While Melania Trump's interactions with her husband Donald Trump are already under intense scrutiny due to rumours that she wants to file for divorce, a recent gesture by the first lady has added fuel to the fire.
Melania Trump and Donald Trump attended a wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery on Wednesday to mark Veterans Day. On the occasion, the first lady of the US chose to be escorted by a US soldier instead of her husband, raising speculations about an increasing rift between them.
Melania stood apart from the president during the entire ceremony, but at the same time flouted social distancing rules by arriving without a face cover and walking arm-in-arm with the serviceman, who was wearing a black face mask himself.
First daughter Ivanka Trump was also in attendance at the cemetery and had a face mask on. Vice-President Mike Pence attended the event with his wife Karen Pence, with the couple standing at a distance from each other just like the first couple, reports Daily Mail.
While Melania might have been trying to show respect for the military by the choice of her escort, her gesture is being seen as a snub by many. "Why is Melania holding onto the soldier?" a Twitter user asked, while another commented: "Melania's like, I'll hold on to this soldier, thanks."
The visit marked the first couple's first public engagement since media gave a shout out to the election for Democrat Joe Biden. However, the POTUS has refused to concede defeat while alleging voter fraud in the districts where Biden won.
Meanwhile, past claims made by an ex-aide of the president that Melania is "counting minutes" until they are out of the White House to file for divorce also resurfaced. Omarosa Manigault Newman, a former aide of 74-year-old President, had claimed that the FLOTUS has been waiting all this while since leaving Trump while he was in power could have had its repercussions.
"In my opinion, Melania is counting every minute until he is out of office and she can divorce him. If Melania were to try to pull the ultimate humiliation and leave him while he's in office, he would find a way to punish her," Newman wrote in her 2018 book "Unhinged: An Insider's Account of the Trump White House." However, Melania previously denied the claims through her spokesperson calling the book "dishonest" and "full of idle gossip."