Donald Trump greets cheerleaders ahead of Super Bowl while Melania looks on

'Thank you so much, that was so great, great job, great talent, enjoy the game,' says US president

Maya Oppenheim
Monday 05 February 2018 15:36
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President Trump shakes cheerleaders hands at Super Bowl party

Donald Trump shook hands with a group of cheerleaders while First Lady Melania Trump lingered on the sidelines ahead of the Super Bowl.

The US president made small talk with the cheerleading squad before they performed for the first couple at the Trump International Golf Club in Florida where the pair hosted a Super Bowl party.

Taking centre stage at his Mar-a-Lago resort while the First Lady looked on from a distance, Mr Trump introduced himself to a line of pom pom-clutching performers clad in cheerleading costumes.

The squad then danced while the Florida Atlantic University's marching band performed "Hail to the Chief," "Boogie Wonderland" and "Shut Up and Dance”.

"Thank you so much, that was so great, great job, great talent, enjoy the game," Mr Trump said after the performance, also shaking hands with the band director.

Marking a break with recent tradition, Mr Trump declined to take part in a pre-Super Bowl sit-down interview with NBC

According to the pool report, the billionaire chose not to respond to a yelled question asking what team he was supporting in the Super Bowl.

But he later congratulated the Philadelphia Eagles for their historic win, tweeting: "Congratulations to the Philadelphia Eagles on a great Super Bowl victory!"

Marking a break with recent tradition, Mr Trump declined to take part in a pre-Super Bowl sit-down interview with NBC, the network televising the game.

Ms Trump, the president’s third wife, has kept a low profile after reports surfaced earlier this month that her husband's personal lawyer Michael Cohen reportedly made a $130,000 (£93,000) payment to adult actor Stormy Daniels just before the 2016 presidential election, allegedly to keep quiet about an alleged sexual encounter with Mr Trump in 2006.

The alleged incident supposedly took place four months after Ms Trump would have given birth to the couple's only son, Barron. The White House and Mr Cohen have denied the allegation of an affair, and Mr Cohen has denied money being paid for her silence.

Ms Trump attended her husband’s State of Union address last week but broke precedent by arriving at the event separately from the president. She chose to ride with the guests she invited to share her First Lady's box during Mr Trump's address.

Ms Trump made a last minute decision not to join her husband at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland last month. Her spokesperson Stephanie Grisham said “scheduling and logistical issues” had forced her to change her plans but did not say what those issues were.

The former model made an announced visit to the Holocaust Memorial Museum instead where she took part in a moment of silence to pay respect to the six million Jews who died in the Holocaust and millions of other victims of Nazi persecution.

Ms Grisham shared a scathing statement on behalf of the First Lady on Twitter at the end of January. “The laundry list of salacious and flat-out false reporting about Mrs Trump by tabloid publications & TV shows has seeped into ‘mainstream media’ reporting,” she said. “She is focused on her family and role as FLOTUS – not the unrealistic scenarios being peddled daily by the fake news”.

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