The minor moment only attracted notice because the first lady has seemingly not always responded well to her husband's overtures

By Adam Carlson
June 03, 2019 07:20 AM
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While President Donald Trump is set to make all kinds of headlines during a three-day state visit to the U.K. this week, sharp-eyed trip observers quickly noted a small but heavily scrutinized dynamic between him and the first lady when they arrived Monday:

They held hands.

President Trump took wife Melania Trump‘s hand after they landed at London’s Stansted Airport.

The minor moment only attracted notice because the first lady has seemingly not always responded well to her husband’s overtures.

In 2017, she infamously appeared to swat his hand away when he reached out for it while they were traveling in Israel, and subsequent interactions between the couple were obsessively watched on social media. (The two had another awkward interaction last spring in France but were conspicuously seen holding hands multiple times last year.)

Curiosity about the Trump marriage has flared in the past, as when multiple women accused him of being unfaithful. The president denied those allegations.

Omarosa Manigault Newman, the former Apprentice villain who was later fired from the Trump White House, claimed in a book last year that she believes Mrs. Trump is “counting every minute until he is out of office and she can divorce him.”

The first lady’s spokeswoman told PEOPLE at the time: “Mrs. Trump rarely, if ever, interacted with Omarosa. It’s disappointing to her that she is lashing out and retaliating in such a self-serving way, especially after all the opportunities given to her by the President.”

From left: First Lady Melania Trump and President Donald Trump hold hands after arriving in London on Monday for a state visit
Leon Neal/Getty
From left: First Lady Melania Trump and President Donald Trump arrive in London on Monday morning for their first U.K. state visit
Leon Neal/Getty

Mrs. Trump said in an interview last year that she was not fazed by such talk.

“It is not a concern and focus of mine,” she told ABC News. “I’m a mother and a first lady and I have much more important things to think about and to do. I know people like to speculate and the media like to speculate about our marriage.”

“It’s not always pleasant, of course,” Mrs. Trump said. “But I know what is right and what is wrong and what is true or not true.”