On Friday, President Donald Trump toured Joint Base Andrews in Prince George’s County, Maryland, and watched an air show demonstration to mark the 70th anniversary of the U.S. Air Force, the Associated Press reports.

Before the president’s remarks to members of the military, First Lady Melania Trump thanked the men and women of the Air Force — as well as their children and families — for their dedication and sacrifice.

She then introduced her husband and welcomed him to the podium, where he greeted her by giving her a handshake:

Screenshot/PBS NewsHour

Many in the Twittersphere quickly judged the formal handshake as a show of tension or even coldness between the husband and wife:

But maybe — just maybe — there was a reason for it.

Screenshot/PBS NewsHour

According to the Veterans United Network, there are several rules prohibiting public displays of affection when it comes to members of the military who are currently in uniform:

Because members are required to maintain professionalism in uniform, personal displays of affection are typically frowned upon except in certain situations. For instance, moderate kissing and hugging is acceptable when there’s a homecoming or deployment.

Hand holding as a sign of affection is also prohibited, although males in uniform are permitted to escort a female or the elderly.

It stands to reason that the president, as commander in chief, chose to abide by the customs of the military out of respect for the occasion.

Some could argue it would have been inappropriate for the president to hug and kiss his wife in front of the people he was honoring, who cannot perform the same acts while dressed in uniform.

Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

But in an interview with Dearly, David Cohen, professor of political science at the University of Akron and assistant director of the Ray C. Bliss Institute of Applied Politics, called the greeting between the president and his wife “unusual”:

“It’s so unusual for a president to shake the hand of his spouse. It’s unusual for any person to shake the hand of their spouse. If you look at previous presidents, I cannot think of one instance of a president shaking his wife’s hand.”

Body language expert Patti Wood told the Daily Mail earlier this year that the president and first lady had displayed a “shift” in their public displays of affection since entering into the political spotlight:

“They used to be very sexually affectionate, years ago, when they were first together, first married.”

Wood told the publication that Trump’s body language around his wife suggests he “wants to be seen as alpha.”

Screenshot/PBS NewsHour

The first lady, too, has been scrutinized for her response toward her husband’s affections, such as famously “swatting” away the president’s attempt to hold her hand during a visit to Israel in May. It was later reported that the president and the first lady went on to hold hands multiple times during their trip abroad.

As for shaking hands in front of uniformed members of the military during an official event? You decide if it’s appropriate.

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