Macron Explains Tense Handshake With Trump, Calls It 'Moment Of Truth'

France's new President Emmanuel Macron says he was ready for his "moment of truth" with United States counterpart Donald Trump - when they shook hands for the first time.

Newly elected French President Emmanuel Macron was faced with a almost insurmountable challenge this week: how to shake President Trump's hand without losing his own.

In his three-day visit in Brussels, Macron and Trump met for the first time for lunch before a gathering of European and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation leaders last Thursday.

Trump is no stranger to awkward handshakes, though.

Quoted in the Sunday newspaper Le Journal du Dimanche, Macron said, "my handshake with him, it wasn't innocent", the Associated Press reported Sunday.

Macron said Trump and the Turkish and Russian presidents Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Vladimir Putin "think in terms of power ratios, which doesn't bother me". "I don't believe in diplomacy by public abuse, but in my bilateral dialogues I won't let anything pass", Macron said.

"I don't miss a thing, that's how you get respect".

Mr Trump's hand contact with foreign leaders has been closely scrutinised since he took power.

As if that wasn't dramatic enough, the handshaking intensity only grew later in the day when Macron made an apparent beeline from Trump on the blue North Atlantic Treaty Organisation welcome carpet, only to side-step the U.S. president at the last available moment to embrace German chancellor Angela Merkel, another of Trump's handshake nemesis.

Putin's foreign affairs adviser, Yuri Ushakov, said Russian Federation is dissatisfied with the current level of political contacts, adding that the talks will offer a chance to review them. And Trump has openly attacked agreements that the U.S. -Germany relationship was built on, including North Atlantic Treaty Organisation. Mr. Trump finally seemed ready to pull away - but Macron evidently wasn't.

Not for Macron, who has now revealed that there was indeed more to it than that.

The obvious takeaway is that Macron, whose English is obviously quite good, had no reason to speak only French to President Trump - especially when there was no translator present - unless he just didn't feel like doing it. It's Merkel and Germany.

  • Leroy Wright