U.S. President Donald Trump met with newly elected French President Emmanuel Macron in France on May 25, and the two shared a handshake that quickly went viral.
During a meeting between the two leaders, the men shook hands for media photographers. In previous meetings with world leaders, Trump has made a point to be the aggressor when it came to the handshake, often yanking or pulling the other leader toward him.
But in a video posted by the White House and obtained by Mashable, the handshake between Trump and Macron appears to follow a slightly different script. As the two men grasp hands during the photo-op, Trump appears ready to execute his oft-used move. But Macron holds firm, and even seems to edge Trump's hand toward him in this most awkward game of international tug-of-war.
At the end of the shake, Trump seems ready to release his grasp as he loosens his fingers from around Macron's hand. Macron continues to hold, though, and the pictures that resulted of Trump's flat hand crammed in Macron's grip quickly circulated the internet.
"The French Squeeze," wrote one user on Twitter, accompanied by photos of the handshake, a pained-looking Trump and a somewhat-determined looking Macron.
The White House pool report from the meeting also offered an atypical description of the leaders' interaction.
"They shook hands for an extended period of time. Each president gripped the other's hand with considerable intensity, their knuckles turning white and their jaws clenching and faces tightening," read the pool report.
"Best thing about this is not the handshake itself but Macron acting like it's totally normal," wrote another Twitter user.
Not long after, the two would share another slightly uncomfortable greeting. Macron stands outside greeting several diplomats, Trump among them, sharing brief handshakes and smiles in typical political fashion. When Macron extends to Trump, Trump firmly grasps Macron's hand and uses his now-signature "yank and pull."
Macron succumbs for a second, before regaining his momentum, and appears to sharply pat Trump's arm to cease the aggressiveness.
After the confirmation hearings of Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch, Trump used his trademark yank move congratulating Gorsuch, as shown on an MSNBC video, notes the Independent.
"For President Trump, it’s all about the assertion of power and control,” body language expert Darren Stanton told the Independent about the Gorsuch shake. "Trump is saying ‘this is my space, my time, you are the guest, my house rules apply.'"