A video has emerged showing Melania Trump apparently looking horrified after shaking Vladimir Putin's hand during her husband's summit with the Russian president.
Putin can be seen smiling and nodding in the clip as he is introduced to Melania by President Trump in Helsinki, Finland on Monday.
Melania, who is a few inches taller than the ex-spy strongman, also smiles during the handshake in an apparently natural way.
But as soon as Putin releases her hand and diverts his attention elsewhere, Melania pulls a bizarre face representing what appears to be her shock or horror.
She widens her eyes and wobbles her head as the camera looks directly at her.
The video has now gone viral, prompting an outpouring of astonishment and confusion on Twitter.
Aaron McCord wrote that Melania was 'the only one in the room who understands how dangerous this man actually is'.
One user, @daisygirlmg, wrote: 'She looks like she short-circuited there for a second.'
Another, @7bugglettes, said: 'She looks like she just stared into the eyes of evil....'
The Twitter user who first pointed out the First Lady's odd reaction, @srmduke87, wrote: 'I think she looked scared to death.'
It comes after President Trump sought to clarify comments he made during the press conference with Putin.
He was widely attacked for appearing to side with Putin rather than his own intelligence agencies over the Russian state's involvement in hacking the Democratic Party during the 2016 election.
Taking to Twitter today, President Trump defended anew his much-criticized performance at the Helsinki summit, promising 'big results' from better relations with Russia and hitting back at 'haters.'
Trump made no mention of his having walked back comments that called into question U.S. intelligence findings of Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.
'So many people at the higher ends of intelligence loved my press conference performance in Helsinki,' Trump tweeted.
He added: 'We got along well which truly bothered many haters who wanted to see a boxing match.'
Amid bipartisan condemnation of his embrace of a longtime U.S. enemy, Trump sought to end 27 hours of recrimination by delivering a rare admission of error Tuesday.
He backed away from his public undermining of American intelligence agencies, saying he misspoke when he said he saw no reason to believe Russia had interfered in the 2016 U.S. election.
'The sentence should have been,'I don't see any reason why I wouldn't, or why it wouldn't be Russia' instead of ''why it would,'' Trump said.
That didn't explain why Trump, who had tweeted a half-dozen times and sat for two television interviews since the Putin news conference, waited so long to correct his remarks. And the scripted cleanup pertained only to the least defensible of his comments.
He didn't reverse other statements in which he gave clear credence to Putin's 'extremely strong and powerful' denial of Russian involvement, raised doubts about his own intelligence agencies' conclusions and advanced discredited conspiracy theories about election meddling.
This article has been adapted from its original source.
© Associated Newspapers Ltd.