Macron touts ‘special relationship’ with Trump
WASHINGTON – French President Emmanuel Macron studied up on President Trump’s dominant handshakes before their first meeting and was determined to send a message that he won’t be pushed around.
Before their first meeting last year at a NATO summit, Macon said he noticed how Trump yanked other world leaders toward him during a handshake and he wasn’t going to be caught off guard.
“It’s not innocent,” Macron said of his “direct, lucid” body language toward Trump.
“Seeing (Japanese) Prime Minister Abe and some of the different victims, I resisted,” Macron told “Fox News Sunday.”
Macron held Trump’s hand for some six seconds during their first meeting in Belgium in May in a white-knuckled standoff. When Trump traveled to Paris for Bastille Day parade in July, the hand shaking lasted a memorable 29 seconds.
But the stiff arm paid off.
What has resulted in the year since is a very “special relationship,” Macron said.
Now, he has the distinct honor this week of being feted as Trump’s first state visit guest.
The two will have a private dinner Monday at Mount Vernon, enjoy a state dinner on Tuesday and Macron will make a rare joint address to Congress on Wednesday.
“We have a very special relationship because both of us are probably the maverick of the systems on both sides,” Macron said. “I think President Trump’s election was unexpected in your country and probably my election was unexpected in my country. And we are not part of the classical political system.”
On the table are some dicey issues for France and US: the new US trade tariffs on steel and aluminum from which France wants to be exempt; whether Trump will recertify the Iran nuclear deal next month that France wants to preserve; and forging a path forward in Syria to defeat ISIS and prevent chemical weapons attacks on civilians.
Macon hopes to highlight the deep-rooted historical bonds between the two nations and convince Trump not to start a trade war with France.
“You cannot make a trade war with your allies,” Macron said. “If you make war against everybody, you make trade war against China, trade war against Europe, war in Syria, war against Iran – come on — it doesn’t work. You need ally. We are the
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