Macron's white-knuckle handshake with Trump 'wasn't innocent'

Macron's white-knuckle handshake with Trump 'wasn't innocent'

President Donald Trump shakes hands with French President Emmanuel Macron during a meeting at the U.S. Embassy, Thursday, May 25, 2017, in Brussels.

In an interview with the Journal du Dimanche (JDD), the French president said the long handshake had meaning.

The enthusiastic French premier later grouped Trump with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Russian President Vladimir Putin as leaders who focus on power.

"Donald Trump, the President of Turkey or the President of Russian Federation are of a mindset of power relations, which doesn't bother me", Macron said, adding: "I don't believe in diplomacy of the public invective but in bilateral dialogues. That is how you get respect".

While German Chancellor Angela Merkel bemoaned "unsatisfactory" discussions on climate change and fended off barbs on trade, Macron highlighted the positives.

Trump and Macron confronted each other again later on Thursday on a blue welcome carpet outside North Atlantic Treaty Organisation headquarters. In preparations for the Trump-Macron lunch in Brussels, the White House team told its French counterpart to limit the meal to no more than an hour and 15 minutes. During the conversation, which was described as friendly, Trump denied that he had ever supported Marine Le Pen despite the fact that he had tweeted supportive comments of the National Front leader. "I think that all of the leaders present, starting with President Trump, appreciated the informality with which one in this format. can discuss things calmly and freely".

The French leader says he believes the arguments made by the six other members enabled Trump to understand the importance of that issue and the necessity the Paris agreement for the USA economy. Trump is well-known for his ostentatiously vigorous handshake, but Macron appeared to hold on until Trump tried to free himself.

The nation of France and all things French faced something of a public relations backlash in the United States after al Qaeda's September 11 attack on the World Trade Centre in 2001. Along with a warning about Trump's aggressive handshake, Capehart also reported Araud "sent a memo to Macron advising him on how to handle the American president".

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