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Melania disapproves of Trump’s mocking of transgender athletes

By Jake Beardslee · October 30, 2023

In brief…

  • At a Sunday Iowa rally, Trump said Melania dislikes his comments on transgender athletes and his dancing at rallies as unpresidential
  • Trump enacted anti-trans policies as president after earlier outreach to LGBTQ voters
  • Melania has not campaigned for Trump's 2024 bid since he announced it in November
  • Trump incorrectly called the rally's Iowa locale "Sioux Falls" before being corrected
  • Iowa polls currently show Trump dominating the 2024 GOP field
Donald Trump revealed at an Iowa rally that Melania finds his rally dancing and comments on transgender athletes unpresidential despite his continued use of them in his 2024 campaign.  U.S. Army Sgt. Kalie Jones/Wikimedia

Former President Donald Trump revealed at a Sunday rally in Sioux City, Iowa that his wife Melania dislikes his mocking impersonations of transgender athletes. “She hates it when I do the weightlifting. This is not presidential. Or when you do the swimming thing, it’s not,” Trump said, miming lifting weights and swimming. “’Or when you dance off the stage,’” he continued, quoting Melania’s supposed words.

Trump regularly comments on transgender weightlifters and swimmers, and dances offstage at rallies to songs like “YMCA.” Melania believes these behaviors are unpresidential for someone seeking the 2024 Republican nomination, but Trump defends his antics, saying “Look, look, we’ve got a year to go. Everybody loves us. I love everybody.”

While initially courting LGBTQ voters in 2016, Trump enacted several anti-transgender policies as president, including banning transgender military service members and rolling back health protections. At Sunday’s Iowa event, he called transgender athletes’ participation in women’s sports “very demeaning to women.” Iowa polls currently show Trump dominating the GOP field for 2024.

Melania Trump has not appeared on the campaign trail since her husband announced his latest bid in November. Trump, 77, made headlines at the Sioux City rally by flubbing the city’s name, calling it “Sioux Falls” before being corrected. He seeks to retake the presidency after his 2020 loss to Joe Biden.