Did Trump just shove another NATO leader to be in the front of the group? pic.twitter.com/bL1r2auELd
— Steve Kopack (@SteveKopack) May 25, 2017
Despite his staffers’ apparent attempts to curb his cable news and Twitter-fueled reactionary moments while abroad, Donald Trump has been producing plenty of viral (and unflattering) moments during his first foreign trip as president. From a hugely popular photo of him, Ivanka and Melania posing with Pope Francis, to repeated instances of “Swatghazi,” the all-seeing eye of the internet (and that orb) is never too far behind the Donald. Like when he apparently shoved aside a fellow NATO leader for a prime spot before the press pool’s cameras.
According to CNBC correspondent Steve Kopack, the moment in question came when NATO leaders gathered together for a photo op at the beginning of their summit in Brussels, Belgium. In what appears to be a forceful manner, Trump places his right hand on Montenegro Prime Minister Duško Markovic’s right arm and shoves him aside while stepping ahead of him. Kopack posted the short clip, and a slowed-down GIF of the exchange, to Twitter.
It’s hard to tell whether or not Trump and Markovic’s interaction is negative, especially since the latter appears to briefly pat the president on the back while still smiling. Yet through it all, Trump’s attention seems focused on what’s in front of him — the press photographers — and not on whatever Markovic or anyone else’s response to the supposed shove might have been.
Needless to say, journalists and other Twitter users chimed in in droves, with the majority believing Trump had in fact shoved Markovic aside.
Meanwhile, Politico’s Tara Palmeri brought up the matter with a White House official, who said Trump and Markovic’s exchange looked more like a “casual greeting.”
However, considering the pool report’s account of Trump’s mingling (or lack thereof) with his fellow NATO leaders, the friendliness of the president’s greeting remains in doubt. Especially since “some of the leaders interacted with one another on stage, but not Trump.”
Whatever the case may be, nothing could stop the internet from reacting in kind to the apparently rude gesture.