Speed Reads

Trump Travels Abroad

French President Emmanuel Macron and J.K. Rowling tag-team troll Trump

You shouldn't read too much into body language at international summits of world leaders, but gestures also don't mean nothing. Take the playfully passive-aggressive handshakes between President Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday in Brussels. The first one was nothing special — Macron shook hands with Trump, then first lady Melania Trump, and they all went inside the U.S. ambassador's residence. The second one, however, was a doozy.

Here's how Washington Post White House bureau chief Philip Rucker, writing for the press pool, described that handshake: "They shook hands for an extended period of time. Each president gripped the other's hand with considerable intensity, their knuckles turning white and their jaws clenching and faces tightening." Maybe Macron had heard about Trump's handshakes and came prepared. But Trump caught on, and in their next encounter, at NATO headquarters, he gave Macron the classic Trump treatment.

But if you watch Macron's entrance leading up to that handshake, you can see him veer from Trump at the last minute and embrace German Chancellor Angela Merkel first, putting Trump off for last. Perhaps Macron was being chivalrous by approaching the woman before the men, and he clearly knows his neighboring German leader more than the American president.

Or, as author J.K. Rowling suggests:

Incendio, as they say.