President Trump’s favorite method of interacting with foreign leaders is a firm, strong handshake, but this time, a woman was the victim of his grip: France’s First Lady Brigitte Macron.
Was It Payback Time?
When French President Emmanuel Macron first met with the U.S. leader in May, Trump’s awkward handshake and Macron’s response to what seemed an alpha-male move made the headlines. That handshake lasted bizarrely long, and body language experts claim that despite the two men’s smiles, the tension in their knuckles and jaws showed the handshake was far from being pleasant for any of them.
On Thursday, Trump used his signature handshake on Macron’s wife. The president’s critics said that he purposely manhandled Mrs. Macron to take revenge on her husband for resisting his previous handshake.
The awkward handshakes continue. This time with the First Lady of France. pic.twitter.com/ac0kNbvyqM
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) July 13, 2017
White House acknowledged at the time that the President was angered by his French counterpart’s show of strength in May. Macron admitted his response to the handshake was intentional.
Macron talked about the weird handshake with French journalists, a grip that lasted six seconds in a bid to show one another who’s the alpha male in the room. People familiar with the matter said Macron’s story “irritated and bewildered” the U.S. leader.
A Not So Innocent Handshake
Some experts believe Trump was so irked that the handshake was likely the last straw that convinced him to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris climate deal. Macron admitted, in return, that his handshake “was not innocent.”
This may be the case with Trump’s uncomfortably long handshake with Macron’s wife. Trump’s wife Melania once admitted that when her husband is attacked, he will punch back ten times harder. “No matter who you are, a man or a woman, he treats everyone equal,” Mrs. Trump said in a recent interview.