President Trump has been a busy man. With his foreign trip taking most of the spotlight and the anger of the British over the Manchester bomber leaks, there was little talk about Trump participating in a NATO leaders meeting Thursday. But, oh, what a meeting it was. Trump shaking hands with the newly elected French president was a high point.
[Scroll Down For Multiple Videos]
There were two times that Trump and newly elected French President Emmanuel Macron were shown shaking hands. After the Daily Mail spoke to a body language expert, Patti Wood, it shed more light on what those subliminal handshakes actually meant.
From the start, the first time the two men met was a bit combative. Macron is walking up to NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and German Chancellor Angela Merkel with Trump to his immediate left.
Macron shakes hands with Stoltenberg and Merkel but instead of shaking Trump’s hand which Wood says you would naturally do, he looked past Trump. Instead, Macron turned his back to Trump and went to shake hands with Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel, who was three people away.
Eventually, the French President turns to Trump, who appears irritated, and shakes his hand. “We know he’s angry because his lips are folded back and he’s squinting his eyes,” Wood explains.
During the handshake, the two begin to fight for power and to show they’re the “alpha” male at the event. Wood makes a point to remind everyone that Trump is a germophobe and that shaking hands is to keep people “unequal.”
According to Wood, Trump misjudges Macron as she points out that after Trump begins tugging to show dominance during their handshake, Macron puts his free hand over Trump’s forearm. This is what Wood called a “power move.”
After the two leaders break their handshake, Macron gets one more “power move” in as he puts his hand on Trump’s back as they walk away. Trump tries to do the same, but before he can, Macron is already gone.
The second time Trump and Macron met there was an awkwardly long and unnecessary handshake. Trump congratulated Macron with his impressive win, but Wood thinks he was just putting on a show and didn’t mean what he was saying.
“As he begins talking, he pulls his whole body away from Macron – that’s a mismatch with his words,” she said. “He’s saying great things – normally in that situation, you would face towards, move towards or lean towards the person.”
You want to connect with that person you’re congratulating she pointed out. Trump did mean what he said once in the two meetings. Trump congratulated Macron on what he called a “tremendous victory,” which by his mannerisms showed sincerity.
Wood believes Trump correlates Macron’s “tremendous victory” with his own election victory. “It’s not that he likes [Macron winning], but that he’s harking back to his own election. He’s not really congratulating him… I think he’s thinking about himself.”
The handshakes were awkward but we can only wonder what these men were thinking or feeling behind their political personas.