Trump and Macron shared another intense handshake amid their fading bromance
Ellen Cranley,Ellen CranleyNov 12, 2018, 02:41 IST
President Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron's previously close relationship seemed to fade at a weekend where world leaders gathered to celebrate 100 years since the end of World War I.
The weekend began as Trump tweeted to bash Macron's plans for European defense hours before landing in Paris.
Trump and Macron met Saturday morning in the Élysée Palace ahead of bilateral talks.
The two didn't appear as friendly as they had in the past, though they emphasized the importance of their two countries working together on issues including European defense.
Macron seemed to try to convey a cooperative image by touching Trump's thigh in a move reminiscent of their previously touch-filled meetings.
Trump was cordial but did not reciprocate Macron's gesture as he sat with his hands folded.
Once the press conference was finished, the two leaders shook hands.
As the shake went on, it looked like it got uncomfortable for Trump, who tried to let go.
But Macron held on with a firm grip that left a white thumbprint on the back of Trump's hand.
The thumbprint appeared very similar to the one Macron left from a handshake at the G7 Summit in June ...
... and an extended handshake at their first meeting at last year's NATO Summit in Belgium.
Macron admitted in June he had studied videos of Donald Trump shaking people's hands to get ready for their first encounter, which prepared him to come off as the stronger leader with a white-knuckled handshake.
Though Trump had tweeted less than 24 hours earlier to criticize Macron, he said in the meeting the two leaders are "very much similar in our views."
But the two leaders seemed out of step for the rest of the trip.
Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel put on a close appearance at a historic site later that day. Trump canceled his trip to an American cemetery and stayed in Paris because of rain.
At an Armistice commemoration ceremony Sunday, their cordial appearance from the day before splintered in the presence of Russian leader Vladimir Putin.
Trump greeted Putin warmly, while Macron and Merkel kept their handshakes brief.
In his remarks at the ceremony, Macron condemned the rise of nationalism warning that "old demons are reawakening" and denounced those who embody the ideals of nationalism.
In a CNN interview aired Sunday, Macron said he had a good meeting with Trump, but seemed to object to Trump's tendencies, saying, "I always prefer having direct discussion or answering questions [than] making my diplomacy through tweets."
Though they weren't as physically close as they have been in the past, both leaders expressed several times they still appreciated working together.