What to Know
- The first apparent hand swat, captured in Israel, went viral, with more than 11,000 people retweeting a tweet and 17,000 liking it
- The second was captured a day later, in Rome, as the couple prepared to descend the stairs from Air Force One
- The White House hasn't commented on the matter
The swat heard 'round the world appears to have a sequel.
A day after Melania Trump appeared to rebuff the president's hand as the couple walked down the red carpet on the tarmac at Israel's Ben-Gurion International Airport, the first lady appears to have done it again (watch it above).
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This time, it was in Rome. The president and his wife had just landed in Italy Tuesday ahead of Wednesday's planned visit with Pope Francis. They waved to those who arrived to greet them and Donald Trump reached for Melania Trump's hand as the couple prepared to walk down the stairs from Air Force One.
For the second time in 24 hours, the first lady appears to brush off her husband's hand, effortlessly reaching to brush a stray hair from her eye as she starts to walk down the stairs by herself. It wasn't clear if Melania Trump saw the gesture. The president, not seeming flustered by the move, places a hand on her back to support her.
A CNN digital editor tweeted a GIF of the Rome hand "swat" captioned, "When in Rome," shortly after 12:30 p.m. It was retweeted more than 60 times and liked more than 70 times in about 20 minutes.
The video of the rebuff in Israel, posted to Twitter by user @raggapegs, has garnered more than 11,000 retweets and 17,000 favorites since it was posted around 6:15 a.m. Monday. In that video, the couple strolls along as hundreds watch when the first lady, donning a crisp white skirt and jacket, seems to flick away the president's hand as he tried to grip hers in his own.
Some speculated Donald Trump only reached for his wife's hand after he noticed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was holding hands with his wife as the two couples walked down the red carpet together. Others suggested Donald Trump simply withdrew his hand before his wife could take it.
A later photo of the Trumps departing Israel for the Vatican showed the first couple holding hands.
The White House and representatives for Melania Trump haven't commented on the matter.