US President Donald Trump greeted first lady Melania Trump with a stiff and formal handshake at a recent military event and Twitter is cringing hard over the exchange. Following an introduction by Melania, Trump came on the stage to deliver a speech to military personnel and their families at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland on Friday (15 September) - an event marking the 70th anniversary of the US Air Force.

While many leaders often embrace their spouse with a hug or kiss, Trump thanked his wife with a handshake before directing her to leave the stage and take a seat.

Meanwhile, the Internet took notice of the "weird" and "terrible" gesture, questioning what could be the reason for the awkward exchange.

While many dragged Trump over the formal handshake with his wife following the introduction, others criticised him over the "'thank you dear, now sod off' push in the back".

"Nothing says intimacy like having your husband shake your hand and then being told to go sit down," one person tweeted. Singer Nancy Sinatra wrote: "I don't know whether to laugh or cry. This is so awful."

Many people compared the latest exchange to some of Trump's earlier lengthy handshakes with other world leaders. A few discussed previous instances of awkward body language between the couple that came under scrutiny over the past few months.

"By far the most awkward husband/wife encounter I've ever witnessed," one user tweeted. "Hug her, dude!"

"The art of the deal in action," one person chimed. Another wrote: "If my hubby did this... he might need to rethink his living conditions."

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President Trump shakes hands with First Lady Melania Trump after she introduced him before his address to military personnel and families at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland. Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images