Melania Trump yet again refused to hold her husband's hand, this time during a stately White House meeting with their French counterparts.

Social media is having a field day over the latest awkward moment between Donald Trump and his wife, who looked imposing in a severe all-white outfit, hat and sky-high stilettos.

The US President appeared to fumble for his wife's hand as she stood totally rigid and unmoving.

Mr Trump had more success holding French President Emmanuel Macron's hand than that of his serious-looking spouse.

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"What's with the hat? Does Melania think it's Easter?" wrote one Twitter user.

"Does Melania need to pee?" asked another.

But the social network's favourite moment was when Mrs Trump, who has endured multiple recent reports of her spouse's alleged affairs, resisted holding Mr Trump's hand.

And it's not the first time she has shied away from his touch, with a video of her swatting away his hand in Tel Aviv, Israel, going viral last year.

In February, Mrs Trump again appeared to evade his hand as they left the White House to head to Ohio.

Donald Trump had more luck taking the hand of French President Emmanuel Macron at the White House. Photo / AP
Donald Trump had more luck taking the hand of French President Emmanuel Macron at the White House. Photo / AP

The former model yesterday tweeted that she had been finalising the details for the couple's first State Dinner with France. But while many thought she looked beautiful today, the main takeaway was the sheer awkwardness of the occasion.

France's First Lady Brigitte Macron also wore white for the event, as the two presidents discussed the multinational nuclear accord and the war in Syria.

Mr Trump took the opportunity to issue a warning to the Iranians that if they "restart their nuclear program, they will have bigger problems than they've ever had before."

He also said the partnership he had forged with Mr Macron at the start of his presidency was a testament to the "enduring friendship that binds our two nations."

One of Mr Macron's main objectives during his three-day visit to Washington is to persuade Trump to stay in the deal. Trump remains publicly undecided but reminded his French counterpart of what he sees as flaws in the agreement, which he called a "terrible deal" that fails to address ballistic missiles or Iran's activities in Yemen or Syria.

Macron told reporters that he and Mr Trump would look at the Iran deal "in a wider regional context," taking into account the situation in Syria.

Melania Trump looked serious in white, beside an equally sober Brigitte Macron and their presidential husbands. Photo / AP
Melania Trump looked serious in white, beside an equally sober Brigitte Macron and their presidential husbands. Photo / AP

The meetings followed a welcome ceremony on the South Lawn. Trump said before an audience of US soldiers and members of his Cabinet that the relationship he forged with Macron at the start of his presidency was a testament to the "enduring friendship that binds our two nations." He thanked the French leader for his "steadfast partnership" in the recent missile strike in response to the chemical attack in Syria.

Macron told Mr Trump that together the US and France would defeat terrorism, curtail weapons of mass destruction in North Korea and Iran and act together on behalf of the planet, a reference to the French leader's work to revive a US role in the Paris climate accord.

"History is calling us. It is urging our people to find the fortitude that has guided us in the most difficult of times," Mr Macron said. "France and with it, Europe, and the United States have an appointment with history." The social highlight of Mr Macron's visit, the first state visit of the Trump presidency, comes on Tuesday night with a lavish state dinner at the White House. Around 150 guests are expected to dine on rack of lamb and nectarine tart and enjoy an after-dinner performance by the Washington National Opera.

The friendship

It may appear to be an unlikely alliance at first, but there's more to the friendship between Mr Trump and his French counterpart than meets the eye.

Politically the pair are very different, but Mr Macron has earned himself a reputation as being the main European leader Mr Trump can work with.

The US President ended his first year in office without receiving a foreign leader on a state visit, the first president in nearly 100 years to fail to do so.

When he did welcome a world leader to Washington, the French president was the first.

The US President in turn was Mr Macron's guest last July at the annual Bastille Day military parade in the centre of Paris.

French President Emmanuel Macron kisses the hand of first lady Melania Trump. Photo / AP
French President Emmanuel Macron kisses the hand of first lady Melania Trump. Photo / AP

Mr Macron and his wife also took Mr Trump and America's first lady on a tour of Napoleon's tomb and whisked them up in the Eiffel Tower for dinner overlooking the City of Light.

