Here’s that awkward handshake between Trump and France’s Brigitte Macron. pic.twitter.com/5Ci6lAWuV6
— Meg Wagner (@megwagner) July 13, 2017
Donald Trump’s (self-declared) smooth negotiating style hasn’t translated well into his presidential handshakes. Notably in May, Trump met a formidable paw-gripping foe in new French President Emmanuel Macron, who firmly grasped Trump’s knuckles for a full six seconds while the latter attempted to release (twice!), yet Macron didn’t budge. The victor then stated that he’d done so on purpose, to show that “We don’t make little concessions, even symbolic ones.” Macron also revealed that his handshake was “not innocent,” which has now been followed by Trump’s “shake and yank” maneuver while meeting French First Lady Brigette Macron in Paris. CNN’s Meg Wagner tweeted the GIF evidence, and it is something to behold.
Donald and Melania touched down in France ahead of tomorrow’s Bastille Day celebrations, mostly because Trump loves a good military parade. Upon their arrival outside the Army Museum at Les Invalides in Paris, Melania exchanged a customary set of kisses with the French president while Trump executed the same ritual and then transitioned into a serious fumble as he wildly pulled Brigitte’s arm around in the oddest manner.
This embarrassing gesture is to be expected, to a certain extent, but hopefully, Trump’s awkward shakes will improve with time. Right out of the gate, he inspired Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo to grit his teeth during their hand-to-hand encounter, and last week’s meeting between himself and Russian President Vladimir Putin led to few sparks despite the build up.
And now, pundits will always have this Paris handshake for future reference. You gotta really wonder what was going through Trump’s mind during this moment — was he really thinking about his (imaginary?) friend Jim, who’s supposedly taught him everything that he needs to know about Paris? If you haven’t read about Jim, you must do so now.