew the American dream," the first lady told the crowd. "As president, my husband will continue to fight each and every day to ensure our security, defend our livelihoods and rebuild the foundations of fortune that have made the United States the land of opportunity."

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In the past, some of the president's gestures of intimacy toward his wife have been rebuffed, leading some to speculate that there is a lack of affection in their relationship.

During Trump's inauguration in January, several commentators pointed out that Melania appeared to be leaning away from her husband as they danced together at the inaugural ball.

"That typically says, 'I don't want to merge with you as my partner,'" body language expert Patti Wood told Mic, adding that the president was "pulling [Melania] in sexually" during the dance.

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Earlier that day, as the Trumps emerged from their car to greet the Obamas at the entrance to the White House, Mr. Trump climbed the steps and shook his predecessor's hand by himself, leaving Melania behind.

"Not only did he not wait, he went up the stairs and greeted the Obamas," Wood said of the incident. "He didn't even look back to see if [Melania] was there or help her up the stairs. He does not, as she comes to his side, hold her, greet her, bring her in close. He does a quick glance as if she was anybody and he doesn't touch her."

In March, Us Weekly reported that Mr. and Mrs. Trump sleep separately every night.

"They have separate bedrooms. They never spend the night together -- ever," one source said, while another indicated that the couple sleep in the same room but in different beds.

"Melania wants as little to do with Donald as possible," a third source told the magazine. "She is not interested in Donald, the presidency or anything involving him."

A rep for the first lady pushed back against the reports, calling them "fictional."

"It's unfortunate that you are going to feature unnamed 'sources' that have provided fictional accounts," the rep said.

Sources: James Hoft/YouTube, Mic, Us Weekly / Photo Credit: The White House/Wikimedia Commons, U.S. Army Spc. Ayla Seidel/dvidsU.S. Army Sgt. Kalie Jones/dvids

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