UPDATE: After a bizarre handshake with Brigitte Macron, the French first lady, earlier Thursday, President Donald Trump commented that she was “beautiful” and “in such good shape” to both the first lady herself and French President Emmanuel Macron while touring the museums at Les Invalides to commemorate Bastille Day.
The museum itself would have made for an excellent topic of conversation. Yet, the American president somehow managed to use the meeting as an opportunity to demean the French first lady rather than engaging in any meaningful, thoughtful dialogue.
The president uses misogynistic language so frequently that it seems to be his go-to response when he’s otherwise lost for words. This is just the latest in a long line of degrading public comments made by the United States president toward women. Most recently, he tweeted that "Morning Joe" co-host Mika Brzezinski was bleeding from a face-lift when she traveled to Mar-a-Lago to do an interview with him.
Here's that awkward handshake between Trump and France's Brigitte Macron. pic.twitter.com/5Ci6lAWuV6— Meg Wagner (@megwagner) July 13, 2017
President Donald Trump may be the master of awkward interactions. On his visit to France Thursday, he introduced himself to first lady Brigitte Macron by grabbing her hand and seemingly yanking it toward him.
Meanwhile, Trump’s interaction with French President Emmanuel Macron seemed docile in comparison. That differs from previous interactions he’s had with the French leader. In May, the two world leaders had an unplanned handshake showdown, which Macron admitted “wasn’t innocent.” The French president added that the shake was a subliminal symbol that France would not fold to Trump’s intimidating rhetoric.
Trump’s unconventional handshakes have been widely scrutinized over the course of his presidency, especially because they seem to be his only negotiating tool, as if he’s trying to demonstrate that he is the alpha among world leaders. Yet, his catalog of bizarre handshakes, which have been known to sometimes knock recipients off-balance, make him appear overconfident and smug. And despite frequent criticism in the media, Trump does not appear to have altered his handshake strategy whatsoever.
But even world leaders who have been on the receiving end of one of Trump’s machismo-fueled handshakes should feel lucky. There are others, such as German Chancellor Angela Merkel, whose attempted handshakes with the president have been ignored altogether.
Despite bad blood in the past though, it seems that Trump is finally warming up to the German chancellor. They worked out their public feud with a handshake at the G20 summit last week.
Many world leaders are starting to catch on to Trump’s hidden handshake agenda. A few, like Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, have held their ground against the formidable opponent by preparing themselves for his signature tug. But as seen through Trump’s latest awkward interaction with first lady Macron, it’s now time that the husbands and wives of world leaders also start gearing up for Trump’s unconventional handshake methods.