Donald Trump: Wife Melania criticised for seemingly unenthusiastic demeanour at fundraising event

The former President held a fundraising event on Saturday which garnered a lot of attention online - and not just for the money it raised.

Melania Trump event
© Chris Jackson / Gettyimages
Melania Trump event

Melania Trump is known for keeping a low profile. While her husband, former President and businessman Donald Trump, has been facing a slew of legal challenges in recent months and running an election campaign, Melania has been notably absent from his side. Many have suggested this is because she has been dealing with the loss of her mother Amalija Knavs, but others are convinced it points to a distance in the Trump marriage.

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The former first lady was not present at an earlier fundraiser event on Friday, where she was due to pick up an award. The event took place at the family’s Mar-a-Lago estate, and Donald accepted on her behalf. Then, on Saturday, she did pitch up to another fundraiser hosted by billionaire investor and major donor John Paulson at his Palm Beach home. However, footage of the Trumps together at the event has sparked a whole lot of commentary.

Melania was unsmiling

The event raised a whopping $50.5 million, according to Trump's campaign, so it was a huge success in that respect. However, footage from the event showed Trump alongside a very unsmiling Melania. Journalist Victoria Brownworth noted on X:

Melania, who hasn't been seen in public for months, doesn't look very happy for someone who is gearing up to be First Lady again--a job we know she absolutely adored…

Ron Filipkowski, the editor-in-chief of Meidas Touch, also felt moved to comment: ‘Melania looks like she's in a hostage video tonight. Blink twice if you need help’.

Melania’s body language analysed

Body language expert Judi James - who recently weighed in on Barron Trump’s relationship with his mother and father - explained what she thinks was going on. She said that there are often 'awkward' moments between Donald and Melania:

Trump likes to play it by ear and he seems to value the odd PDA with his wife while Melania will happily stick to a more studied elegance, even swatting Trump’s proffered hand away in the past.

Indeed, this time around she did not outright refuse to hold his hand, but she certainly didn’t leap at the opportunity. James explained:

On arrival Melania’s expression is looking rather fierce and as Donald holds his hand out to clasp hers in an emphatic ‘announcement’ gesture, Melania’s hand appears to be coming out of her pocket in a delayed response suggesting she was either not expecting the hand-hold that ensued or maybe preferring to avoid it.

The event boasted a very rich guest list, including billionaire hedge fund manager Robert Mercer, his daughter Rebekah Mercer, casino mogul Steve Wynn and wife Andrea, and oil tycoon Harold Hamm. Though Trump will surely be happy with the money raised at Saturday’s event, this awkwardness with Melania has got people talking about it for the wrong reasons.

Read more:

Melania Trump has a massive personal net worth: Here's how she makes money today

Barron Trump: Donald and Melania's son has always led a lavish lifestyle

Donald Trump: Here are all the women the former President has dated and married

Sources used:

Mirror: EXCLUSIVE: Donald Trump and Melania put on 'awkward' display as former First Lady tries to 'avoid' hand-holding

Newsweek: Melania's Appearance With Donald Trump Sparks Mockery: 'Checking the Clock'

Donald Trump posts Valentine’s message to wife Melania Donald Trump posts Valentine’s message to wife Melania