Wednesday 23 August 2017

Trump's walking distance from Melania is 'a sign of disrespect,' say experts

U.S. President Donald Trump with First Lady Melania Trump and their son Barron arrive at Joint Base Andrews outside Washington, U.S., after Easter weekend in Palm Beach, Florida, April 16, 2017. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas
U.S. President Donald Trump with First Lady Melania Trump and their son Barron arrive at Joint Base Andrews outside Washington, U.S., after Easter weekend in Palm Beach, Florida, April 16, 2017. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

Donald Trump's pattern of leaving space between himself and Melania when descending the stairs of Air Force One has been analysed by an etiquette expert.

In a recent photo, the US president is pictured at the bottom of the plane's staircase, while Melania is still making her way down.

Trump's distance “could be perceived as a sign of disrespect," according to etiquette expert Jacqueline Whitmore.

“In the photographs, what we’re clearly seeing is that Donald Trump is walking not just one stair ahead, not two stairs ahead, but a few feet ahead. She’s not being accompanied by him,” Whitmore explained to The Huffington Post.

US President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama step off Air Force One hand-in-hand.. / AFP / MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
US President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama step off Air Force One hand-in-hand.. / AFP / MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

“If you look at some of the old photos of Ronald and Nancy Reagan or the Obamas, they are very close together. In other words, they’re a unit, they’re a couple, they’re engaging in this activity together.

“Whereas in this particular photo, she is clearly standing all by herself. Now it could also be a sign of self-absorption or he’s in a hurry. He’s a role model for the country, having said that - he should be modeling, I believe, a different kind of behaviour.”

Trump's puzzling relationship with Melania is always under scrutiny. It's been noted previously that the Republican party leader appears to avoid holding hands in public with the former Slovenian model.

Etiquette expert Elaine Swann, told the Huffington Post that it's down to his desire to be seen as the leader, rather than part of a unit.

"He still is a husband first before a president. Because he’s in the presence of a woman, and this woman is his spouse, he still has to make sure that he’s nurturing his relationship. And part of nurturing your relationship is the small gestures and niceties that are necessary in terms of chivalry.”

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