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French President Macron Admitted That His Handshake With Trump Was "Not Innocent"

There's a new handshake sheriff in town.

Posted on May 28, 2017, at 12:37 p.m. ET

If you know President Trump, you'll know that he has a complex, fraught, and widely controversial relationship with the every-day courtesy known to most as The Handshake.


While its performance varies, many have called Trump's method the "tug n' shake."

It starts off like a normal, unassuming handshake, until the shakee is pulled suddenly toward the president, resulting in a very unprofessional body-lurch.

Trump follows this embarrassment up by reassuring the shakee with an even more awkward top-of-the-hand pat.

A number world leaders have fallen victim to the Trump Tug n' Shake (though some have managed to escape it), and many suspect it is a power move.

(It's worth watching this video all the way through, as the handshake only gets worse. It is also worth watching Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's full reaction to the handshake. Eyeroll gold.)

French President Emmanuel Macron engaged in a jaw-clenching, death-grip of a handshake with Trump last week.

Mandel Ngan / AFP / Getty Images

Washington Post reporter Philip Rucker described the handshake in a pool report as occurring “with considerable intensity, their knuckles turning white and their jaws clenching and faces tightening”.

Mandel Ngan / AFP / Getty Images

As we all suspected, the white knuckled palm-battle was not an accident, but a purposeful, political move. “My handshake with him, it wasn’t innocent," Macron admitted Sunday.

"Je suis très heureux de pouvoir, ensemble, changer beaucoup de choses", dit Macron aux côtés de Trump

“One must show that you won’t make small concessions, even symbolic ones, but also not over-publicize things, either," Macron told Le Journal Du Dimanche.

Mandel Ngan / AFP / Getty Images

What's more, Macron had prior warning to bring his A-game for the Trump Handshake Battle Royale Showdown.

Washington Post editorial board member Jonathan Cape revealed that he asked the French ambassador to the US on Monday if he had warned the new president about Trump's death grips:

A look of surprise popped on [Ambassador Gérard] Araud’s face as he inquired what exactly did that mean. Both of us told him about Trump’s affinity for the alpha male, grab-and-pull power pump that always seemed to reduce the other person to a rag doll. Forewarned, Araud said he would alert Macron.

With this battle won, who knows what the worldwide handshake champion will get up to next. Bonne chance, Macron.

Comedy Central / giphy

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.