Politics

Trump And Macron Exchange Marathon Handshake (Video)

| by Michael Howard
Donald Trump in 2013Donald Trump in 2013

President Donald Trump is making headlines again for his unusual handshake behavior (video below).

As Trump prepared to travel back to the U.S. following his 24-hour trip to France, he and French President Emmanuel Macron engaged in a prolonged, 25-second handshake.

During the shake, the two leaders begin walking hand-in-hand in the direction of the cameras while their wives remain off to either side. At one point they stop walking and appear to switch to a more casual grip before continuing to jerk each other's arms back and forth.

When Macron's wife, Brigitte, moves in to say goodbye, Trump leans forward and kisses her on the cheek. He then takes her hand into his left hand so that he is shaking both Macron's and his wife's hands at the same time.

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Once she is free from Trump's grip, Brigitte reaches out to Melania, who had been observing the spectacle from a safe distance. The two women proceed to share in an extended handshake of their own before the two couples part ways.

Trump and Macron have been through this before. Their first meeting, which took place in Brussels in May, was notable for the aggressive manner in which they shook hands.

Phillip Rucker, a Washington Post reporter who was in the room at the time, wrote that "each president gripped the other's hand with considerable intensity, their knuckles turning white and their jaws clenching and faces tightening," according to CNN.

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Video footage of that handshake suggests that it was Macron, not Trump, who refused to let go. Twice it appears that Trump attempts to pull his hand away, to no avail.

"The [photographers] noticed that Trump and Macron were gripping their hands hard," Reuters reporter Steve Holland wrote on Twitter at the time. "Trump seems to just want his hand back."

Macron later spoke about the handshake's significance.

"My handshake with him, it's not innocent," the French president explained. "It's not the alpha and the omega of politics, but a moment of truth."

"One must show that we won't make little concessions, even symbolic ones," Macron added.

During Trump's visit to France, both he and Macron reaffirmed the longstanding partnership that has existed between their respective countries.

"The ties between the United States and France stretch back almost as far as our shared history as democratic republics," Trump said following a Bastille Day parade in Paris, according to NBC News. "France is America's first and oldest ally. In 1778 our two countries signed a treaty of friendship and alliance. We have remained joined in common purpose ever since."

Macron struck a similar note, stating that nothing can diminish his country's relationship with the U.S.

"The United States is one of our friends. Nothing will separate us ever," he said. "The presence at my side of Donald Trump and his wife is a sign of our friendship that travels time. I want to thank them here, thank United States for the choice made over 100 years."

Sources: CNN, NBC News / Photo credits: Gage Skidmore/Flickr, Official LeWeb Photos/Wikimedia Commons, Reuters via Daily Mail

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