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What Is Going On In Donald Trumps Marriage

May 28, 2024
Donald Trump's marriage to Melania Knavs, a Slovenian-born former model, was the subject of public scrutiny long before he moved into the White House
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Not Now, Donald!

Not now, Donald! 1
Not now, Donald!

In May 2017, President Donald Trump embarked on his first foreign visit since taking office, and the trip produced so many viral moments, social media could barely keep up. There was the much-memed glowing orb, the questionable bow, and an awkward sword dance, but none of those moments come close to "the swat" seen 'round the world.

The Daily Beast reminded us that Melania also refused to hold Trump's hand when they arrived in Washington, D.C. for the inauguration. Is she trying to tell us something, or is she just not into middle-school PDA?

According To Melania And Donald Trump, Their Marriage Is Perfect

According to Melania and Donald Trump, their marriage is perfect 2
According to Melania and Donald Trump, their marriage is perfect

Given enough time, even the most perfect couple will eventually have a fight, but according to the Trumps, this has never happened to them.

Donald Trump echoed that claim to talk show host Larry King. "We literally have never had an argument; forget about the word 'fight.' We never even had an argument. We just are very compatible. We get along," he said.

Donald Trump's Political Ambitions Used To Be A Turn Off For Melania

Donald Trump's political ambitions used to be a turn off for Melania 3
Donald Trump's political ambitions used to be a turn off for Melania

In January of 2000, Donald Trump confirmed to The New York Times that he and Melania Knavs had split, and he did it in the most Donald Trump way possible: surrounded by models at a Miss U.S.A pageant party.

The aforementioned episode was actually their second split. According to Melania's friend and former roommate, fashion photographer Matthew Atanian, Donald and Melania had a falling out very early in their relationship. "She had some trust issues with him at the beginning ... She kept her apartment to have her own space because of this," Atanian said. They only stayed apart for a few months, but if accusations of infidelity and Donald's political aspirations are still any kind of sticking point, this couple may be in for a rocky road ahead.

Grab Them By The What?

Grab them by the what? 4
Grab them by the what?

There have been multiple occasions where Melania Trump has found herself trying to explain away her husband's unsavory comments. There was, of course, the time when she released a statement to denounce his infamous Access Hollywood scandal: "The words my husband used are unacceptable and offensive to me. This does not represent the man that I know."

But that's really just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Trump's chats with the so-called King of all Media. In September 2017, recordings from multiple interviews with Stern were published on Factbase (via Independent), revealing a slew of "locker room" style conversations between the future president and radio star.

Donald Trump's Inauguration Didn't Give A Great First Impression Of His Marriage

Donald Trump's inauguration didn't give a great first impression of his marriage 5
Donald Trump's inauguration didn't give a great first impression of his marriage

You've seen that GIF that tore across the internet on the day of the inauguration ceremony the one in which Melania Trump smiles sweetly when Donald Trump turns to look at her, only to instantly transform when he turns back around. That was just one of many bizarre couple moments that occurred that day.

And, of course, probably the biggest "WTF!" moment was when they arrived at the White House to be greeted by the Obamas. Trump bounded out of the car and went right up the steps, leaving Melania to walk around the back of the vehicle and up the steps on her own. This was the first impression the new POTUS and FLOTUS made to the millions watching at home. While each incident can easily be chalked up to nervousness, some serious questions about their relationship have emerged.

Is Theirs A Marriage Of Convenience?

Is theirs a marriage of convenience? 6
Is theirs a marriage of convenience?

According to Vanity Fair, Donald Trump met Melania Trump ne Knavs in 1998 at a party he attended with another date, Norwegian cosmetics heiress Celina Midelfart. While Midlefart was in the bathroom, Donald reportedly gave Melania his number, and they connected a few days later.

"She ran into Donald just at the right time. She was just about out of money, at the end of her rope and about to move back to Eastern Europe," a source told the New York Post.

Donald Trump Calls Melania Trump 'Jackie O On Steroids'

Donald Trump calls Melania Trump 'Jackie O on steroids' 7
Donald Trump calls Melania Trump 'Jackie O on steroids'

Melania Trump is one of the few first ladies in the history of the presidency to delay moving into the White House. The Trumps made it clear they wanted their son, Barron Trump, to be able to finish school in New York without interruption, yet questions remain about the level of involvement Melania will assume in the East Wing.

Scrutiny over Melania's role as FLOTUS intensified after Donald's daughter, Ivanka Trump, assumed an official role as special adviser to the president, creating much speculation that Ivanka could be the one performing duties typically reserved for the first lady.

Donald Trump's Long Distance Marriage Cost Taxpayers A Ton

Donald Trump's long distance marriage cost taxpayers a ton 8
Donald Trump's long distance marriage cost taxpayers a ton

We already mentioned how Melania Trump put off her move to Washington, D.C., but it should also be noted that the effort and expense involved in doing so has raised eyebrows. According to The Hill, it costs "between $127,000 and $146,000 a day for the New York Police Department (NYPD) to protect [Melania] and her son," which resulted in a total cost of $24 million between Election Day and Inauguration Day alone, according to NYPD officials. Public outcry over the exorbitant expense prompted a petition demanding FLOTUS either move to the White House or foot her own security bill.

