People think Donald Trump didn't recognize Melania because she was dressed down

Elise Solé
Donald speaks out on Hurricane Irma, with Melania Trump by his side. (Photo: Getty Images)

There’s been a lot said about Donald and Melania Trump’s marriage — from a Vanity Fair story that suggested the first lady is “miserable,” to viral videos of the pair walking apart, and Melania’s alleged refusal to hold her husband’s hand. But a new video depicting the president referring to his wife as if she weren’t standing right beside him is giving the internet new life.

Earlier this month, the president and the first lady flew to Florida to assess the damage caused by Hurricane Irma. On Sept. 14, Facebook user Tony Gregg posted a CNN clip of the couple standing at a podium upon their return to the Sunshine State. “I want to thank everybody, the first responders, on behalf of myself, the vice president, [and] Melania, who really wanted to be with us,” says President Trump.

The camera then pans over to Melania — who is standing shoulder-to-shoulder with the president — capturing a flicker of confusion and a faint smile on her face.

put her back in her million dollar outfits so this fool can recognize his own wife… and i understand what they trying…

Posted by Tony Gregg on Thursday, September 14, 2017

The Facebook video was captioned, “Put her back in her million dollar outfits so this fool can recognize his own wife… and i understand what they trying to do, but poor people dress better than this… quit trying so hard to appease everybody… that lady is a model, let her be one… #FreeMelaniasWardrobe.”

The footage received 2.5 million views, 21,000 reactions, nearly 42,000 shares, and 21,000 comments. Many mocked the president. “He didn’t even realize she was standing beside him,” wrote someone. Another person added, “She’s Right there Donald… Right… there…”

Some surmised that the president didn’t recognize his wife, normally decked out in high-end designer clothing, who that day was dressed down in an olive-green button-down shirt, a white baseball hat, and white skinny jeans. “The could’ve at least put her in a polo, cardigan and some jeans. Why is she wearing his shirt lol,” wrote one person.

Others insisted that Trump was simply emphasizing Melania’s enthusiasm to attend the event: “Oh he’s saying she wanted to be with them so that’s why she’s there … not that she’s not there.”

Either way, Melania can rarely win, no matter what she wears. On Wednesday, while delivering a seven-and-a-half minute speech on anti-bullying, Melania’s hot pink $2,950 Delpozo coat was the subject of scrutiny on social media for its oversize sleeves and bold color.

The day before, she scored major style points with a Calvin Klein power suit, which she wore to watch the president speak at the United Nations General Assembly in New York City.

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