As someone famous for making deals, one would assume that President Donald Trump has got handshakes down to an art. The famous germaphobe has instead called handshakes a "barbaric" practice and "one of the curses of American society."
"The more successful and famous one becomes, the worse this terrible custom seems to get," Trump wrote in 1997's Art of the Comeback. And boy oh boy, how true that is. On Friday, President Trump greeted Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe with a 19-second-long handshake to end all handshakes. Trump made nothing about the handshake look comfortable, from his terrifyingly firm grasp to the pat at the end, and even the fact that he then posted a video of the handshake to Twitter.
To make matters even stranger, mid-handshake Trump decides to ask Abe what the Japanese photographers are saying to him. "Look at me," Abe answers, but then Trump looks intently at Abe. Abe laughs awkwardly and motions to the cameras:
Awkward? This handshake between Trump and Shinzō Abe lasted 19 seconds, after which Trump said to Abe, "Strong hands." pic.twitter.com/iNyFSS85xz
Afterward, Trump says "strong hands," and Abe mostly just looks like he wants to run away. Anyway, A for effort President Trump, but maybe keep practicing. There are a whole lot more handshakes in your future. Jeva Lange