Melania Trump Was Quick To Do This After Landing In Florida

Former First Lady Melania Trump was never really at ease in the public eye and with good reason: She never seemed to catch a break from the mainstream press. And given her frosty relationship with the media, it shouldn't come as a surprise that when the soon-to-be former First Couple landed in Florida, the Gucci-clad Melania ignored the press and made straight for their waiting car, leaving President Donald Trump waving awkwardly to the cameras before following in her wake. One clip shared on Twitter was captioned "Melania is totally done. She already quit posing." Another social media user tweeted: "I'm pretty certain she never signed up for this POTUS crap and hated all of it. For a while I tried to feel sorry for her, but then she doubled down."

Trump had her defenders — one user posted: "Rewatched it a number of times. Looks like Trump is slightly pushing her directing her to the car. Also he says something before that. Maybe he wanted to appear alone on the final photos." Newsweek reported that the 14-second video has since been viewed over four million times on social media.

Melania Trump never caught a break, says political observer

We shouldn't be too surprised if Melania's intent was to give the press the cold shoulder. In an op-ed published online by The Hill, columnist Joe Concha maintains that no first lady had been treated more disrespectfully nor as disgracefully as Melania — and to prove it, he lined up a list of headlines covering Melania's four years at the White House, from her first Christmas spruced up with controversial, bright-red Christmas trees, to criticism over her efforts to revitalize the White House Rose Garden and the White House Tennis Pavilion.

Whether you agree with Joe Concha or not, Melania exited the White House at the end of her husband's term with the lowest favorability rating of any first lady in modern history, at 42 percent — even though her rating is much higher than that of her husband, former President Donald Trump, who came in at 33 percent (via CNN). Some of this unpopularity likely comes from being married to Donald Trump. "I think she never came out from under the shadow of her husband for a variety of reasons. The times that she attempted to define a more independent identity from him just didn't seem to have staying power," says Katherine Jellison, an Ohio University history professor (via The New York Times).

The perceived Florida press snub came with no warning

Still, there were few signs that things were going to end this way between Melania and the press. Nothing seemed amiss when just after 8 a.m. on Inauguration Day and prior to President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris' historic swearing in, the Trumps took a flight aboard Marine One to begin the first leg of their journey to their post-presidential life in Florida.

As Donald Trump stepped up to the microphone to wrap up his four years in office, he invited his wife on stage saying: "Our first lady has been a woman of great grace and beauty and dignity ... honey would you like to say a few words?" With that, Melania Trump gave her final speech as first lady, saying: "Being your first lady was my greatest honor. Thank you for your love and support. You will be in my thoughts and prayers. God bless you all, God bless your families and God bless this beautiful nation. Thank you" (via Newsweek). 

The soon-to-be former First Couple then boarded Air Force One for the last time in a journey that would take them to their new home in Palm Beach, Florida (via CNN). The Chicago Tribune reports that the couple landed at the Palm Beach International Airport more than an hour before noon, and as soon as the couple descended the steps of Air Force One, what looked like a snub played out in front of the media.

We may not see much of Melania Trump from now on

In an interview with the New York Times which went over Melania's legacy as first lady, former Trump senior adviser, Kellyanne Conway, is generous in her defense of the former first lady saying: "Melania is and will continue to be the most popular Trump. She will use her platform for the good of others. As first lady, she was fully engaged, but not overexposed. There remains a curiosity and a mystery about her."

But one society publicist, R. Couri Hay, believes Melania never really bought into the whole White House experience. "I think she was a reluctant first lady and she did it for her husband." And after she leaves Washington, "I think that you will find that she will be even less visible, and less available. Quite frankly, I think America should just let her go."