Melania Trump is one of Barack Obama's 99.6 million Twitter followers

By Tierney McAfee
February 06, 2018 01:27 PM

Melania Trump is far from the most active FLOTUS to ever take to Twitter. In fact, the first lady has 9.77 million followers on her @FLOTUS account but follows only five people.

It seems worth noting that one of them is her husband’s predecessor and longtime political target, former President Barack Obama.

British novelist Matt Haig brought this interesting tidbit to Twitter’s (and our) attention on Friday, when he tweeted: “It’s a lovely bit of husband-trolling that Melania Trump only follows five people and one of them is Barack Obama.”

The first lady also follows husband Donald Trump’s personal and presidential accounts, as well as those of Vice President Mike Pence and his wife, Karen Pence.

Credit: JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty

It’s unclear when or why Mrs. Trump started following the former president on Twitter. She has had minimal interaction with Obama. The former model accompanied her husband on his first visit to the White House as president-elect a few days after the November election, but spent the majority of her time with then-First Lady Michelle Obama while their husbands met in the Oval Office. The Obamas later welcomed the Trumps to the White House on inauguration day, where the couples sat down for a traditional cup of tea before the swearing-in ceremony at the Capitol.

From left to right: Michelle Obama, Melania Trump, Donald Trump and Barack Obama on Inauguration Day
| Credit: Kevin Dietsch/Pool via Bloomberg/Getty

Trump was a leader of the so-called birther crusade against Obama, insisting for years that the then-president was not born in the United States and demanding that he release his birth certificate. Mrs. Trump also loaned her voice to the racist birther movement, appearing on the Joy Behar Show in 2011 to back up her husband’s allegations against Obama.

“It’s not only Donald who wants to see [Obama’s birth certificate], it’s American people who voted for him and who didn’t voted for him. They want to see that,” Mrs. Trump said at the time.

With little of his typical fanfare and no apology, Trump finally acknowledged during his 2016 campaign that Obama was born in the United States. But The New York Times reported in November that Trump still privately questions the authenticity of Obama’s birth certificate.

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Over the years and as recently as last month, Trump has taken aim at Obama for his golf habits, the failure of the health care replacement bill, and his handling of the economy, trade deals, government leaks and protests, the Boston Globe said. Trump tweeted in August 2016: “President Obama will go down as perhaps the worst president in the history of the United States!”

Trump follows only 41 people from his @POTUS account, and that number does not include Obama or any other past presidents.