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Trump Meets a Formidable Opponent in His Ongoing Handshake Battles


There’s ample evidence to support the claim that President Donald Trump does not know how to shake someone’s hand. Whether his greeting is an attempt to assert his dominance or merely his befuddled insecurity (or a combination of both), watching Trump try to shake another world leader’s hand is a challenge in not cringing – unless that leader is newly elected French President Emmanuel Macron.

Macron, it seems, did some research on Trump’s bizarre tendency to yank whomever’s hand he is shaking. During Trump’s first NATO meeting as president in Brussels on May 24, he also met with Macron for the first time. After briefly discussing Macron’s campaign in front of press, the two leaders shook hands. Macron was apparently prepared for the extended grip: both presidents held the gesture, white knuckles and all, for a solid five seconds.

Reuters’s description of the handshake paints a victorious picture of Macron. “Each man gripped each other’s right hand so firmly that their knuckles turned white and their jaws seemed to clench as they sat down for a face-to-face meeting,” the report read. “[Images] showed Trump finally giving up, his fingers loosened while Macron is still holding on tightly.”

While the White House’s version of events includes the detail that “each president gripped the other’s hand with considerable intensity,” it fails to mention Trump was the first to pull back. But the internet definitely noticed and the jokes were plentiful.

Cameras also caught another, considerably more awkward, handshake during the NATO Summit’s commencement:

Trump’s incessant efforts to look like an alpha male are a sight for sore eyes: you want to look away, too, but you can’t.


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Trump Meets a Formidable Opponent in His Ongoing Handshake Battles

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