Donald Trump's Marriage Doesn't Include Sharing A Bed

Donald Trump's marriage doesn't include sharing a bed 9
Donald Trump's marriage doesn't include sharing a bed

We admit this one has to be viewed as pure speculation, but in light of all the other obvious weirdness in the Trumps' marriage, we're willing to consider the relatively benign claim that they don't share a bed, which is, honestly, a pretty common practice among many couples. Anyway, according to "multiple sources" for Us Weekly, Melania Trump "refuses to share a bed with Donald even on the rare occasions when they sleep in the same city." One insider described the practice as being "very royal of them," in an obvious attempt to put a positive spin on the story.

Donald Trump Is A Hands Off Dad

Donald Trump is a hands-off dad 10
Donald Trump is a hands-off dad

Part of Melania Trump's independence apparently includes fielding most of the parenting responsibilities to raise Barron Trump.

It's not as if Melania was blindsided by Donald Trump's "relaxed" attitude toward being a dad. In 2005, pre-Barron, the real estate mogul sat next to his new bride on Larry King Live and said, "Look, Larry, the way I look at it, there's nothing like a good marriage and there's nothing like having children. I have four great children. If you have the money, having children is great. Now, I know Melania. I'm not going to be doing the diapers. I'm not going to be making the food. I may never even see the kids. She will be an unbelievable mother. I'll be a good father."

Being Married To Donald Trump Includes Defending Him Against Ugly Accusations

Being married to Donald Trump includes defending him against ugly accusations 11
Being married to Donald Trump includes defending him against ugly accusations

It is clear that Melania Trump is willing to stand up for her husband, even in the face of some of his more disturbing controversies. But in the case of People reporter Natasha Stoynoff's accusations of sexual assault against Donald Trump, Melania's defense left some big questions unanswered. Stoynoff alleged that in 2005, she was interviewing the Trumps when a then-pregnant Melania left her alone with Donald. Stoynoff says he pushed her against a wall and shoved his tongue down her throat.

Did Melania decline to comment on the rest of the story because she believed the alleged assault happened, or did she simply not have the legal grounds to discuss it since she wasn't in the room at the time? Either conclusion potentially speaks volumes about Melania's responses to her husband's controversies.

Dr. Jekyll And Mrs. Trump

Dr. Jekyll and Mrs. Trump 12
Dr. Jekyll and Mrs. Trump

Former Mar-a-Lago butler Anthony Senecal may have inadvertently given us a peek behind the carefully managed curtain that is the Trump marriage when he tried to pay a compliment to Melania Trump.

If Senecal's story is true, it suggests Melania may be stifling her true personality to appease Donald. Granted, these are the claims of a former employee, and hey, if it works for her, who are we to say she's unhappy?

Donald Trump Reminds Melania Trump Of Someone

Donald Trump reminds Melania Trump of someone 13
Donald Trump reminds Melania Trump of someone

This is probably the weirdest item on this list, and it's courtesy of a GQ profile that boldly dug up dirt on Viktor Knavs, Melania Trump's dad. GQ discovered that Knavs is only five years older than Donald Trump and actually bears a resemblance to him in both looks and attire.

As for the paternal comparison, Melania is characteristically flattering. "They're both hardworking. They're both very smart and very capable. They grew up in totally different environments, but they have the same values, they have the same tradition. I myself am similar to my husband. Do you understand what I mean? So is my dad; he is a family man, he has tradition, he was hardworking. So is my husband," she said.

Is Melania Trump A Real Life Claire Underwood?

Is Melania Trump a real-life Claire Underwood? 14
Is Melania Trump a real-life Claire Underwood?

In an interview with GQ, Melania Trump said "nobody will ever know" her political views because "that's between me and my husband." But according to Politico, these so-called secret political chats have had a major influence on how Donald Trump runs his administration. Sources told the political blog that she has taken on the role of "private watchdog," actively scanning cable news and other outlets in order to keep her husband updated on how he's being perceived by the public. The first lady has also reportedly grown concerned about the constant leaks allegedly coming from White House staffers, leading some to believe she's instrumental in managing the president's inner circle.

Does Donald Trump's Marriage Have Special Protection From The Tabloids?

Does Donald Trump's marriage have special protection from the tabloids? 15
Does Donald Trump's marriage have special protection from the tabloids?

Almost no celebrity couple is immune to the occasional tabloid headline, but when Donald Trump threw his hat into the ring for the presidency, the supermarket checkout was noticeably quiet about his marriage. According to Politico, this may have a lot to do with Trump's close relationship to AMI owner David Pecker, the man whose media empire owns the National Enquirer, the Globe, the National Examiner, and Radar Online. Trump and Pecker worked together in the '90s on Trump Style, "a magazine for guests of the Trump properties, when Pecker was a magazine executive at Hachette Filipacchi Magazines," and the two have remained close ever since, reported Politico.

As this writing, celebrity gossip tabloid Us Weekly has also been purchased by Trump-friendly AMI, so whether or not you believe the stories printed in the scandal sheets about famous couples, it looks like even fairly innocuous headlines, like this one, could become a thing of the past.

