French President Emmanuel Macron just isn’t into Donald Trump. First, there was the handshake in which the newly minted French President squeezed the life out of Trump’s tiny hand. Later, Macron admitted that he did that intentionally. Then, Macron did what Trump would never do. He blasted President Vladimir Putin to his face, instead of bending down to grab his ankles for Russia’s leader like the former reality show star does. Trump is known for his aggressive handshakes, some of them lasting seemingly forever, and usually with him pulling the person into him.
On Wednesday, Trump gave a bizarre interview with the New York Times, a paper he tries to diminish by calling it ‘failing’ (Fact check: It’s not failing. Subscriptions are up).
“He’s a great guy — smart, strong, loves holding my hand,” Trump said – presumably joking but who knows – about his French counterpart in an Oval Office interview with the Times.
“People don’t realize, he loves holding my hand — that’s good!” Trump said of President Macron, who invited the former reality show star to attend Bastille Day festivities in Paris last week.
After the handshake which was mocked in the media, Trump wrote on Twitter:
“Great evening with President @EmmanuelMacron & Mrs. Macron. Went to Eiffel Tower for dinner. Relationship with France stronger than ever.”
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 14, 2017
Trump once called Paris “so out of control, so dangerous” in order to induce fear of immigration, but during his last visit to the City of Light, he was confronted about that by a reporter. Trump responded:
You know what? It’s going to be just fine, because you have a great president. You have somebody that’s going to run this country right.”
The Washington Post’s Philip Rucker, who was in the room for the first handshake between the two, described it on Twitter:
They shook hands for an extended period of time. Each president gripped the other’s hand with considerable intensity, their knuckles turning white and their jaws clenching and faces tightening.”
Trump is playing a part, as if he’s still a reality show star. Everything he said during his campaign, including about France, was scripted for his base. Trump will continue to change his views like the wind.
Macron has been trying to teach Trump how to President. Like, for example, with the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.
Image via screen capture.