WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump’s saga of awkward handshakes continues.
On Friday, right before he left France, President Trump said goodbye to France’s President Emmanuel Macron, with the two grabbing and holding hands for a long, long handshake.
The entire handshake lasted about 25 seconds — or five-twelfths of a minute.
At one point, while holding Macron’s hand, President Trump reached over to kiss Macron’s wife, Brigitte, on her cheek and grabbed her hand as well — and held both Macron and his wife’s hands at the same time.
After President Trump left France, he tweeted, “It was a great honor to represent the United States at the magnificent #BastilleDay parade. Congratulations President @EmmanuelMacron!”
This isn’t President Trump’s first awkward handshake with Macron. When President Trump and Macron met in Brussels in May, the two memorably shook hands in full view of the press.
At the time, pool reporter Phillip Rucker of The Washington Post, who was in the room, described it:
“They shook hands for an extended period of time. Each president gripped the other’s hand with considerable intensity, their knuckles turning white and their jaws clenching and faces tightening.”
Macron confirmed that there was indeed a deeper significance to the prolonged handshake he shared with President Trump in Brussels.
“My handshake with him, it’s not innocent,” Macron told the Journal du Dimanche in an interview published Sunday. “It’s not the alpha and the omega of politics, but a moment of truth.”
President Trump’s palm press on Friday was even longer than his 19-second shake with Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzō Abe — which went viral after President Trump pulled away and Abe made a regrettable facial expression.
“Strong hands,” President Trump said to Abe as the media left the room.
In addition to the awkward Abe shake, President Trump has foisted his unusual tug-and-pull style on other high-profile figures, including Vice President Mike Pence and Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch.