Emmanuel Macron has declared last week’s “death grip” handshake with Donald Trump intentional. In an interview with French weekly Le Journal du Dimanche, the newly-elected French president described their encounter as “a moment of truth.”
“My handshake with him wasn’t innocent,” said the newly-elected French president during the G7 Summit in Taormina, Italy. “It wasn’t the Alpha and the Omega of politics, but a moment of truth.”
Photos captured during their meeting at the NATO summit in Brussels (May 25) show the French and the US presidents engaging in an intense handshake, in which their “knuckles turned white and their jaws seemed to clench.” Trump is well-known for his ostentatiously vigorous handshake, but Macron appeared to hold on until Trump tried to free himself. Macron’s office has confirmed his comments, the Guardian reports.
“We must show that we won’t make small concessions, even symbolic ones, but not to over-publicize it either,” Macron added. “I don’t believe in the diplomacy of public invectives but in my bilateral talks, I don’t let anything pass, it’s how one gets respected.”