Macron says Trump handshake was 'moment of truth'

Macron says Trump handshake was 'moment of truth'

French President Emmanuel Macron said his extended handshake with Donald Trump before a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit was "not innocent" and meant to show he did not make even small concessions.

Trump and Macron squeezed each other so tight during a handshake at the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit in Brussels on Thursday that their knuckles turned white.

In an interview with the Journal du Dimanche published on Sunday, the French leader said his interaction with the American head of state was "a moment of truth".

Mr Macron told French media he had wanted to "show he would not make small concessions, not even symbolic ones, but also not overdo things". He forcefully yanked the hand of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and pulled him towards him at a meeting in the White House in February.

The awkward encounter saw each grip the other's hand so firmly that their knuckles turned white.

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After some five seconds, Trump was the first to open his hand but Macron insisted on being the last to let go.

As soon as Macron turned his head in Trump's direction, the USA leader was waiting with his hand out.

Mr Trump often seems to get the upper hand when it comes to such greetings - cue one with Japanese PM Shinzo Abe which lasted 19 seconds - and with supreme court nominee Neil Gorsuch, where the USA leader appeared to yank the judge's arm.

The leaders met in Brussels on Thursday ahead of a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit, during Trump's first foreign trip as president.

"My handshake with him wasn't innocent", said the newly-elected French president during the G7 Summit in Taormina, Italy.

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