By now, we’re getting used to uncomfortable-looking photos and video of President Donald Trump meeting with foreign leaders (his picture with Pope Francis, anyone?). Although we can’t rely entirely on photos to determine the mood of such meetings, French President Emmanuel Macron revealed that his intense handshake with Trump upon their meeting in Brussels this past week was basically as severe as it seemed, BuzzFeed News reports.
"My handshake with him, it wasn't innocent," Macron admitted to a French publication, The Guardian reports. "It's not the be-all and the end-all of a policy, but it was a moment of truth."
With one Washington Post reporter saying that the handshake had "considerable intensity," footage of the moment shows both men's hands turning white from the pressure of the contact. Macron also looks a little displeased when the handshake ends, suggesting that he was definitely ready for it to be over.
"Je suis très heureux de pouvoir, ensemble, changer beaucoup de choses", dit Macron aux côtés de Trump pic.twitter.com/7rQzMjGxBa
— BFMTV (@BFMTV) May 25, 2017
"That's how you ensure you are respected," Macron said of his handshake. "You have to show you won't make small concessions—not even symbolic ones."
According to Sunday Express, Macron and Trump had another run-in with each other outside NATO headquarters, where Macron seemingly greeted German Chancellor Angela Merkel over acknowledging Trump first. When the two finally did greet each other with a handshake, Trump appeared to pull Macron closer while Macron attempted to keep his distance. Can you say "awkward?"
Although the two leaders definitely tried to keep their meetings as polite as possible, Macron's attempts at standing for what he believes in through such a simple gesture are certainly noteworthy.