Donald Trump Seems Oblivious To His Own Marriage At Times

Donald Trump seems oblivious to his own marriage at times 16
Donald Trump seems oblivious to his own marriage at times

We've already covered POTUS and FLOTUS's strangely stiff appearance during the inauguration festivities, as well as several high-profile head-scratching moments regarding the nature of their intimacy since the election. And yet, it seems President Trump either wasn't paying attention or just can't help being awkward around his wife on the world stage.

According to The Sun, Donald's attackers quickly jumped at the idea that he wasn't even aware that his wife was standing right beside him, while his defenders offered him the benefit of the doubt, saying he was likely just "saying that she felt strongly about making the trip with him," and that he is "just awkward with words." Either way, that could have made for a long, silent Air Force One ride back to the White House.

A 'stormy' Accusation

A 'stormy' accusation 17
A 'stormy' accusation

According to a report in The Wall Street Journal (via The Cut), Donald Trump's longtime personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, allegedly paid adult film star Stephanie Clifford (aka Stormy Daniels) "$130,000 as part of a nondisclosure agreement" in exchange for her silence regarding an alleged year-long affair she had with Trump in 2006. It should be noted right up front that Trump, his lawyer, and a written (but as yet unverified) statement from Daniels all deny the accusations of any such affair.

Trump and Daniels supposedly first met at a "celebrity golf tournament" in July 2006, which would have been eight months after Trump married Melania and four months after Barron was born, meaning if these accusations are true ... no further commentary needed, right?

Anniversaries Don't Seem To Be A Big Deal In Donald Trump's Marriage

Anniversaries don't seem to be a big deal in Donald Trump's marriage 18
Anniversaries don't seem to be a big deal in Donald Trump's marriage

The aforementioned Wall Street Journal report was published Jan. 12, 2018. Melania and Donald Trump got married Jan. 22, 2005, meaning their 13th anniversary gift from the WSJ was a big old box of awkward. Perhaps not coincidentally, CNN reported that the big day "came and went with no tweets, no Instagrams, no mention of a private dinner on the President's schedule."

"The first couple did not celebrate their 12th anniversary together last year the first lady returned to New York at the end of a jam-packed inaugural weekend," CNN also reported. Oh, alrighty then.

A High Profile Absence Raised Questions About Their Marriage

A high-profile absence raised questions about their marriage 19
A high-profile absence raised questions about their marriage

Not only did the Trumps have a lowkey (and perhaps icy) anniversary in the wake of the Stormy Daniels story, they also sent up some marriage red flags when Melania suddenly dropped out of a planned visit to Davos, Switzerland for the president's attendance at the World Economic Forum. In a statement to CNN, Melania's communications director cited "scheduling and logistical issues" as the reason for the first lady's change of plans.

What Did Fire And Fury Reveal About Donald Trump's Marriage?

What did Fire and Fury reveal about Donald Trump's marriage? 20
What did Fire and Fury reveal about Donald Trump's marriage?

Michael Wolff's controversial book, Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House, ignited a firestorm of its own with alleged insider accounts of all kinds of turmoil within the executive branch, but Wolff told Real Time host Bill Maher that amid all the intense media scrutiny the book has received, the press has overlooked one of the slightly obscured but juiciest bits of dirt: allusion to an alleged affair Donald Trump is currently having.

Granted, this is a salacious accusation by a man who's got everything to gain by keeping this gravy train rolling for as long as possible. That said, we're not too confident the Trumps' 14th anniversary is going to play out much different than the past few.

Body Language Experts Have Some Thoughts About Donald Trump's Marriage

Body language experts have some thoughts about Donald Trump's marriage 21
Body language experts have some thoughts about Donald Trump's marriage

The trend of media outlets hiring body language experts didn't stop with the inauguration. In fact, almost every time the president and first lady appear in public, you can count on a fresh round of experts being trotted out to analyze everything from the distance they stand apart from each other to the subtle ways they move. Interpreting how Melania Trump reacts, or doesn't react, to Donald Trump has become its own cottage industry, even though it sometimes yields contrasting conclusions.

Donald Trump Acts Totally Inappropriate Toward Ivank

Donald Trump Acts Totally Inappropriate Toward Ivank 22
Donald Trump Acts Totally Inappropriate Toward Ivank

In July 2016, Ivanka Trump introduced her father at the Republican National Convention, following his nomination as the party's presidential candidate, in a speech that focused mostly on his (and by extension, her) plan to increase labor fairness for women and child care affordability once in the Oval Office. But what a lot of people seemed to take away from her appearance at the RNC was not the content of her words, but the reaction they earned from her father.

Is His Relationship With Ivanka Wrong?

Is His Relationship With Ivanka wrong? 23
Is His Relationship With Ivanka wrong?

Amidst the reactionary hubbub during his controversial chat with the ladies of The View, Donald Trump could be overheard saying (after his statement that he'd date Ivanka if she wasn't his daughter), "Isn't it terrible? Is that terrible?" It reportedly was not the last time he would openly wonder about the morality of his controversial relationship with Ivanka Trump, either.

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