Emmanuel Macron leaves his mark on Donald Trump with white-knuckle handshake at G7
July 22, 2020
It wasn’t quite the 25-second gripper of their encounter during Donald Trump’s Bastille Day visit to Paris.
But Emmanuel Macron, the French president, still managed to leave finger marks on his counterpart during what was no doubt an awkward meeting with the American leader at the G7 summit in Canada on Friday evening.
They both said the rights things afterwards – claiming that progress was possible on the contentious issue of US trade tariffs – but the handshake suggested they were far from being on the same wavelength.
Mr Macon went in first for the arm, gripping Mr Trump above the elbow.
He then proffered his hand palm up for a handshake.
“He’s my friend,” said Mr Trump, finally taking the hint. “We’ve had a great relationship right from the beginning.”
Seconds passed as they pumped hands. “Right from the beginning,” added Mr Trump, this time slightly less certain of himself. Or possibly counting to "eight Mississippi" in his head.
But Mr Macron was not letting go. He pulled Mr Trump’s hand towards him, forcing the US president to make the first move to break it off.
A photograph snapped seconds later revealed the result: The French leader had gripped so hard his fingers left white marks on Mr Trump’s skin.
The two leaders bonded last year after Mr Macron invited Mr Trump to Paris for that Bastille Day military parade, capped by the historically emphatic handshake. Mr Trump returned the honour, inviting his counterpart for a state visit in April.
But their bond failed to prevent Mr Trump from abandoning the Iran nuclear deal nor from imposing hefty tariffs on imports of European steel and aluminium.
Mr Trump ensured he arrived as an isolated figure for the G7 summit in Quebec by calling for Russia to be readmitted to the group as he left the US.
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During their meeting, Mr Macron flashed an occasional smile and winked once, describing their talks as “very direct and open”.
"I want to say sometimes we disagree, but we share I’d say common concerns and common values and we share the willingness to deliver results together," he said.