Donald Trump may still be recovering from his handshake with Emmanuel Macron.
On Saturday, a viral photo circulated showing the French president holding Trump’s hand in a death grip as the two met in France ahead of an Armistice Day celebration. Trump had spent the week taking shots at Macron, including lashing out at his host on Twitter just after Air Force One touched down for his visit.
It seems that Macron didn’t take too kindly, and when he and Trump met the French president wouldn’t let go of Trump’s hand, squeezing it as Trump’s own hand went limp.
Picture of the aggressive handshake was shared by Reuters reporter Steve Holland and quickly went viral online. Many saw it as an emasculating moment for Trump, who lobbed insults at Macron on Twitter but said nothing when the two actually met face to face.
As the BBC noted, Macron had suggested this week that the EU form a joint army to address threats from the United States and Russia. Trump — who had previously called for European countries to do more to protect themselves and rely less on the United States — blasted this comment.
“President Macron of France has just suggested that Europe build its own military in order to protect itself from the US, China and Russia,” Trump wrote on Twitter shortly after arriving in France. “Very insulting, but perhaps Europe should first pay its fair share of NATO, which the US subsidizes greatly!”
Our great photographer Carlos Barria captured Macron’s grip in Trump’s hand at Elysee Palace pic.twitter.com/MZ2YBbE9Vl
— Steve Holland (@steveholland1) November 10, 2018
This is not the first time that Emmanuel Macron has delivered a crushing handshake to Donald Trump. When the two met at the G7 conference earlier this summer, Macron shook Trump’s hand so hard that it actually left a white imprint of the French president’s fingers on Trump’s hand. The two sparred after the G7 conference, as Trump tweeted from aboard Air Force One that he was not endorsing a joint statement calling for fair trade between members.
Macron blasted Trump for pulling out.
“We spent two days to obtain a text and commitments. We will stand by them and anyone who would depart from them, once their back was turned, shows their incoherence and inconsistency,” he said in a statement quoted by Le Monde. “International cooperation cannot depend on fits of anger or little words. Let us be serious and worthy of our people.”
As Newsweek had noted, Donald Trump had been known for a habit of aggressive handshakes, often pulling people in aggressively toward him in what was seen as a power move. Emmanuel Macron seemed to counter that with a vice-like grip of Trump’s hand that forced the American president to break off their handshake.