Melania Trump left red-faced after awkward meeting with Michelle Obama at the White House
Melania Trump may be the new First Lady, but she got red-faced as she tried to shake hands with Michelle Obama ahead of the inauguration ceremony.
The Slovenian was clearly taken aback by her welcome on the steps of the White House as she held out her hand to greet the former First Lady.
However, instead of taking Mrs. Trump’s hand, a dignified Mrs. Obama kissed her cheek in a warm gesture towards her successor.
Saving face, Mrs Trump flashed a brave smile as she quickly returned the affection before handing the former First Lady a giant box from Tiffany’s jewellers.
Despite her grateful welcome from Mrs. Trump, the outgoing First Lady quickly passed the gift on to a close aide.
The tradition of gifts goes back several administrations, with Mrs. Obama gifting Laura Bush with a leather-bound journal and an engraved silver pen when she entered the White House in 2009.
Mrs. Trump has already broken with tradition by not moving into the White House immediately after her husband’s inauguration due to the first family’s desire not to disrupt their son’s education.
The new First Lady currently lives in Trump Tower with 10-year-old Barron, who attends Columbia Grammar and Preparatory School, but President Donald Trump has promised the move to Washington will happen “very soon”.
As Mrs. Trump will remain in New York, it has fueled speculation that the president’s daughter, Ivanka, may take on official duties in her place.
The awkward exchange comes as the Republican billionaire pledged to make America great again in his inauguration speech.
After officially taking office, President Trump said, “We are transferring power from Washington DC and giving it back to you, the people.
“We, the citizens of America, are now united to rebuild this country and restore its promise to all of our people. Together, we will determine the course of America and the world for many years to come.
“We will face challenges, we will face difficulties but we will get the job done.
“No challenge can match America’s fight, heart and spirit. We will not fail, our country will prosper and prosper again.”
And to the cheers of the thousands of Americans who traveled to Washington DC to witness this historic moment, he said: “America is going to start winning again, winning like never before.
“We will bring back our jobs, we will bring back our borders, we will bring back our wealth and we will bring back our dreams.”
Ahead of the inauguration ceremony, violent protests erupted in the streets of Washington as furious protesters clashed with police.