Holding Hands and Brushing Off 'Dandruff': Trump Tries to Forge a Bromance with French President
President Donald Trump was apparently eager to forge a friendship with fellow world leader Emmanuel Macron amid a state visit on Tuesday — but two headline-making moments seemed more awkward than amiable.
First, some people on Twitter poked fun of Trump after he grabbed the French president’s hand — and then continued holding it while leading him away from reporters outside the White House.
“That Trump-Macron hand grab thing just now was super weird,” CNN’s Chris Cillizza observed on Twitter. “Can someone please GIF it for me?”
Another Twitter user jokingly added “light hand-holding” to the Trump-Macron state-visit schedule, in between bilateral meetings and state dinner.
The moment came on the heels’ of yet another awkward hand-holding episode between Trump and wife Melania — prompting comments that no one seems to want to hold Trump’s hand today.
Later, in the Oval Office, Trump struck an uncomfortable note once again when he joked that he was brushing dandruff off Macron’s shoulder.
“They’re all saying what a great relationship we have, and they’re actually correct,” Trump said to Macron and reporters gathered in the Oval Office. “We do have a very special relationship. In fact, I’ll get that little piece of dandruff off — we have to make him perfect. He is perfect.”
He then turned to Macron and brushed his shoulder as photographers clicked away.
Some people on Twitter called the moment a diplomatic “power move.”
A tweet from a parody Trump account joked: “I wasn’t able to overpower #France President #Macron with my macho handshake,so my next power move was pretending to pick dandruff off his suit & telling the press I did it to make him ‘perfect’!”
A lot of people were confident the move was intended to belittle Macron.
And a couple tweeters had to remind themselves that yes, this was really happening — and not on Saturday Night Live.