As Donald Trump departed the G7 summit in Canada four hours early, CNN reported, skipping an important conference on climate change with the remaining six world leaders — and then pulling back his support for the traditional joint statement made by the seven leaders to wrap up the summit, as Newsweek reported — German Chancellor Angela Merkel shared a photo to her official Instagram account that sent Twitter into a frenzy, with social media users assuming that the photo showed Merkel scolding Trump.
The photo, Vanity Fair reported, showed “the whole group in what looks like a heated debate, Trump with his arms crossed and Merkel leaning in front of his table as if she’d like to leap over it.”
Trump’s self-imposed isolation from the leaders of six other major world democracies began on Friday as Trump called for the G7 to add Russia back into the group, even though Russia has not reversed its annexation of Crimea which is what led the G7 to expel Russia in 2014, according to CNN. In Trump’s closing press conference, he again called for Russia to be reinstated, while taking to his Twitter account to ridicule Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as “very dishonest and weak.”
Here’s the full Instagram photo shared by Merkel.
Twitter users were immediately delighted by the photo — and the fact that Merkel herself posted it, which appeared to be a way for the German leader to troll Trump — with even the former Prime Minister of Belgium getting his thoughts on the record, via his Twitter account.
“Just tell us what Vladimir has on you. Maybe we can help.” pic.twitter.com/DLc7YJFXqT— Guy Verhofstadt (@guyverhofstadt) June 10, 2018
But the Belgian politician was far from alone in his fascination with the Merkel photo.
Angela Merkel's office has released this photo taken today at the G7, which tells you a lot about how things went. pic.twitter.com/IXX6K3ayys— David Mack (@davidmackau) June 9, 2018
You could write an entire thesis on the body language in this picture https://t.co/1VO0Kg9SVf— Liam O'Brien (@LiamD_23) June 9, 2018
MERKEL: When I say "tariffs are bad" and press down on your foot, you smile and nod.— Josh Jordan (@NumbersMuncher) June 9, 2018
MERKEL: (Stepping on Trump's foot) Tariffs are a tax on consumers, and will hurt all economies.
TRUMP: (Stares blankly, then turns and whispers to Abe) I think she's talking to you. pic.twitter.com/z6l1phwYa2
Trump himself posted a series of Twitter messages as he departed the G7 conference in Canada, on his way to Singapore where he was scheduled to meet North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un on Monday. In addition to deriding Trudeau in the tweets, he also accused the other countries of “Trade Abuse.” In another Twitter posting, Trump said that the U.S. would “look at” imposing tariffs on imported automobiles.
Merkel responded to Trump’s tweets as well, calling them “sobering and depressing, ” according to the French Press Agency.
Comedian Kathy Griffin also praised Merkel for posting the G7 photo.
I love that Angela Merkel posted this photo on her Instagram. She knows how to send a message. pic.twitter.com/zYNATIyRjk— Kathy Griffin (@kathygriffin) June 9, 2018
At the same time, model Chrissie Teigen was amused by Trump’s seeming petulant posture.
baby go wah, want to go home !! https://t.co/CzKAqPXXgJ— christine teigen (@chrissyteigen) June 9, 2018
This looks like an episode of Celebrity Apprentice where Trump is about to fire Angela Merkel because her strudel marketing plan fell through. pic.twitter.com/ZLYlaDrNts— Tim Young (@TimRunsHisMouth) June 10, 2018
Health care policy expert Topher Spiro was also pleased by the Merkel photo.
The woman leader of the free world telling Trump how it is. Awesome photo. https://t.co/Ru9P6Yitjy— Topher Spiro (@TopherSpiro) June 9, 2018
While another Twitter user contrasted Trump’s relationship with his fellow G7 leaders, with the relationship enjoyed by President Barack Obama.
Merkel with a real president— Scott Dworkin (@funder) June 10, 2018
Merkel with a drunk baby pic.twitter.com/6dgSVy5wFS
MERKEL: “Donald, Prime Minister Abe CANNOT ‘drop tariffs on the export of wild Pokémon’! They are not real!”— Alt. U.S. Press Sec. (@AltUSPressSec) June 10, 2018
TRUMP: “You are fake news.” pic.twitter.com/2pcYk3puRU
Merkel was likely already annoyed at Trump, who according to a New York Magazine report, showed up late to a morning meeting on women’s empowerment, which New York wrote, “admittedly, is not high on Trump’s list of concerns.” Trump took his seat next to International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde, who was in turn, seated next to Merkel — placing Trump net to arguably the two most powerful women in the world.
Even the media in India wondered if Trump was being scolded by an angry Merkel.
Merkel’s response, however, was not limited to posting a telling photo.
JUST IN: German Chancellor Angela Merkel says Europe will implement counter-measures against US tariffs on steel and aluminium, voicing regret over Trump's decision to withdraw support for a G7 communique pic.twitter.com/qZI99d8FVs— TRT World Now (@TRTWorldNow) June 10, 2018
According to the news agency Reuters, Merkel said on Sunday that the European Union must now strengthen its alliances with Germany and Japan while preparing retaliatory economic measures against Trump’s new trade tariffs against other G7 countries.