President Donald Trump and German Chancellor Angela Merkel finally engaged in a handshake, as seen in the above photo, with Mr. Trump and Ms. Merkel shaking hands at the joint news conference held on Friday, March 17.
The “Trump-Merkel handshake” became big news on Twitter and other social media outlets when President Trump appeared to snub Chancellor Merkel’s attempt at a handshake earlier in the day, prior to the news conference in the East Room of the White House in Washington. As seen in the following video and many copies of the same incident on YouTube, President Trump keeps his hands together and in a downward position as reporters repeatedly asked if there would be a handshake between Mr. Trump and Chancellor Merkel.
When prompted, President Trump did not shake hands with Merkel, as reported by the New York Post. The publication noted that journalists asked if there would be a handshake between Mr. Trump and Ms. Merkel, with Merkel appearing to ask Mr. Trump for a handshake.
“Do you want to have a handshake?”
Instead of answering Merkel or giving Merkel a handshake, according to the Hill, Mr. Trump appeared to either intentionally ignore Merkel or not to have heard her request for a handshake. The publication notes just how much President Trump has made his signature handshake famous, with Mr. Trump often appearing to grab a person’s hand and pull them aggressively into him while shaking a person’s hand.
Whatever happened between Merkel and Mr. Trump over the handshake, the situation is being called awkward, according to USA Today.
Not showing an immediate reply to a handshake, especially when Merkel appeared to request a handshake at the White House, as reported by the Express, wasn’t a smooth start to a meeting that was viewed as a test of relations between Trump and the European Union.
Previously, President Trump made news for a different handshake, as reported by Politico, when Mr. Trump shook hands with Japan’s prime minister for a full 19 seconds, which was notably a very long time to shake hands. Therefore, with Mr. Trump appearing to snub Merkel’s handshake opportunity did not get ignored by folks on social media. Reactions like the following are being published on social media, with some calling it a “cringeworthy” moment.
Chris Lion: “Press: ‘Handshake? Handshake?’ Merkel: ‘Want to do a handshake?’ Trump: (Internally) ‘I’m not doing a handshake with a woman below a 6.'”
Attrape Machatte: “Trump seems to ignore Merkel’s handshake request. So awkward I couldn’t watch the whole video.”
In the press conference, Mr. Trump told the public and the press to take it up with Fox News when wondering about where President Trump got his wiretapping claims, reports the Telegraph. The publication notes that the conference was a precursor to a meeting wherein Merkel could be urged by Mr. Trump to increase NATO spending. The upcoming summit is already expected to be a tense one, and with the controversy over the handshake, it seems par for the course.
As seen in the above photo, then-Republican presidential candidate Trump shook someone’s hand as Mr. Trump signed a copy of his book, Crippled America: How to Make Our Country Great Again, at Trump Tower on Tuesday, November 3, 2015, in New York. Merkel and Trump’s handshake during the photo op, according to Time, would have been a customary handshake between foreign leaders.
[Featured Image by Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP Images]