Emmanuel Macron out-Trumps Donald Trump in handshake duel before NATO Summit

U.S. President Donald Trump (L) shakes hands with French President Emmanuel Macron before a working lunch ahead of a NATO Summit in Brussels, Belgium, on May 25, 2017.

US President Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron barely know each other but they seemed to have a hard time letting go when they first met. Trump and Macron tightly gripped each other's hands, with Trump's knuckles turning white. But this time, it was Mr Trump - not Mr Macron - who tried to back out first.

As Philip Rucker, a reporter for The Washington Post who witnessed this epic handshake, put it, "If relationships were defined by how two people shake hands, then the one between the newly elected presidents of the United States and France is going to be rather fierce".

Donald Trump's first foreign trip as US President has been marked by another unscripted absurdity today (25 May).

President Macron has said he has a long list of issues to discuss with President Trump, including the fight against terrorism, the economy, climate and energy issues.

Former reality TV star Trump is known to make visitors flinch with a strong handshake that he often combines with a wrench of the arm to leave his victim off balance.

The French president is seeking to prolong emergency security rules for three months more as part of the government's plan to tackle terrorism forces operating on French soil, the presidency said Wednesday.

Le Pen also visited Trump Tower in January, where she hosted a campaign fundraiser organized by Italian businessman George Lombardi - a Trump Tower resident, Mar-a-Lago member, Citizens for Trump co-founder, and self-described liaison between Trump and far-right parties in Europe.

This comes as a surprise, given Trump's expression of support for Le Pen during the election campaign, which concluded with a Macron victory on May 7.

Speaking at a joint press conference with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker on the heels of their meeting in Brussels, Macron said:"As for climate, President Trump can assert his position".

The moment - finally - broke off, and the men left the scene to enjoy a quick meal of veal fillet with Belgian chocolate mousse for dessert.

  • Larry Hoffman