Macron says Trump handshake was 'moment of truth'

U.S. President Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron on the sidelines of the NATO summit in Brussels | Mandel Ngan  AFP via Getty Images

Macron, who is described as a political centrist (Trump is more chaotic but definitely towards the right or even "alt right"), recently beat right-leaning candidate Marine Le Pen in the French Presidential election.

He succeeded, but just barely.

Mr Macron told a Sunday newspaper in France that "my handshake with him, it wasn't innocent".

"It's not the be-all-and-end-all... but a moment of truth", Macron said.

The two leaders gripped each other's hands so tightly their knuckles started turning white and their jaws seemed to clench in front of the media last week in Brussels before a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit.

During this meet, Macron pointedly turned past Trump to embrace German chancellor Angela Merkel and later shook hand with the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation secretary general, Jens Stoltenberg, and Belgian Prime Minister, Charles Michel, before greeting the US President.

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Read the full article here. He seems to be headed in Trump's direction, but when the American president extends a hand, Macron turns to hug Merkel instead.

Trump tried to set a jocular tone for their lunch, greeted Macron with smiles and congratulated Macron for his "incredible campaign" and "tremendous victory" with no apparent irony.

Diplomacy can be a white-knuckle ride at times, but French President Emmanuel Macron refused to be shaken when he found himself in an unexpected standoff with USA counterpart Donald Trump Thursday. With their jaws clenched, their faces alternating between smiles and grimaces, the two men shook hands until the knuckles of Mr. Trump turned pale.

"I do not let anything pass", he told JDD.

The Washington Post's Jonathan Capehart took credit for warning France's ambassador to the United States, GĂ©rard Araud, about Trump's gamesmanship.

While Le Pen had echoed some of Trump's hardline rhetoric on immigration, the USA leader's words of support were surprising. It's as though he's saying, 'Do you know who I am?

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