After delivering some rare remarks at a US Air Force event on Friday, First Lady Melania Trump proudly introduced her husband to the stage, no doubt hoping for a congratulatory kiss on the cheek.

Instead, she was confronted with an awkward and stern handshake from the President who told her "thank you" before ushering her off to the side, muttering: "You go and sit down now."

Their interaction, deemed 'bizarre' for a husband and wife by some, took place at Joint Base Andrews on Friday afternoon.

After spending some time at the Maryland base's youth center with some of the children of those serving, Melania took to the microphone to deliver one of her few short speeches since becoming First Lady.

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She spoke calmly and slowly to thank the servicemen and women of the Air Force, commending them on their "courage and compassion" and promising that the American people has trust in their abilities.

"In the wake of two devastating hurricanes, the world has witnessed your courage and compassion and you have made every American proud.

"I know I speak on behalf of myself and my husband when I tell you we are grateful for your service," she went on.

Trump, gazing off in to the distance as she spoke, was about to take the stage for his own address which focused on the threat of North Korea and terrorism.

Before his could begin, Melania, 47, smiled as she introduced him, the MailOnline reported.

"And know now, it's my great pleasure to introduce my husband. The president of the United States, Donald Trump."

Trump bounded on to the stage, extending his left hand out long before Melania had the chance to offer her cheek for a peck.

Good job!' he mouthed emphatically, shaking his wife's hand up and down as a row of servicemen and women stood behind them.

Somewhat dumbfounded, she turned back to face the audience with a beaming smile fixed on her face.

Then, with a slight pat on the back, Trump guided her off to the side of the stage.

Trump then gave his wife a slight pat on the back to usher her off to the side of the stage. Photo / Reuters
Trump then gave his wife a slight pat on the back to usher her off to the side of the stage. Photo / Reuters

The seemingly frosty and formal interaction caught the attention of critics.

He carried on guiding her with his arm before turning back to the podium for his own speech. Photo / Reuters
He carried on guiding her with his arm before turning back to the podium for his own speech. Photo / Reuters

"Ok. This is bizarre even for Trump! He shakes Melania's hand after intro then gently but obviously pushes her aside,' one Twitter user wrote.

'Trump shakes Melania's hand instead of kissing. Is this enough proof he has lost it?" another said.

Other comments included: "By far the most awkward husband/wife encounter I've ever witnessed was just now when Trump shook Melania's hand at the podium. Hug her, dude!"

"Does Trump disgust Melania? Do you have friends who shake hands with their wives?"

"Melania looks bemused," one person quipped, while another said: "Awkward!? I say we all team and rescue the poor woman!"

"This was good but when she slapped his hand away was better. Note: she doesn't reach up to kiss/ hug HIM either," another commentator said.

After giving his own speech, the president flew to Bedminster, New Jersey, on board Air Force One with Ivanka, Jared Kushner and their three children.

He brought some staff along, namely White House Communications Director Hope Hicks and National Security Adviser Dina Powell, but Melania stayed at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

She will remain there for the weekend with their 11-year-old son Barron.

Friday's interaction was not the pair's first awkward on-display encounter.

In May, the First Lady appeared to brush her husband's hand away as they walked from Air Force One across an air field in Israel.

Later, during the same overseas trip, she appeared to reject him again as they made their way down the steps of Air Force One in Rome.

At his Inauguration in January, one clip of footage which showed Melania enthusiastically smiling at him then grimacing after he turned away went viral.

He was also slammed for not helping her down the steps in her high heels, leaving the job up to a soldier while he rushed to take his position.

They have had other, more touching moments since he took office. Among them were their three dances at the various inauguration balls in January.