French President Emmanuel Macron explained that his now famous white-knuckle handshake showdown with Donald Trump was “a moment of truth” — designed to show that he’s no pushover, according to the Associated Press. Trump is known for his aggressive handshakes, some of them lasting seemingly forever, and usually with him pulling the person into him. Apparently, Macron was aware of this.
The Washington Post reported:
As President Trump met French President Emmanuel Macron for the first time, welcoming him to lunch Thursday at the residence here of the U.S. ambassador to Belgium, the two men shook hands for six long seconds. Their knuckles turned white, their jaws clenched and their faces tightened. Trump reached in first, but then he tried to release, twice, but Macron kept his grip until letting go.
Macron said, “my handshake with him, it wasn’t innocent.”
“One must show that you won’t make small concessions, even symbolic ones, but also not over-publicize things, either,” he continued.
It’s probably the most widely reported handshake ever.
— Philip Crowther (@PhilipinDC) May 25, 2017
One observer described the moment as a “screw you in handshake form.”
“Donald Trump, the Turkish president or the Russian president see things in terms of power relationships, which doesn’t bother me,” Macron said.
“I don’t believe in diplomacy through public criticism but in my bilateral dialogues, I don’t let anything pass. That is how you get respect,” he added.
When Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met with the former reality show star for the first time, he was aware of Trump’s aggressive handshakes and avoided it by gripping Trump’s shoulder.
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