Watch Trump and Macron awkwardly touch each other in series of excruciating exchanges during US visit

'I like him a lot', says US president in joint press conference

Jack Webb,Jon Sharman
Wednesday 25 April 2018 15:06
Donald Trump and Macron were very friendly during the State visit

Donald Trump and Emmanuel Macron could not keep their hands off each other during the French president’s US state visit.

Mr Macron is spending three days as Mr Trump’s guest in Washington, and the trip has been peppered with macho power plays involving handshakes, hand-holding, hugs and kisses.

He was the first foreign leader to receive the full pomp of a state visit during the Republican’s administration, and Mr Trump tweeted on Wednesday to say his French counterpart would be granted the further honour of addressing a joint session of Congress.

During the visit the two presidents put on a display of friendliness that included Mr Trump wiping what he described as a “piece of dandruff” from Mr Macron’s suit jacket.

“We have to make him perfect. He is perfect,” the president said as the pair spoke in the White House. “We do have a very special relationship.”

The cringe-inducing machismo had echoes of Mr Trump’s visit to France last year and his baffling, 30-second-long handshake with Mr Macron on the Champs Elysee.

Despite the appearance of pally joviality, however, the leaders disagree on a number of major foreign policy areas including the Iran nuclear deal and the Paris Agreement on climate change, which Mr Macron has tried to persuade his host to support.

Mr Macron told reporters that he and Mr Trump would look at the Iran deal “in a wider regional context,” taking into account the situation in Syria. “We have a common objective, we want to make sure there’s no escalation and no nuclear proliferation in the region. We now need to find the right path forward,” Mr Macron said.

Mr Trump suggested he was open to “doing something” beyond the current Iran agreement as long as it was done “strongly”, having described the pact as “insane” and “ridiculous”.

Additional reporting by agencies

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