As CNN's Gregory Krieg argues, Mr Macron has appeared to secure what other European leaders haven't — a personal bond with the US President.

Philippe Le Corre, a former French government official who's now a senior fellow at Harvard's Kennedy School told Krieg there was a good reason the two appeared to be friends.

"There's a strong rapport on the anti-jihadist war and that will continue because France, of course, is at the core of this, both on its territory and in the Middle East," he said.

"And Trump — to him, it's very important. He thinks there are terrorists everywhere, even with relatively few attacks in the US compared to Europe."

Mr Le Corre also highlights that Mr Trump isn't easy to deal with and he does better than the German and British leaders do in talking to the US President.

The French President is currently in the US meeting Mr Trump where the pair are likely to discuss a number of issues, including the controversial Iran nuclear deal.

Mr Macron is widely tipped to encourage the US President to reverse his decision on pulling out of the deal.

Wooing Trump

The two leaders began the visit with an anything-but-ordinary double date with their wives at George Washington's house.

The presidents and their spouses hopped on a helicopter bound for Mount Vernon, Washington's historic riverside home, for a private dinner one night before the leaders sit down for talks on a weighty agenda including security, trade and the Iran deal.

Mr Macron's pomp-filled three-day state visit to Washington underscores the importance that both sides attach to the relationship.

Mr Macron, who calls his counterpart often, has emerged as something of a "Trump whisperer" at a time when the American president's relationships with other European leaders are more strained.

Mr Trump, who attaches great importance to the optics of pageantry and ceremony, chose to honour Mr Macron with the first state visit of his administration as he woos the French president.

The French and US Presidents with their wives, Brigitte Macron and Melania Trump in Mount Vernon, Virginia.
The French and US Presidents with their wives, Brigitte Macron and Melania Trump in Mount Vernon, Virginia.

"This is a great honour and I think a very important state visit given the moment of our current environment," Mr Macron said after his plane landed at a US military base near Washington.

However for all their camaraderie, the two disagree on some fundamental issues, including the multinational nuclear deal, which is aimed at restricting Iran's development of nuclear weapons.

Mr Trump, sceptical of the pact's effectiveness, has been eager to pull out as a May 12 deadline nears.

Mr Macron isn't satisfied with the situation in Iran and thinks the agreement is imperfect, but he has argued for the US sticking with the deal on the grounds that there is not yet a "Plan B".

The Trumps and Macrons helped plant a tree on the White House grounds together before boarding Trump's Marine One helicopter for a scenic tour of monuments built in the capital city designed by French-born Pierre L'Enfant as they flew south to Mount Vernon.

The young oak is an environmentally friendly gift to the White House from Mr Macron, and one that also bears historical significance. It sprouted at a World War I site in France, the Battle of Belleau Wood, that became part of US Marine Corps lore.

After Mr Trump's helicopter landed at Mount Vernon, Mr Trump and Mr Macron, each holding his wife's hand, walked a short distance and posed for pictures before they boarded golf carts that ferried them to the front door of Washington's plantation house.

Germany's turn

While Mr Macron will be acting as the Trump whisperer and will be working hard to soften the President's stance over the Iran deal, he won't be the only one.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is also due to visit Mr Trump where she is also expected to encourage Mr Trump not to sabotage the deal.

Ms Merkel, who has clashed with Mr Trump on issues including trade, doesn't have the rapport that Mr Macron does which means the outcome of the deal largely hangs in his hands.

Mr Trump has said he will not sign an upcoming May 12 waiver of sanctions against Iran without changes being made by Congress.

Iran has already warned of some "not pleasant" options if the sanctions are introduced.

Mr Macron told Fox New there was a risk Iran will reboot its nuclear program if sanctions are introduced.

"I don't have any Plan B for nuclear against Iran," Mr Macron said.

"That's why I just want to say, on nuclear, let's preserve a framework because it's better than a North Korean type of situation."